CLASS VICTORY FOR ALIYYAH KOLOC AND THE BUGGYRA ZM RACING TEAM AT THE 12 HOURS OF SPA
GT
April 22, 2024

After Muguello last month, Aliyyah Koloc, Adam Lacko and David Vršecký did it once more: victory in the GT4 class in the 12 Hours of Spa last weekend, second round of the European 24 Hour Series. Buggyra ZM Racing now also leads the GT4 championship.

Once more, the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit has lived up to its reputation. Five seasons in one day: rain, hail, sunshine, and even snow, with temperatures between 1 and 7 degrees, made the 12 Hours of Spa a difficult exercise for all competitors. The weekend was divided into two races of five and seven hours on Saturday and Sunday respectively. On Saturday, the Buggyra crew started from 4th position in the GT4 group, 35th overall. In mixed conditions, the team managed their race perfectly and moved up in the positions to finish the five-hour race in second position of its class. On Sunday, their performance in the second part of the race, scheduled for 7 hours, was even better, as they achieved another class victory in the GT4 category, making them 23rd in the overall race classifications and leader of the GT4 championship.

„Spa is a really challenging track, very long at that. The weather conditions are expected to be difficult all weekend, with rain and even snow. Qualfiying went well, I went in the last group, so the track had dried up quite a lot already. We are starting Race 1 from fourth in the GT4 class, so we will have to fight,“ said Aliyyah at the start of the weekend.

Saturday

Starting Race 1 from 4th position in their class and 35th overall, the Buggyra ZM Racing crew managed their race with no particular issues, despite the very demanding conditions with little visibility.

„The first stint was good. The weather was drier, so in the middle of the stint I went on slicks which was really good because they had a lot of grip. But when it started to rain, it got really tricky on the slicks, as some parts of the track were really wet, others really dry. So I was very careful but overall I am happy,“ Aliyyah explained her race.

How tricky the conditions were, her team-mate Adam Lacko explained very vividely: „The conditions were interesting, I couldn’t see a thing at the start. We had Code 60 a few times, so the car cooled down because the track was drying. Then it started snowing and the tires got cold again. It was very thrilling until literally the last lap when one of my competitors slightly pushed me to the side so that I found myself in the gravel. And I thought ‚You must be kidding me. On the last lap!‘ but fortunately I got out and safely back to the pits.“

And David Vršecký summarized: „It was a great race despite some small contacts with other competitors, and we moved up in the standings, which was the goal.“ All efforts paid off as the crew made up positions all through the five-hour race, finishing on the podium in second position, 31st overall.

Sunday

On Sunday, Spa-Francorchamps woke up to snow which luckily didn’t stay on the track, so that the seven-hour race could be started on time, though behind the safety car. Adam Lacko took the start once more, this time from P30 overall. All day, the weather conditions changed, from dry to wet to dry, with rain, hail and snow which made it challenging for the drivers to make the right tire choice.

At one moment, when Adam came back to the pits to hand over to Aliyyah the mechanics had initially prepared dry tires but the sky looked very threatening, so the team made the split decision to put on the wets. This proved to be the right choice as the minute Aliyyah left the pits, heavy hail and rain started to fall. This decision and excellent driving of the Buggyra ZM Racing crew made sure that they worked their way up to class lead towards the middle of the race which they kept all the way to the end of the seven-hour race.

„This was a good weekend. On Saturday, we managed to moved up to second in the class and today we had another interesting race with the weather conditions and lots of close battles on the track. I learned a lot this weekend, driving in the rain, in the hail and snow. The team was really great, we managed to bring the car back in first place again and we are now leading the championship. I am really happy for the team,“ said Aliyyah at the end of a challenging race weekend.

Aliyyah and the Buggyra ZM Racing crew now have a short break before they will head to Portimao for round three of the European 24 Hour Series from May 10-12.

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