Garage 59 has maintained the lead in the overall Pro-Am GT World Challenge Europe standings after taking second place in class in the second of this weekend’s Sprint Cup races at Zandvoort. Alexander West and Jonny Adam have also retained the lead in the overall Pro-Am drivers’ standings.
The sister Vantage of Nicolai Kjærgaard and Tuomas Tujula had a tough pair of races, retiring with damage from Race 1 before coming home eighth in class in Race 2.
West started Race 1 on Saturday in the #188 Vantage, making his Zandvoort racing debut. He held position during his run before handing over to Adam who brought it home fourth in class. Tujula started the #159 in Race 1 from 10th place after a strong performance in Saturday’s qualifying session. Unfortunately he suffered a broken roll bar early on in the race but despite the damage he was up to ninth overall before he handed over to Kjærgaard at the halfway mark. The Dane then got hit, this time in the rear so he never had the chance to fight. After dropping back due to damage he had to retire the Vantage with just a few laps to go.
Race 2 was looking good as Adam set off in the Pro-Am lead but just a few minutes in he was spun around by the #99 Audi, dropping him to the back of the pack. Cool, calm and collected Adam got his head down and set off again, hunting down the #20 Mercedes that was now leading the class. Just after halfway, West jumped in and took up the fight. He crossed the line in second place in Pro-Am, securing a good haul of points for the #188 Vantage.
“It’s great to come away from Zandvoort holding the lead in the overall Pro-Am standings,” said Adam. “The sprint races are really hard on the Am drivers, especially when they race at circuits they have never been to before so Alex did a brilliant job. We just missed out on the podium yesterday so when I got spun out today I decided there was no way we were missing out again! It’s good to leave here in the lead as we are going into a pretty intense part of the season now. Let’s hope we can keep the momentum going.”
It was Kjærgaard who took the start in the #159 Aston Martin after qualifying the car in ninth place in the Silver class. He made great gains in the opening laps, making up positions, before the team decided to pit him slightly early so Tujula could get out on fresh rubber on a clear track. This strategy would have got them up into the podium fight if it hadn’t been for an air jack failure! Tujula brought the #159 across the line in eighth place in class.
The team won’t have to wait very long for the next Sprint Cup rounds of the GT World Challenge Europe as these are scheduled to take place at Misano in Italy on 3-4 July.
Before travelling to Misano, Garage 59 heads to Spa-Francorchamps for the Official Test Days for the 2021 24 Hours of Spa on 22-23 June. The team will run three Aston Martin Vantage GT3s at the test, in the Pro, Pro-Am and Silver Cup classes. The #95 Pro entry is the Aston Martin Racing “Dane Train” with the full works line-up of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Ross Gunn. Another works driver will bolster the line-up of the #188 Pro-Am Vantage as Charlie Eastwood joins Jonny Adam, Alexander West and Chris Goodwin. The fourth driver for the #159 Vantage is Garage 59 Sprint Cup racer, Tuomas Tujula.