Monza: Tom Cloet race report

Tom Cloet continues on his winning streak in the Citation Cup ! Race within the race reserved for gentlemen-drivers, the Citation Cup continues to put life in the FIA-GT. Winner at Silverstone and in the streets of Bucharest, the Belgian Tom...

Tom Cloet continues on his winning streak in the Citation Cup !

Race within the race reserved for gentlemen-drivers, the Citation Cup continues to put life in the FIA-GT. Winner at Silverstone and in the streets of Bucharest, the Belgian Tom Cloet arrived as leader in this competition in Monza, for the 3rd rendezvous of 2007. As proof of the judicious concept the entrants list cuts a fine figure, with this time two Maseratis MC12, two Ferraris 550 and 575 Maranello, a Chrysler Viper and two Corvettes C5-R, of which one entered by the SRT team of Patrick Selleslagh, unbeaten to date ...

As from the first practice sessions on Italian soil it soon became apparent that the assignment was not going to be easy for Tom Cloet, and teamed up for the occasion by the Italian veteran Mauro Casadei. "The Maseratis and Ferraris are in fact faster than our Corvette", Tom explained, "but under braking we hold the advantage. At the end of the qualifying sessions, driven by Mauro,we clocked up the 4th best time in the Citation Cup. However for the race optimism is the order of the day. My lap times are similar to those of Mauro, which goes to prove that the team is homogenous, and my team-mate has no intention of staying one full hour in the car, due to the temperature. The orders before the start were not to take too many risks and to be on the look out ..."

As he had said, Casadei carved himself a perfect relay, quickly coming up into 2nd spot in the category prior to handing over the wheel to Tom Cloet. The latter, very at ease at the wheel of the Corvette, was soon on the heels of the leading Ferrari. "I didn't even have to overtake him ", the Belgian driver explained." The driver finally made a mistake and he went off the track just in front of me! As from that moment all I had to do was manage the advantage I had over the Maserati JMB running in 2nd place."

By winning a third victory in as many meetings, and with different team mates, Cloet has strengthened his leadership in the Citation Cup. "The numbers seem to show that everything is easy, but on the track it's not quite like that ", Tom continued, "especially as during my stint I had no information on the dashboard due to an electrical problem. I didn't even know which gear I was in, and in a Corvette it's not always obvious from the sound to know whether one is running at the right revs. But apart from that we won. During the race I was clocking up similar lap times to those of Hynes, who was driving a Corvette C6.R in the top class. I'm therefore more than satisfied ..."

Next FIA-GT and Citation Cup meeting is at the beginning of July in Oschersleben, where Tom Cloet hopes to be reunited with the SRT Corvette.

"At this moment it's not certain, in as much that Patrick Selleslagh's team are also entered for the French GT championship, and there is a clash of dates. But we'll do our utmost to find a solution. I have the opportunity to drive the Ferrari Solution F, but quite personally I would far prefer to be back with this Corvette, because I really feel good at the wheel of this C5-R..."

So good in fact that as the races follow on Tom Cloet still remains unbeaten in the Citation Cup. This entitled him to be present at all the press conferences organised at the end of each race since the beginning of the championship. Certain habits are definitely worth taking ...

-credit: tc

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Mauro Casadei , Tom Cloet