We had the penultimate race weekend of the GT Cup open. The 2021 racing season is now nearing its end. This time we had to go to Italy, to the beautiful circuit of Monza. Of course Maciej and Artur were with us with their 991.2, this time with a new look. This weekend they were joined by Jan, Nicolas and Dirk who also formed a duo. In beautiful Italy the weather was less good this time. The weather was so changeable, then rain, then dry.
On Friday there were three free practice sessions. We also needed that because we are not in Italy every week to train, of course. For some, it was even the first time they drove there.
As it always is at the GT Open, you have the first qualifying, followed by the first race and the next day the second qualifying with the second race.
Here we go over the rest of the weekend from the pilots' perspective.
The first race couldn't have gone better for Nicolas and Dirk. She took first place. “For me this weekend was the first time at Monza. The first session started on Thursday where I made my first meters. The speed was quickly there, but there was still some work to be done on the setup of the car. With a few team changes, the second session went a bit better. On Saturday Nicolas had done qualifying and set a decent 3rd time. Then Nicolas started the race, with a very good speed. I came in and I knew right away that we had a chance to win. Partly due to the unfortunate moments of other riders including Jan and the couple Artur and Maciej, I was able to easily ride to 1st place. A wonderful win!”
For Nicolas, it hadn't been easy in recent months with his injury. This weekend felt like coming home to him. “For the first time in a long time I went with full enthusiasm because I felt fitter again. In addition to the sporting success, I also enjoyed the atmosphere within the team. It felt like a holiday and I am already looking forward to the next race.”
Unfortunately, things had turned out differently for Artur and Maciej. In the first round of the competition, they had been in contact with another competitor. “The weekend started great. Me and Maciej had a great pace and the car felt great. Unfortunately, in the races we didn't have some much luck. Saturday's race we didn't finish due to an other car crashes into us. On Sunday we took a risk and we started on slicks which was a bad decision. The team did a perfect job preparing the car and we know that we can fight for much more. We are going to be stronger in Barcelona!”
Jan had the same weekend as the weather: changeable. At least he had already ended the weekend with sunshine. "Thursday started well because I had a good feeling with the track right away, only I made a small mistake and hugged the tire wall. Qualifying started on Saturday and I immediately took pole. The first race I was in the lead until after the pit stop. Unfortunately, after 50 minutes someone had run into me, there was too much damage and not being able to continue driving. With night work and hard work from everyone in Q1, I was able to take part in qualifying just in the nick of time on Sunday and set a third fastest time. The race was quite tough because it was raining hard and it was a difficult start for me. I had never raced in the rain before but I was able to recover well after the pit stop so I was in a good rhythm and rode into first place!”
Edgard also looks back on a nice but very tough weekend. “I think GT Open is a very nice championship, but it is a pity that not many cars participate. It was a beautiful weekend with a lot of work, perhaps the most work of recent years. The team put in a wonderful performance. Dirk and Jan also drove a very good first rain race, all a pity about the tactical mistake we made by having Artur start on slicks. Hopefully next year we will have two cars in the GT Open that want to drive the full championship, that would be nice.”
At the moment Q1 is in first place in the team championship. Artur and Mat are currently in second place, but can still become champions in Barcelona. Nicolas and Dirk is in third place. We are really looking forward to the last race in beautiful Barcelona!