2nd Place Finish to kick of Sports Car Open season
Having finished in second place in the standings last year from just half a season of competition, the team is looking to go one better in the six round endurance series. Following a WEC style format, Sports Car Open is considered the Premier Series for LMP1, LMP2 and GTE Competition, with a world class field filling the timesheets each round.
However despite our runner up position of last season, Altus would field an entirely new pair from what raced last season. Giant killer Tuomas Tähtelä and Alexander Lauritzen would pair up, and make their debut in the series driving the #143. It would not be a brilliant start however, with qualifying only slotting them 10th on the grid in the 24 car GTE field. However Tuomas put his game face on, and drove brilliantly to exploit what was a very good race car, moving up 5 positions in the opening 15 minutes, and by the end of the first hour of racing, had moved all the way up into the P2 position, just 8 seconds behind the leading Pure Racing Team car.
We opted for a Double-Double tyre strategy, leveraging the car's consistent wear to double stint the tyres twice in the four hour race.The opening double stint would prove fruitful, as we would gain a couple of seconds on PRT across the stint despite the varied strategy. Alex would jump in the car for the third hour, and being a late replacement for Yannick who unfortunately had prolonged Internet issues in the leadup, would put in a solid stint to stay within sight of the leader, and drop only one position to Biela Racing. Tuomas would return for the final hour, jumping into the car on old tyres and putting in an excellent drive to reclaim back 2nd position, but catch the leader significantly, and cross the line less than two seconds behind the race winner.
It was an excellent return to form for the team, who were very disappointed with their showing last week at the NEO Endurance 24H Series, also at Spa. The Sports Car Open Series now moves to Motegi in a few weeks time, where we will be looking to continue our strong race pace, but make an improvement to our qualifying position.