SRT clinches victory in International GT Open on home ground
Brussels-based SRT Corvette team, with their American GT manned by the brand new duo Archie Hamilton (GB) and Isaac Tutumlu (Spa), clinched a brilliant victory at Spa-Francorchamps during the sixth meeting of the International GT Open. For the team run by Patrick and Niels Selleslagh this was the third victory of the season, and the first for the new combination of Archie Hamilton and Isaac Tutumlu. SRT now has insight into the third place in the teams’ championship.
For SRT this was a home race with two faces in Spa-Francorchamps. In the Ardennes the Brussels-based team grabbed both pole positions and on Sunday the Belgian national anthem came over loud and clear on the podium. On Saturday, during the first race of the weekend, problems arose to such an extent that only fantastic work put in by the technical crew ensured that the Corvette C6.R was able to be on the grid for the start of the second race.
Following the two pole positions it looked pretty promising for the SRT Corvette in Spa. However after a good start in the first race, and notwithstanding the usual extreme reliability of the American muscle car, a rare technical problem caused a race-incident that resulted in early retirement.
Archie Hamilton: “In the initial stages of the race the car’s power steering started to act strangely. It worsened by the minute, but Patrick told me to keep going, and once the car had lost all its power steering everything appeared to improve again. Obviously the pace had dropped, but it would have been possible to race on to the finish.”
At the halfway mark his teammate took over, but immediately after the changeover Isaac Tutumlu careered off the track at the renowned Eau Rouge and the race was over. The damage was substantial, but the team didn’t lose heart and immediately went to work in order to have the American Corvette C6.R ready for the second race to be held on Sunday.
For both drivers that second race went smoothly, resulting in a brilliant victory for the Belgian Corvette.
Isaac Tutumlu: “I must especially thank SRT, because these boys worked through into the night to get the car ready for us. Not forgetting the V8 Racing Corvette team, our rivals, who in fact helped us out with some spare parts allowing us to have the car race ready. Such a victory, under such conditions, is even more satisfying! I’m a truly happy person.”
The championship resumes in 3 weeks time, with the Italian round held at Monza (27th and 28th September).
The International GT Open is an international championship, under the care of Jesus Pareja. The championship is comprised out of 8 meetings, and additional information is to be found here: http://www.gtopen.net/