A fortunate third for Bullitt Racing at Monza

Monday, July 04, 2022

Sometimes we all need a little luck, especially when things are not going as expected. Saturday at Monza for the fifth round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup was that day when really, we did not put our best foot forward and were somewhat fortunate to finish on the podium.

Given our track record, a non-perfect day is permitted, and we leave Monza somewhat relieved with our third position finish, a result that moves us second in the championship race with 60 points, 17 adrift of our title rival at GMB Motorsport with two rounds remaining.

The event started with testing on Thursday, which was a good opportunity for Stephen Pattrick and Valentin Hasse-Clot to get acclimatised to both the heat of Monza and the circuit itself. Having set the pace in the first test session and then had little running in the second courtesy of red flags, the event proper kicked off with Friday’s official running ahead of Saturday’s qualifying run.

Unfortunately, the push session did not go quite to plan, with Stephen a little off his very best from practice, but fourth position was a decent place to start and the Spanish-based squad were still confident heading into the 110-minute race.

It was a great start to the race too with Stephen and our friends in the #55 Honda vaulting one-two on track and pulling out from those behind. Sadly, it wasn’t to be as Stephen spun on lap eight at Variante della Roggia, damaging the diffuser on the #99 Aston Martin Vantage in the process. He was able to continue, regaining fourth position before spinning into the gravel at Lesmo.

Following a metaphorical CTRL-ALT-DELETE he was soon back underway, but almost a lap down on the field. Valentin jumped aboard the Aston for his stint with little to lose and was – as expected – blisteringly fast, recording the fastest lap of the race on lap 30.

With others finding trouble on track and off, Valentin took the chequered flag in fourth position, but just as we were all wondering where it had unravelled, the podium beckoned with a penalty for a rival. It may have been lucky, but we were there to take the position and with it, the 15 points.

“The first 20 minutes were good, from fourth to second in the race and then we had a full course yellow. I got pushed out by an LMP3 and frankly, I just didn’t manage the car and the situation as well as I should have done. I then had a spin, recovered, pulled back and retook fourth position and then spun again, this time into the gravel which threw us out by a lap. I got back into the car and there were a number of incidents in this race and we managed to get third place which we are very very happy about. We move on and look forward to Spa” said Pattrick after the race.

There’s now a long break in the calendar now until late September when the team return to the Le Mans Cup at Spa-Francorchamps seeking that elusive first victory!

Source material – Bullitt Racing
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