SRT FINISHES SEVENTH AND TRAVELS TO THE 24 HOURS OF SPA SECOND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP OSCHERSLEBEN. Notwithstanding a seventh place at Oschersleben, the SRT duo Xavier Maassen - Christophe Bouchut retain a second place in the intermediary FIA ...
SRT FINISHES SEVENTH AND TRAVELS TO THE 24 HOURS OF SPA SECOND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP
OSCHERSLEBEN. Notwithstanding a seventh place at Oschersleben, the SRT duo Xavier Maassen - Christophe Bouchut retain a second place in the intermediary FIA championship. On Saturday the duo qualified in third place on the grid, and after a difficult race still managed a seventh spot, giving them two points in the rankings. The team will now be travelling to Spa, for the FIA test day in preparation for the 24 Hours of Spa.
The two free practice sessions of 80 minutes each on Saturday gave ample opportunity to fine tune and perfectly set-up the Corvette C6.R. And during the first morning session SRT were quick to prove why they are running up front in the FIA GT-championship. Christophe Bouchut set a very tight lap time that no of the other competitors was able to improve on.
The SRT Corvette outshone in the first session "and following on from that we tried to clock up as many kilometres as possible", Patrick Selleslagh continues. "We didn't carry out any further top lap times after that, but tried to retain constant lap times on used tyres. In FIA you don't have unlimited tyres available, and so you try to strive for continuity, which is a major advantage in a race. Xavier Maassen also enjoyed an extended spell at the wheel of the C6.R in order to prepare himself for the race."
In comparison with the lengthy free practice sessions, the qualifying session is far shorter. The drivers have a mere twenty minutes in which to set a fastest lap time and this exercise appears to be perfectly to the liking of French former GT world champion Christophe Bouchut. Bouchut clocked up a strong third place, only 0.130 seconds from the pole position. But even so Bouchut was dissatisfied.
Christophe Bouchut: "During both of my fast laps I was severely hindered by a competitor who was not on a fast lap. I find that this goes entirely against fair-play which is the foundation of any sport, and I would therefore ask, in fact insist that every competitor takes this into serious consideration during the coming races."
The race ran perfectly for SRT during the opening laps of this two-hour race. Right from the start the Frenchman Christophe Bouchut was one of the few to stay in close contact with the top-2, and it looked as though SRT was in for another excellent result.
"Unfortunately Christophe experienced some unexpected tyre wear and as result temporarily went off track in the first left. We're going to analyse whether there's a problem somewhere, because it is important to learn from these problems and make sure that such a phenomenon doesn't rear its head again in the future", Patrick Selleslagh commented.
Maassen worked off his stint perfectly and handed over to Bouchut with the car in fifth place. For a moment it appeared as though a fourth place was feasible, but it was not to be. Just before the finish Christophe Bouchut received a drive-through for excessive speed in the pitlane. "A mistake that resulted in serious consequences; because we dropped from fourth to seventh place and actually lost a virtual leaders position in the championship. But anyone can make a mistake and this year Christophe has already come up with so many great things, we're not going to make an issue about it. But in addition, second with only two points behind the leaders is still pretty good", Xavier Maassen finalises the weekend.
SRT are now leaving Oschersleben for Spa to participate in the test day for the 24 Hours of Spa.