Successful opening weekend in the GT4 European Series for three Aston Martin crews

Monday, April 04, 2022

The weekend proved to be more of a success for some Aston Martin Racing GT4 runners than the races and the ensuing accident and incident around the Imola circuit may have first portrayed.

Having taken the win in the opening race of the season on Saturday, the #10 Spirit of Lemans AMR Vantage GT4 of Gus Bowers and Konstantin Lachenauer would start from pole position in Sunday mornings race and would go onto to secure a lights to flag class and race win by the end of another multiple FCY and Safety Car affected race in what was still their debut AMR event for the team.

The performance of the team’s #10 would be supported in race two by a P4 overall/P2 in Silver Cup podium finish from the sister #19 car of Tom Canning and Akhil Rabindra, marking a welcomed return (despite some mistakes being well recovered) of the proficient young Indian racer after a year in the doldrums in the FFSA GT4 Series before. Further performances like these from the #19 crew should hopefully see them contest for overall race wins like their #10 crew peers.

Also repeating a double podium over the weekend was the #89 AGS Events Racing Am Class crew of Julien Lambert and Wilfried Cazalbon who improved upon their P3 class podium during race 1 with a dominating class win during race 2.

Other than the #89 crew, Imola presented itself as another steep learning curve opening round of the season for the French team as both their #80 and #7 crews suffered DNF’s in the opening race followed by mid to low table finishes in the second.

Also running three cars for the first time this weekend was the German based Racing One team with an AMR Vantage GT4 entry running in each of the Am, Pro-Am and Silver Cup classes. With a probable podium thrown away by the #5 car of Kenton Koch and Thijmen Nabuurs after late contact in race 1, a grid penalty and further technical issues saw them pit and retire from the race just before the opening of the pit stop window.

Christian Gisy was again racing with son Vincent aboard their #9 Pro-Am entered car and being the first mainstream GT4 event for Vincent, their possibilities within the highly contested class were somewhat limited for them to follow up their race 1 result P44 overall and P19 in class with an improved P34overall / P18 in class.

The team’s returning Am crew of Henrick Lyngbye Pederson and Marcus Lungstrass would put their pre-season racing mileage to good use with an improved (and just off the class podium) P4 finish in class by the end of the final hour of racing.

For Prosport Racing’s first full season two car entry into the series, it would sadly turn into something to forget after Hugo Sasses’ catastrophic exit from race 1 where the resulting damage would negate their ability to race on Sunday, with Rodrique Gillion and Nico Verdonck going backwards in race two to finish a lowly P38 overall after contact having finished P5 in Pro-Am in race 1.

Hopefully, all the contact and long periods of caution can be avoided next time out at the openness of the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France where round two of the 2022 season will be held in. just under two months’ time.

Photo credits – Teams / GT4 European Series
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