Ultimately a podium place in the GT4 European Series final at the Nürburgring was not enough: in their McLaren 570S GT4 from Équipe Verschuur, Benjamin Lessennes and his team-mate Daniel McKay had to settle for third place in the European competition. But the Belgian, who was competing in his first GT season, did not go unnoticed!
Benjamin Lessennes is a competitor, a fighter who cannot be satisfied with second place. So, at the end of the season, the 20-year-old Belgian did not have the broadest smile on his face. “Of course we finished on the podium in this last race and third in the championship, but it is obvious that I am a little disappointed,” admitted the driver from Namur. “Just look at the progress we made this season and you can see that we could have been champions. In twelve races, we were on the podium six times, including twice on the top step. But we had two major setbacks: my team-mate’s collision at the Paul Ricard Circuit, which also earned us a penalty, and then overheating brakes in Misano. These two retirements cost us dearly in the championship, against opponents who were almost always in the points.”
After a part season in the FIA WTCR (World Touring Car Cup) in 2018, Benjamin discovered GT racing this year. And, if you look at it closely, the Belgian's record is more than positive! Constantly among the front-runners, the former Benelux TCR Champion demonstrated his speed and his adaptability in a competition which was new to him. “It is true that the top speed was there," he smiled. "Despite the disappointment of not wearing the crown, I am proud of my season. While I was performing well, I did not make the slightest mistake: with not a wheel on the grass, not the slightest contact, not a scratch on my McLaren… I discovered the subtleties of GT racing. I also learned to work as a member of a team and to share a car throughout the races. I know that we win together and we lose together. It was not at the Nürburgring that we lost the championship, but at Paul Ricard and Misano. To be a champion, you have to be both efficient and consistent. The others did better than us and I congratulate them!”
Now open to considering any opportunities as the season comes to an end, Benjamin Lessennes and his manager Tiago Monteiro (Skywalker Racing Management) will be working on how best to prepare their 2020 campaign. But one thing is certain: the young Belgian did not miss out on his entry into the GT world this year!