With a 4th and a 3rd place at Zandvoort, Benjamin Lessennes and Daniel McKay scored important points in the GT4 European Series. Third in the provisional standings, the Belgian-British pair maintained their chances of winning the crown at the Nürburgring final.
The season is particularly compressed in the GT4 European Series. This weekend, at Zandvoort, the fifth round of this 2019 campaign was in fact already the penultimate round of the championship! “After our catastrophic weekend in Misano, we knew we had no further room for error,” says the 20-year-old from Namur. “The most important thing for us was to score important points in order to stay in the title race before the Nürburgring final, which will take place on the weekend of 1 September.” With a fourth place on Saturday and a third place on Sunday, Benjamin Lessennes and his team mate Daniel McKay completed their task.
The fastest in the second free practice session in the rain, Benjamin could not repeat it in a qualifying session dominated by the capricious weather. “I started on slick tyres on a drying track,” he says. “And, with the traffic, I was not in the right place at the right time. I had to settle for 9 th place when we clearly had the level of performance to run at the front.”
A few minutes later, however, his team mate Daniel took advantage of the return of the rain to place the McLaren 570S from Équipe Verschuur in pole position for Race 2. Confidence was now the key!
At Zandvoort, where passing is never easy, Benjamin knew that the task would be difficult in the first race on Saturday at the end of the day. “I made a good start and found myself in sixth place at the driver change-over. Daniel was able to gain a place and he held off the attacks of our direct competitors for the championship. Thanks to one of our adversaries incurring a penalty, we even scored the points for 4 th place.”
On Sunday, Daniel put the McLaren 570S GT4 #14 in pole position for the second 60-minute race. “From there, we just wanted to win!”says Benjamin. “But the first lap was marked by a big accident involving several cars. The race was interrupted and there had to be a re-start. After that, my team mate fell back to 3 rd place at the driver change-over. I started my stint with the bit between my teeth and tried everything to pass the two BMWs in front of me. But in vain!”
The results of the weekend in the Dutch dunes were mixed. “Our McLaren was performing well and we worked well with Équipe Verschuur,” says the Belgian. “We scored points, but so did our rivals. We are still in the running for the championship, but it will be at the Nürburgring that everything will be decided.”
From 30 August to 1 September, the final of the GT4 European Series will be held in the Eifel Mountains. Benjamin Lessennes and Daniel McKay are third in the provisional standings, only 22 points behind the leaders. “Knowing that 50 points can be scored at this last meeting, we are clearly in the running for the title and there will be full-on suspense until the very last moment!”