A thank you from Comtoyou Racing

Thursday, July 04, 2024


It was impossible to miss: Comtoyou Racing won the centenary edition of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa! The trio of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Mattia Drudi crossed the finish line victorious, giving Aston Martin its second win in the Belgian endurance classic, the first since... 1948!

Almost everything has been said about this victory. And yet... a few days after the event, Jean-Michel Baert, François Verbist and the whole team are gradually getting their feet back on the ground. “It is true that we have felt as if we were on cloud nine since Sunday,” laughs Team Principal Jean-Michel Baert. “We have received so many congratulations and expressions of affection... I have not been able to reply to everyone individually, but I am taking the opportunity to do so here. I would also like to thank the media, both Belgian and international, who gave us a great deal of coverage throughout the preparation and after the 24 Hours.”

A good relationship with the media is nothing new for Comtoyou Racing, a team born at the end of 2015 to compete in the Fun Cup and which has never stopped growing since. In its second year in GT3, it has just won the most important race of the entire season! “During the presentation of the poster with Aston Martin at the Prologue press conference, I joked that it portrayed both the 1948 winner and the 2024 winner,” smiles Jean-Michel. “Now we can say that it is true!”

Aside from Comtoyou Racing's performance twice round the clock, it is the ultra-tight timing of the collaboration with Aston Martin which impresses. “It is quite simple: we started talking less than a year ago,” continues Jean-Michel. “On 11 July 2023, Ben Bourdaire, the head of sales for Aston Martin, sent me a message via Facebook... It is a channel I hardly ever use, and I did not read it until two weeks later. At the time, we were in discussions with another manufacturer. Then everything accelerated! We had our first meeting on 30 August and, a month later, we announced our partnership at the Barcelona race.

It was a new partnership, but also a new car, which appeared last winter. “It is no secret that the supply of parts was a little late at the start of the year, and we sometimes had to rack our brains,” explains Team Manager François Verbist. “Especially as, to add insult to injury, we had never had as many accidents as we did at the start of the year. Fortunately, everyone was able to keep calm and the collaboration grew stronger week after week. This victory at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa is obviously the greatest reward of all!”

In addition to the success of the three official drivers, Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Mattia Drudi, the other Comtoyou Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3s were extremely reliable. “The only retirement came as a result of a race incident, when Nicolas Baert was slammed against the pit wall with no way out,” continued François Verbist . “As for the rest, our car entered in the Bronze Cup for Kobe Pauwels, John De Wilde, Dante Rappange and Job van Uitert finished in the top 20 overall and 5th in class. Charles Clark, Matisse Lismont, Xavier Maassen and Sam Dejonghe also finished 5th in the Silver Cup. For a new car, that is reliability to be proud of!”

Thanks to this success at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa, Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Mattia Drudi have taken the lead in the Endurance Cup of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe. Three endurance races remain on the programme at the Nürburgring, Monza and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. “We are obviously going to do everything we can to hold on to this position,” explained Jean-Michel Baert and François Verbist. “We also have three meetings left in the Sprint Cup. In short, the season is far from over, but we are going to continue it with motivation at its peak. We have said it to all the members of the team: you are winners of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa and no one can take that away from you!”

Comtoyou Racing will be back at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, but to contest the 25 Hours Fun Cup. Because the Belgian team has no intention of denying its origins, this 25th hour is also the time to say thank you!

Source material – Comtoyou Racing
Photo Credits – Patrick Heck

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