Martin Kodric, the Portuguese’s teammate, qualified ninth the Teo Martín Motorsport’s McLaren 720S GT3 #59, after a tight qualifying – the top-11 was in less of a second.
With rain pouring in the Belgian circuit, this afternoon’s race was started with Safety-Car, promising a tricky track for all the drivers.
Martin Kodric ended the first lap eighth, but in the eighth lap Spa-Francorchamps showed how hard it can be and Henrique Chaves’ teammate spun, loosing five seconds and a place.
However, after a penalty for another driver, the Croatian driver handover the white and blue McLaren to the Portuguese in eighth, as soon as the driver change window opened, with thirty minutes into the race.
With forty minutes to the flag, Henrique Chaves wanted to recover and in the nineteenth lap was already fifth and kept gaining ground to the drivers ahead.
When the sky opened, the Portuguese driver maintained a strong pace, climbing to third in one lap with the difficulties of his opponents. Henrique Chaves recovery would end with another Safety-Car situation with the track condition getting worse.
After another podium, the youngster was pleased with the result. “It was a tough race, with the track changing, which made our life a bit harder. In my stint, I attacked to gain some positions, but I had some difficulties with the tyres, that suffered a lot. However, I kept a consistent pace without mistakes, and we achieved the third position, which is a good result and allow us to score some more points for the championship”, said the Portuguese driver.
With today’s results, Henrique Chaves and Mortin Kodric kept the third position in the International GT Open’s Drivers Championship, but they recovered two points to the leader – they are now nine points behind.
Tomorrow, the Portuguese youngster will take part in the qualifying for the second race and is determined to secure a good position in the grid. “We will work to improve the car, which isn’t where we really want, yet, so we can fight for a top-3 position in the qualifying. We will have a five seconds pit-stop handicap, but I believe it won’t be very important for the race, principally if it rains, as we could see today. We will fight”, concluded Henrique Chaves.
Todays race will start at 15h05 (GMT+1) and can be followed live at the championship Youtube channel. The qualifying will begin at 9h35.