Pista – Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe – Lorens Lecertua deserves his place among the GT3 elite!

Lorens Lecertua did not miss his debut in the Sprint Cup of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe. On the Italian circuit of Misano, the 17-year-old Belgian clocked some very competitive times and showed surprising consistency in the Comtoyou Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
He had everything to learn this weekend! The car itself, an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 producing over 500bhp. The team, in this case the Belgian outfit Comtoyou Racing. The track, as he had never driven a single lap on the Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Misano before. And finally, the championship, considered to be the benchmark competition for GT3 cars in Europe.

On the shores of the Adriatic Sea, in just three days, Lorens Lecertua proved that he fully deserves his place in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe! At just 17 years of age, the youngest of the field showed an incredible ability to adapt as soon as he got into the #12 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. “It is very different from anything I have driven before,” he said after his first practice. “I have to admit that the first time I really accelerated, I wanted to scream into my helmet for joy because you can really feel the power. Furthermore, it can negotiate corners so quickly with its aerodynamic downforce. What a pleasure it is!”

Lorens’ lap times very soon proved that he had a place in the highly competitive field of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe. “He blew us away,” confirms François Verbist, Comtoyou Racing’s Team Manager. “Right from the start, we told him, and his team-mate Dante Rappange, that there was no pressure. They were here to learn and progress, with no obligation to achieve results. And although he had never driven this type of car before, Lorens quickly slipped to within a second a lap of the fastest times, which is no mean feat. He was also very consistent and did not make the slightest mistake: not a single contact, not a spin, not a pass in the grass. He just played a little too much with the track limits at the start of the weekend, but overcoming problem that is a task which comes with the territory.”

During qualifying, which took place at night on Friday evening, the driver from Assesse saw his lap times cancelled for having too often crossed the white lines which mark the track limits. “I felt really bad about it,” admits the 2023 Alpine Elf Europa Cup champion. “It was the first time I had driven the Aston Martin Vantage at night and I still wanted to attack to see where I stood. I did rather too much, but I made up for it afterwards by staying within the limits in Race 2!”

Despite starting from positions well down the grid, Lorens Lecertua and Dante Rappange finished 5th and then 4th in the Silver Cup. “The result was not important,” recalls Lorens, “but it was a real eye-opener and I had a great deal of fun behind the wheel this weekend. I am already looking forward to Hockenheim from July 19-21 for the next Sprint Cup race. We are going to prepare as well as we can with my coach Reshad de Gerus, particularly on the simulator and by analysing everything I have learnt this weekend. This 2024 season is a year of discovery for me and my team-mate, but if we can fight for a podium in the Silver Cup, we will not let the opportunity slip through our fingers.”

Photo: © D.Delien