Not Aston Martins day at the latest round of the GT4 European Series from Misano

Monday, July 04, 2022


The third round of the GT4 European Series from Misano in Italy proved itself to be something of a “difficult day at the office’ for most of the Aston Martin Racing contingent at the weekend despite their recent form.

Both the Prosport Racing and Racing Spirit of Lemans crews had enjoyed some fine results in the series (and others) up until now and everyone was hopeful of similar performances that helped both teams settle at the top of the Silver Cup Drivers Championship leader board going into the weekend.

Whilst we all know that Qualifying may not necessarily paint an accurate picture of overall performances, the results of Q1 did show that the two Spirit of Lemans cars of Tom Canning/Akhil Rabindra (#19) and Gus Bowers/Konstantin Lachenauer (#10) were still amongst the top runners with their P5 and P8 overall positions whilst the double race winners of last time, the #24 Prosport Racing AMR of Higo Sasse/Mike David-Ortmann was way back in P17 overall.

With five other Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4s amongst the grid of forty-five cars (after the unfortunate early demise of the #9 Racing One car during Free Practice), the odds were surely still stacked in the favour of at least one of these coming through by the end of the first hour long race.

Due to sheer numbers involved, the opening corners were of course a little bit fraught but at least they were clean as the natural hierarchy of performance soon made clear who was fastest and who wasn’t – sadly for the AMR runners, the utter dominance of the Mercedes AMG GT4 quickly proved that it wasn’t to be Astons day this around.

The next pain for some came just after the pit stop window as Wilfried Cazalbon parked his #89 Am Class AGS Events Racing car with a clear technical issue having only just taken over from Julien Lambert. Whatever the problem was, that car would not compete again over the weekend.

Soon after that, the problems for the AGS team got worse as a pit lane exiting Noah Andy got hit from behind, taking both him and the Porsche assailant out of the race on the spot too.

With the two Pro-Am Aston Martin being the last to pit, by the time debris was cleared from the AGS car, Am drivers Rodrique Gillion and Henrik Lyngbye-Pederson each found themselves running within the top 10 on merit as the race went back to green but with just fourteen minutes remaining, contact between two Mercedes spun one of them around and straight into the path of the #25 Prosport Car of Gillion causing extensive front end damage to both cars. 

Like the Cazalbon car before it, the #25 Gillion car would not be seen again in race 2.

Another Safety Car and then more issues for the AMR runners as Bowers pitted his #10 car with technical issues that would lose the then Silver Class leaders valuable points as the #24 Sasse/Ortmann car eventually came through for a P15 overall/P3 in Silver finish with the #19 Rabindra/Canning car just behind in P17/P4. The #5 Racing One car of Thijmen Nabuurs/Kenton Koch car would persevere for a P6 Silver finish with the #18 Racing One AM car of Pederson/Lungstrass fifth in Am and the #80 AGS car of Tom Verdier/Ruben Del Sarte the last of the AMR finishes in P27 overall/P10 in Silver.

Sundays second race was sadly not a great deal better as the #24 Prosport car of Sasse failed to finish even the opening lap as an early puncture saw the young German elect to call it a day rather than risk the pointless process of limping his car back to the pit lane.

Despite this early negative, the #80 AGS car of Verdier and the #5 Racing One car of Nabuurs at least looked racy as they put early challenges onto those in front before an early Safety Car was called as a McLaren impacted along the pit wall.

The #10 Racing Spirit of Lemans car would again suffer an untimely exit from the race as Lachenauer would this time be forced to retire his car with technical issues just after the pit window as again, the Mercedes AMG cars just ‘walked away’ at the front.

Despite the best of efforts from all those involved, the best AMR result in Race 2 would be the P10 overall and P6 in Silver finish from the #19 Rabindra/Canning car with the #5 Racing One Nabuurs/Koch effort at least being the more consistent of them down in P12 overall/P8 in silver.

These results have seen the #10 crew lose the lead of the Silver Class to a Mercedes powered crew after their double race win in Misano and the Aston Martin crews double DNF. The sister #19 crew and the #24 Prosport crew remain in P2 and P3 respectively with a similar fate with the #89 AGS crew of Cazalbon/Lambert losing their Am class lead thanks to their double DNF as well.

Next top for the Series will be at Spa Francorchamps later this month during the SRO’s annual Speed Week.

Photo credits – GT4 European Series
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