Hugo Sasse and Mike David Ortmann continued Aston Martin’s winning streak in this year’s GT4 European Series by fighting through the field to secure a second victory at Circuit Paul Ricard, and in doing so moved to second place in the Silver Cup championship.
Superb stints from both Sasse and Ortmann helped them eventually overhaul the #15 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG of Lluc Ibañez and Enzo Joulié, which had led the first half of the race from pole. Championship leaders Gus Bowers and Konstantin Lachenauer made it a double celebration for Aston Martin, bringing their Racing Spirit of Léman Vantage through to second, with Ibañez and Joulié claiming a second podium finish of the weekend in third.
V8 Racing’s Kenny Herremans and Dante Rappange ran out as clear winners in the Pro-Am class, while Julien Lambert and Wilfried Cazalbon claimed a dominant Am class victory in their #89 AGS Events Aston Martin Vantage.
Aston on a roll
After the #10 Racing Spirit of Léman Aston Martin Vantage celebrated a double victory during the opening round at Imola, it was the turn of the #24 PROsport Racing version to do likewise at Circuit Paul Ricard as Hugo Sasse and Mike David Ortmann survived a tense final lap to complete the double in France.
Having won from 11th on the grid on Saturday, few discounted the #24 from adding another strong result with the car lining up fourth for the second race in the South of France. Sasse made his intentions clear right from the start by diving past Gus Bowers’ #10 Vantage when the lights went out to run third.
The star of second qualifying had been Spaniard Lluc Ibañez, who had secured pole position in the #15 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG and used a good start to fend off Pro-Am pole-sitter Kenny Herremans in the V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro, which had lined up second.
With no safety car interruption to the race, the Silver Cup crews were given the chance to dominate, and soon both Sasse and Bowers found a way past Herremans to make it a Silver Cup top three in the race.
Up front, Ibañez was struggling to pull clear of Sasse’s Aston Martin, and only held a slender lead by the time the pit window opened. When Sase stopped to hand over to Ortmann, Ibañez opted to stay out as long as possible, only stopping to relay Enzo Joulié right at the end of the window. When the order worked out after the stops, Joulié rejoined with a couple of seconds in hand over Ortmann, but the German was fully up to speed and quickly ate into the gap.
Ortmann caught Joulié with 15 minutes to go and lined up a great pass for the lead into Signes corner. Even though the PROsport car was now in the lead, the race wasn’t done as Konstantin Lachenauer (who had taken over from Bowers in the #10) also found a way past Joulié and latched on to the tail of the leader. That led to a breathless final five minutes as Ortmann and Lachenauer circulated as one, with rarely more than a car’s length between them. However, try as he might, Lachenauer couldn’t find a way through, with traffic playing its part in helping Ortmann to the flag just 0.2s ahead.
Source. DRO Motorsports Group
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