Motorsport can be really cruel, and Henrique Chaves felt it in his skin at Paul Ricard, where he watched his Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo retiring when a podium was within his reach in the 2021 GT World Challenge Europe’s third round.
The Portuguese youngster arrived at the French circuit in the Pro-Am Drivers’ Standings third position and expected to continue his fight, along with his teammates – Miguel Ramos and Leo Machitski – for the lead.
Henrique Chaves showed a strong pace in the qualifying, he was the fastest Pro-Am driver in Q1, which put a good starting position in the horizon.
The prospective was fulfilled as the Barwell Motorsport car started from fourth, among the Pro-Am, and the team could feel that a podium was in the cards.
Leo Machitski was at the wheel for the start and was third in his class, after the first lap, putting the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo #77 nearer from its goal.
However, in the twelfth lap, Henrique Chaves’ teammate suffered a contact that sent him to a spin and was rammed, afterwards.
With damage in his car, Leo Machitski returned to the pits, where Barwell Motorsport did everything within its reach to send the “Lambo” again to the track. Miguel Ramos left the pits, at one point, but with the Lamborghini unable to take part in a night race, the retirement was unavoidable.
As expected, Henrique Chaves was disenchanted with the outcome of the Saturday night race. “It was disappointing! We showed in the qualifying that we had a good pace and, with a good starting grid position, the podium was within our reach. However, Leo suffered a contact that put us out of race. We tried to return, but the headlights had many damages and in a night race was impossible to continue. It was a pity, but that’s racing”, said the youngster from Torres Vedras.
The travel to Paul Ricard was disappointing, but Henrique Chaves is already focused in the season next round. “It was frustrating, but we showed that we are competitive and in the podium fight. We will work hard and we will go to Zandvoort even more motivated and determined to get a good result that allow us to put this setback behind our back”, underlined the Portuguese driver.
The next round of the GT World Challenge Europe, a Sprint Cup event, will be held at Zolder at June 18th-20th.