Spa delivers another eventful GT4 European round for the nine Aston Martin powered entries

Sunday, June 30, 2024


The third round of the GT4 European Series from Spa Francorchamps this weekend again provided us with another example of just why modern GT4 racing is so entertaining with its balanced competitive nature.

Whilst the two races over Friday night and Saturday morning provided that spectacle – it wasn’t always to the advantage of the nine Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 powered teams who were part of the original fifty-seven strong entry.

The first casualty was the #74 Racing Spirit of Leman AMR of Alexandre Machado and David Kullmann after the young Brazilian lost control of his car during the first Qualifying session to impact heavily into the barriers at Les Combes. That car would play no further part in the proceedings.

With a change to their timetable thanks to the series support of the Spa 24 Hours, race one would be run into the evening of Friday and things looked promising at the start with the #99 Prosport Racing AMR of Hugo Sasse (and Raphael Rennhofer) on the second row of the grid with the #5 Mirage Racing AMR starting P8 with Ruben Del Sarte (and Josh Miller). The remaining Aston’s were spread between there back to P45 with the Am class challenging #72 GPA Racing car of Kevin Jimenez and Florent Grizaud.

Inevitably, this last grid piling into turn one at La Source resulted in contact and another such loser was the #100 Prosport Racing car of Fabio Rauer and Henrik Still. Their race would end extremely quickly in the gravel with a rear wheel puncture – cause or effect??

With plenty of door banging and place changing racing over the next few laps, Sasse would still be holding P3 overall alongside an improving run by Mateo Villagomez within the #74 Racing Spirit of Leman AMR as the pit window approached however, that would soon be delayed as other cars became beached within the gravel.

With that pit window being opened next time around having gone back to green it was to. Be another three to four laps before the actual running order became plain to see. The #99 retained P3 with Rennhofer now behind the wheel and Jamie Day was on another of his charges within the #74 car with the guesting Forsetti AMR of Mikey Porter and Aston Millar doing well in P19 overall.

As the light finally passed into dark, race one would end with an AMR P3 and P4 upfront (#99 and the #72 respectively) but with the #72 GPA Racing crew also claiming another P2 finish in class.

Saturday’s second race was a bright an early affair with another good AMR showing in earlier Qualifying that had three cars starting from a top ten grid position.

Like race one, there were early AMR powered casualties as the #72 GPA Racing car of Grizaud got banged into the retaining wall of the inside of turn one on the opening lap and with that FCY intervention, more would quickly follow.

With Day chasing down the top three in fourth and the #100 Prosport and #5 Mirage Racing cars of Still and Miller trying to make up for earlier mistakes, another FCY again interrupting the race flow for stranded car immediately before the opening of the pit window.

When things did go back to green and the pit lane opened, an unfortunate untimely release by the Mirage Racing team allowed their #5 car to drive into the side of the #74 Racing Spirit of Leman car of Villagomez breaking the #74 cars steering and earning the #5 car a later enforced drive through penalty for its efforts.

That incident put paid to any worthy Aston Martin powered challenge within race 2 with the #99 Prosport entry gaining more points with a P7 in class finish with the Forsetti Motorsport team finishing well with a P8 finish too in Silver Cup.

The next round of the season takes the more traditional eight AMR car entry to Hockenheim in about three weeks’ time.

Photo credits – teams / series / social media



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