Bullitt Racing travelled to Monza this week for the opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe, with three new drivers to the series, two new to the team and the #33 Aston Martin Vantage and came away from the Italian venue with a solid sixth position in the all-silver GT3 class.
The Spanish-based outfit had tested at the circuit previously in the build-up to the event, but there’s nothing quite like the race action to earn the spurs.
There was a great deal learned today and tons of data for the team to carry over to the next meeting at Paul Ricard. Credit to all three young rookie drivers – Jeff Kingsley, Jacob Riegel and Romain Leroux – who did not put a foot wrong throughout the three-hour season opener.
Jeff started P9, and was keen to make progress, as the race progressed, his teammates took over the Vantage to work their way up to P6, come the chequered flag.
“We had fuel issues, in the fact that we could not fill the tank in some of the stops, then we got boxed in at the first, couldn’t exit and that cost us the lead lap,” stated Team Manager Steffan Pattrick. “We were stuck, couldn’t move. The boxes are tiny here at Monza!”
The team resumed, but for whatever reason, the #33 proved to be slow in straight-line speed. So much so, rivals could pass with a solid straight-line speed delta
“BoP is part of the game; it will balance out as the season progresses, for us and all three drivers,” Steffan said. “The Vantage was good today, but we really lacked full-chat speed, but it’s the way it is. The Vantage is new back to the series and yes, we’re looking for a performance break later in the season, but today was good, and so much was learned in how to maximise the Pirellis ahead of the next one.”
While, the end result was good, and yes, it did feel a bit like the first week of secondary school, full credit to the fantastic crew and the three new Silver-graded drivers. We will make massive gains, learn and move on as we get to grips with the tightest GT3 challenge of them all. Next up, Paul Ricard.