Misanos Saturday double header draws another blank for Comtoyou Racing within the Sprint Cup Series

Saturday, May 18, 2024


Another frustrating GT World Challenge Europe meeting for the Belgian based Comtoyou Racing team after today’s double header of races showed that they had pace but not necessarily the longevity to get what they wanted within the Sprint Cup Series.

Having opened the season at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, this weekend’s trip to Misano in Italy would give the thirty-three cars listed just one race day as both one-hour races were shoe-horned into Saturday just so that those teams who need to can get to Spa Francorchamps in time for next week’s Spa 24Hr Official Test.

Comtoyou Racing again arrived with their trio of new Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3’s that Matteo Drudi was again able to qualify up at the head of the pack for this afternoons race opener in P3, much like he did at Brands Hatch, whilst both the Gold Silver packages of James Jakes and Dante Rappange within their #21 and #12 cars qualified in P27 and P21 respectively.

Despite a clean start, Drudi was unable to capitalise upon any squabbling ahead as the WRT BMW’s again showed the pace from all the other marques present on track as both cars would dominate the weekend’s proceedings. Drudi’ #007 car would struggle for pace compared with those in front but was at least fast enough to keep most behind him as he completed the opening stint.

Coming into pit lane from P5, Drudi would hand over to Nicolas Baert who would come out in P12 whilst the #12 and #21 cars would hang on for another couple of laps before pitting.

Despite a great opening stint for Matisse Lismont aboard the Gold class #21 car, his early efforts in class would go sadly unrewarded as the Ferrari of Charlie Eastwood would eventually pip them for a class podium position at the end. The #12 Silver class car of series debutant Lorens Lecertua would come home P5 in class.

The double header arrangements gave the teams just a few hours to refettle their cars ahead of an evening start to race two in Misano, and with Qualifying again already defined early, would mean for a P17 start for Baert within the #007 car and tail end starts again for the #12 and #21 cars of Lecertua and Lismont respectively.

Hopes all came crashing down of any Pro class possibilities as the #007 was spun around on the opening lap but was at least able to catch up thanks to another stationary car on track bringing out the Safety Car. Despite their transgressor getting a Drive through penalty for that contact, the #007’s race would end early with an unscheduled return to the pit lane.

Sadly, the hopes of both the #12 and #21 cars would suffer a similar path as although both finished the evenings race, neither had improved upon their class situation with another pair of P5 finishes in class.

The Sprint Cup Series now takes a summer break to allow for the Spa 24Hr to take place in June before returning to track action at the Hockenheimring in mid-July.

Photo credits - GTWCE
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