The final race of the Michelin Le Mans Cup season in Portimao was a frustrating affair for the Bullitt Racing team, but despite it all, the #99 Aston Martin Vantage finished the shortened event in fourth position, adding 12 points to the 60 already secured to finish the season P4 in the overall team standings.
Motorsport is never easy and there are always days to celebrate, and there are those days you would like to forget. Bullitt Racing had its fair share of both, going from not being able to run in the pre-season Paul Ricard test to appearing on the podium a few days later.
From stunning performances from the Aston Martin factory duo of Theo Nouet and Valentin Hasse-Clot, the progress of Stephen Pattrick, to a drive-through penalty at the season finale. That’s racing and throughout, the Spanish squad gave its all.
The Portimao event will be remembered by many for the awful accident that befell Jerome de Sadeleer on lap six and it is a testament to modern safety standards that he is largely unscathed. This turned the race into a six lap run at the start in which Stephen made good gains from the back of the field to run in fourth position ahead of the red flag.
It was a lengthy delay for barrier repairs and the race resumed under safety car affording a driver change. Valentin exited second when all the stops had shaken out, and pushing hard, made contact with the then-race leader Gunnar Jeannette in a pass for position. This brought a drive-through penalty for unavoidable contact, which he served under full course yellow. The rules say this is not permitted, so an additional 30-second was added to his race time, resulting in the fourth-place finish.
That’s the way it fell, this time but with so many positives from the season as a whole, we can look back on a good season, the first year of our partnership with Aston Martin Racing, with pride.