8th and 9th podium places of the year for SRT in the International GT Open
At Monza, in the vicinity of Milan, the penultimate round of the International GT Open 2014 was on the calendar this weekend. The SRT team, with Isaac Tutumlu (Spa) and Archie Hamilton (GB) achieved a second and third place, in fact this duo’ third consecutive podium in their legendary American GT. SRT will now be preparing for the final round of this international championship to be held in Barcelona on 1st and 2nd November, and at the same time the season’s ending of the team’s comeback run by father and son Selleslagh.
Monza, another renowned circuit was the stage for the season’s seventh meeting of the International GT Open. Following their brilliant victory at Spa the Merchtem based team, near Brussels headed on down to Italy.
Patrick Selleslagh: “We were fully aware that this would not be an easy weekend, due to the additional seconds during the pit stops. You receive three additional seconds following a victory or a podium, a sort of simplified Balance of Performance.”
On Saturday the Isaac Tutumlu and Archie Hamilton drove a strong race. Tutumlu made the penalty seconds look like snow melting in the sun, was up amongst the leaders, but notwithstanding numerous attempts he was unable to get the better of the winning Ferrari 458 GT2.
Patrick Selleslagh: “All in all looking at the position we were in from the start we should be extremely satisfied with our second place. On several occasions Isaac went into the attack, but the driver ahead of him was highly defensive and the risk of an accident was too big. We score some important points, but obviously tomorrow we’ll be awarded some additional penalty seconds.”
In race two we saw an identical scenario, with a strong start put in by Tutumlu, who maintained the leader’s pace and rhythm. Archie Hamilton then took over and reappeared in sixth place with some 17 seconds behind the leader, basically due to the penalty seconds. The young British driver drove a faultless race, grabbed third place and finished the race a mere 10 seconds behind the winner. Once again the team and drivers put in a faultless performance, rewarded with a third consecutive podium place.
For SRT this second and third place respectively at Monza represent the eighth and ninth podium places of the season in 14 races, a season in which they have also already clinched three victories.
Patrick Selleslagh: “For us 2014 is the season of the comeback and up until now everything is running pretty well. Had Isaac and Archie been able to compete for a full season they would now be aiming for the title in the International GT Open. I believe that with our team we have proven that we can still compete up front at an international level, and I’m already looking to 2015 to continue in this light. But before all that we still have a meeting in Barcelona on 1st and 2nd November.”
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: www.gtopen.net/