“We more than limited the damage”

Arriving at the Circuit Paul Ricard as leaders of the GT4 European Series, Benjamin Lessennes and his team-mate Daniel McKay did not have an easy weekend in the south of France. Forced to retire following a collision during the first race, the two men rectified the situation perfectly by finishing the second race on the second step of the podium. The McLaren #14 team duo from Équipe Verschuur is still in control of the championship after three of the six events on the programme! 

1-2 june 2019. European GT4 Series Round 3 Paul Ricard (F) Photo Chris Schotanus

After their double win at Monza and a third place finish at Brands Hatch, Benjamin Lessennes and his team-mate Daniel McKay also had the pleasure of stepping onto the podium at the Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend. On the track that will soon host the French Formula 1 GP, Benjamin and Daniel had a very contrasting weekend at the third meeting of the GT4 European Series.

Eleventh in his qualifying session, the Scotsman was involved in a collision from the start of the first race on Saturday. “Daniel missed his start a little and then there was a contact very early in the race,”says Benjamin. “Unfortunately, our McLaren was badly damaged and the Équipe Verschuur mechanics had to work a very large part of the night to repair it. I take my hat off to them! As if that was not enough, Daniel was found to be responsible for the incident and we were given a 5-place penalty for the second race. This meant that instead of starting from 4position, I was only 9on the starting grid on Sunday morning.”

But Benjamin was not long in demonstrating, once again, that he has the makings of a great driver. Very incisive at the beginning of the race, the Belgian finished the first lap in 5place. “I was well in rhythm and passed three more of my adversaries to find myself in second place before the pit stop window opened,”said the 19-year-old from Namur, who had just broken the race lap record several times. “Then Daniel started second and was able to maintain that position until the finish.”

1-2 june 2019. European GT4 Series Round 3 Paul Ricard (F) Photo Chris Schotanus

However, the results of this weekend's race at the Circuit Paul Ricard were mixed:“Part of me is disappointed to have let the points slip away like that,”the Belgian admitted. “I am convinced that we could really make a hit on this track, which suits our McLaren 570S GT4 so well. On the other hand, we climbed to our fourth podium in six races and we remain at the top of the standings with an 11-point lead. So we can say that we more than limited the damage before starting the second part of the season, on the last weekend of June at Misano.”