Mixed fortunes for Street-Art Racing at Monza
The first event in the GT4 European Series was particularly lively for the Belgian Street-Art Racing team. Entered in the Silver Cup, Julien Darras and Jamie Vandenbalck saw their weekend come to an abrupt end as a result of an opponent’s error. Fortunately, Pascal Bachmann and the young Clément Seyler greatly heartened their team by stepping onto the Am Cup podium twice.
Although the days leading up to the event were extremely busy, the Street-Art Racing team was eagerly awaiting the launch of the GT4 European Series in Monza. “We received our second Aston Martin Vantage GT4 less than a week before the race,” said Damien Hellebuyck, Team Manager, “which means that our mechanics, whom I congratulate for their dedication, had to work very hard indeed to have everything ready on time!”
Unfortunately, the work of people at Street-Art was not fully rewarded with the Silver Cup car of Frenchman Julien Darras and Belgian Jamie Vandenbalck. “For reasons totally beyond the control of our team, the car suffered a few ailments of youth, including a brake problem preventing the drivers from achieving good results during qualifying practices,” continues Damien. “During the first race, however, things were much better and the performance was there. Unfortunately, the duo’s great comeback ended in the first chicane. A competitor who totally missed his braking hit Jamie full on, the latter having absolutely nothing of which to be ashamed. The chassis was severely damaged, so that their Aston Martin Vantage #007 had to forfeit the second race. It really is very frustrating!”
For the Swiss Pascal Bachmann and the young Luxembourg driver Clément Seyler (19), things went much better. On Saturday, the two men took their first podium of the season by finishing third in the Am Cup category. On Sunday, on a wet track, they did even better by winning a silver medal.
“I am really very happy with my first weekend in GT4,” smiled Clément, wiping the champagne from his face. “I am here first and foremost to learn and, both in the dry on Saturday and the wet on Sunday, I learned a great deal! I am delighted by the progress Pascal and I made throughout the weekend, and I look forward to being at Brands Hatch to show this was not a fluke!”
For Pascal Bachmann, who is competing in his second season in this GT4 European Series, it was a question of learning all about the 2019 version of the Aston Martin Vantage GT4. “This new car is great to drive,” he said. “It gives you more confidence than its predecessor and I am convinced that we will have our share of enjoyment this season. I must admit that, when I started the second race in the downpour, I felt very uncertain… but I enjoyed myself and I am obviously delighted with these two podiums in the Am Cup. However, we also know that we still have a lot of work to do to make our way to the top, and we will be working on this before the next meeting.”
The second of the six championship events will be held at Brands Hatch, in the south of England, on 4 and 5 May 2019. On Aston Martin’s home soil, the Street-Art Racing team intends to demonstrate the potential of its new Vantage GT4.