A silver medal not that easy to swallow After the interlude of the 24 Hours of Spa, the FIA-GT has rediscovered the Citation Cup down in Adria. Main particularity of this meeting is the fact that the race was being held on the Saturday evening,...
A silver medal not that easy to swallow
After the interlude of the 24 Hours of Spa, the FIA-GT has rediscovered the Citation Cup down in Adria. Main particularity of this meeting is the fact that the race was being held on the Saturday evening, with the start given at 19.45hrs, and as such the major portion of the race being held in the dark. A rather special round therefore, but above all and more especially difficult for Tom Cloet and Patrick Selleslagh's entire team "We're here to go for the title in this first edition of the Citation Cup, but today the facts have changed considerably ", the Belgian driver commented on his way through Adria, combining it with two business trips to Rumania and China."Our Corvette C5-R is no longer one of the youngest ones, but we were quite aware of that. However the basic philosophy of the Citation Cup was to bring together cars of 3 years old, with fitted tyres able to swallow up a fair amount of laps. But in fact what did we discover upon arrival here ?At JMB the Maseratis MC12 are now equipped with the same evolutions as those of the Vitaphone and Sara lee in the first division, whilst Ben Aucott, my main adversary in the battle for the title has decided to call on the services of Alain Ferte to complete the season! What is worse is that these Maseratis are fitted with an anti-slip system which makes them quite simply unbeatable machines at this level of racing ."
If you add to this situation a set-up which is not really ideal, a faulty alternator which stopped Tom Cloet from taking part in the warm-up, and a track which is not unanimously appreciated you actually obtain conditions that are not at all ideal when it comes to Tom Cloet having to compete in a race together with the Italian Davide Amaduzzi. "During qualifying we were in the same second as the Maserati, but one must also take into account the fact that the Adria circuit is not really of great interest ", Tom continued. "I took the start, but very soon had a problem with my harness! It was badly attached, and I tried to tighten it, but in fact it snapped open! Difficult to drive in full confidence under these conditions. After 37 minutes into the race I warned the pits that I was coming in and that Davide could take over the stint. In the event of an accident I was trying to imagine the consequences a driver might experience when attached!"
The Italian had a good and - long - stint, which allowed the Corvette C5-R SRT to take the chequered flag in 2nd place in the Citation Cup, far, very far behind the Maserati JMB. "I'm always ready to accept defeat in a sporting manner ", Cloet analysed, "but I'm not sure whether I will carry on competing in this championship. The Citation Cup facts have evolved since the competition started and this is creating problems for me. Even with a fast team mate, such as a Maxime Soulet for example, no way would we have been able to rival the Maserati JMB. To finish in the same lap perhaps, but to put them under pressure, no.We discussed it with Patrick Selleslagh, and at this moment our participation at the Brno round in the Czech Republic in two weeks time is uncertain. I know that I'm only 6 points down on Aucott in the Citation Cup ranking, but how can one hope to invert the trend of a technical nature if you don't have the possibility or means. I therefore reserve my decision as to the further outcome of the season ."