Two-time winners in the opening round of the GT4 European Series in Monza, Benjamin Lessennes and Daniel McKay knew when they arrived at Brands Hatch that their task would be more difficult. But the Équipe Verschuur duo confirmed the manner in which they complement each other by placing the McLaren 570S GT4 in 3rd and 6place in the two races. This will increase his lead in the championship before the next race on the Circuit Paul Ricard on 1stand 2nd of June
On his GT debut, Benjamin Lessennes’ star had shone brightly on the Monza circuit when he won the first two races of the season in the GT4 European Series with his team-mate Daniel McKay. So the Belgian was eagerly awaited at Brands Hatch for this second meeting. “The profile of the English circuit makes it less suitable for our McLaren 570S GT4,”Benjamin explains. “And this was immediately confirmed during free practice with a 19and then a 12place in the two sessions. I ought to tell you that Daniel and I were not happy before we started qualifying practice. Deep down, we were just hoping to limit the damage and to save points towards the championship.”
But the two men managed to surpass themselves on the timed lap. Exploiting the potential of the new tyres to the full, they took pole position and secondplace on both starting grids!
“In the race, we knew that our pace would not be as good, with very severe tyre degradation, due to the extra weight we had to carry,”explains the 19-year-old from Namur. "But at the end of the first race without any major incidents, we managed to take thirdplace. That was a podium we did not expect at the beginning of the weekend!”
A few hours later, it was the British driver who took the wheel from pole position. But the McLaren #14 immediately fell back to secondplace. “In the battle to stay at the front, Daniel asked a great deal of the tyres and twice went outside the track limits,"Benjamin explains. “So when I got back behind the wheel mid-race, I found myself with a car that was very difficult to drive because the tyres were so worn. I too went off the track once and we received a drive-through penalty which took me down to 9th place. However, at the end of the 60 minutes, we were able to move up three places and score points for a 6th position. At first I was a little disappointed with our penalty, but ultimately we should be content with our weekend.”
On the evening of this second meeting, Benjamin Lessennes and Daniel McKay remain leaders in the GT4 European Series. “We would happily have taken 3rd and 6th at Brands Hatch,” smile the young McLaren drivers. “We broadly retained the essentials by keeping control over the championship and we worked very well with the team and our engineer. We said from the beginning that we would have to combine performance and consistency to take the title. However, the points scored here could be crucial at the end of the season!”
In a little more than three weeks, Benjamin will head south to the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, where the third round of the season will take place on 1and 2 June.