Victory in GT Open on the Nürburgring
SRT gave its international comeback this weekend a highly refined and polished touch. The father and son team ruled the roost during the first meeting of the International GT Open on the Nürburgring, with a third place on Saturday and a resounding win on Sunday. Drivers on duty, Maxime Soulet and Nicky Catsburg, now lead the Drivers’ Championship, as does SRT for the Teams.
One week following the well-deserved fourth place of Max van Splunteren, Maarten Makelberge and Maxime Soulet during the opening round of the Belgian Championship or BRCC at Circuit Zolder, SRT’s international comeback was on the motorsport calendar. The rendezvous was at the Nürburgring, for the start of the International GT Open. For many years this championship has been a tight battle between the best teams emanating from southern Europe, but latterly more and more Dutch and Belgian teams have appeared on the scene with certain success.
Patrick Selleslagh explains his choice for this championship: “This is a great championship, with a brilliant calendar, with races held on F1 circuits throughout Europe, and especially an enormous amount of TV coverage. Today that is very important and we are therefore delighted to be able to compete in Jesus Pareja’s championship. A strong commercial partner could do very well with us here.”
The Merchtem, near Brussels, based team opted for home based driver Maxime Soulet and the Dutch Nürburgring specialist Nicky Catsburg. Both drivers promptly thanked SRT for the trust put in them by offering a second place in the first qualifying session for the Dutchman, and a pole position for Maxime Soulet in the second session; Maxime Soulet who in the meantime has fully proven that he belongs amongst the GT-top in Europe.
At the start of the first race the SRT Corvette was nudged in a rather unsportsmanlike manner by another competitor and the Belgian American muscle car rejoined the pack right at the back. Notwithstanding this Nicky Catsburg and Maxime Soulet still managed to clinch third place, a mere six seconds behind the winners.
Patrick Selleslagh: "Despite that regrettable incident at the start, Nicky and Max drove a brilliant race. Soulet started off without a single meter of preparation and still set down some impressive lap times."
On Sunday in Germany Nicky Catsburg and Maxime Soulet in their SRT Corvette won in a highly convincing manner the second race of the opening weekend of the GT Open. At the start the opposition were unable to hold off pole holder Maxime Soulet. Soulet as leader handed over the drive to Nicky Catsburg who drove through to the chequered flag without any problem.
“What a weekend”, Maxime Soulet commented. “The team produced brilliant work, the car was in top form and the races were a dream. I would only be too happy to carry on the season with SRT in the GT Open, with the aim being of course the title.”