Henrique Chaves arrives at the stage where he debuted in the GT world – Paul Ricard, France – in the lead of International GT Open standings and will work hard to open his advantage in the second season’s event.
The Portuguese driver knows well the circuit nearby Marseille, having taking part there in Formula Renault 2.0 competitions and in the European Le Mans Series, and always showed a strong pace there.
However, few would expect such an auspicious debut in the GT world from the Torres Vedras’ youngster, last year. The Portuguese driver, at the wheel of a Teo Martín Motorsport’s McLaren 720S GT3, achieved an amazing second place in his first International GT Open’s race and a seventh place in the second, after being punted to last in the first corner by an opponent.
Along with the good memories, Henrique Chaves also feels an attraction for the French track. “I like the lay-out, it has corners where the drivers can make the difference, and I like that. I would prefer that the safety barriers would be nearer to the track, to maximize the drivers’ difference, but it’s the way it is. We will have the same BoP that we had at Hungaroring, so I believe we can be competitive, as the McLaren is very strong in the kind of corners that we can find at Paul Ricard”, said the Portuguese.
The twenty-three-year-old youngster, who partners Miguel Ramos, arrives at the second International GT Open’s event of the season in the lead of the Drivers Standings and the goal for Paul Ricard is pretty clear – to win and leave the French track with a bigger advantage for the second in the championship. “I believe that, to achieve this year title we have to adopt a strategic approach and take advantage from all opportunities. We will go to the first race without handicap, so we will be working hard to win it. In the second we will have to think strategically for the championship. The most important is to keep the first place in the standings and open a bigger gap to our followers”, underlined the driver of the Teo Martín Motorsports’ McLaren 720S GT3 #59.
The official program of the Paul Ricard event of the International GT Open will kick-off Friday, with the practice sessions. Saturday will be held a qualifying session and a race, 15h40 (GMT+1). Sunday will mirror the day before, but the race will be held at 13h35 (GMT+1). The first race will have a seventy minutes duration and the second sixty and both can be followed live at the series website.