On paper, the famous Ardennes circuit played into the hands of the BMWs, given their strong points (acceleration and high-speed corners). But, as we witnessed in the previous rounds, races are not won or lost on paper and the GT4 European Series pecking order is defined by many factors, such as weather, Balance of Performance, driver adaptability and, last but not least, penalties.
Răzvan Umbrărescu tested at Spa-Francorchamps one week ahead of the event, but subsequent BoP modifications mandated by SRO were a massive blow. A crucial rear ride height increase of 3mm had severe implications in terms of handling. Lacking some confidence in free practice, Răzvan conceded the fact that the majestic racetrack benefitted those having hundreds, if not thousands of laps under their belt. Fitting new rubber for qualifying, he regained some ground and placed the car in P17 of 48. His teammate Gabriele Piana saw all his Q2 times deleted for questionable track limits scrutineering, which threw the BMW at the back of the second grid.
Sunday brought an uncharacteristically long period of clear blue skies and sunshine, the #111 crew setting their sights on points in class for Race 1. Umbrărescu got on with the job with a clean start and solid pace, climbing up the ladder before passing the M4 GT4 to Piana, who brought it home 8th in Silver Cup and also 8th overall. A nine-place progress was good, but the best was yet to come for the two racers: starting down in 44th, Piana stormed through the field, handing over the car to the Romanian with a clear chance of points. Umbrarescu fought hard and crossed the line in 10th overall and 8th in Silver Cup.
With 8 more points scored in the Belgian weekend, the #111 RN Vision STS prolonged their streak to five races in a row in the Silver Cup top 10. The next round will take place at the Hungaroring (1-2 September).
Source. West Competition Racing