Calan Williams has made an outstanding start to his international GT racing by finishing on the podium at Monza with his WRT team mates Niklas Krutten and Jean-Baptiste Simmineaur.
After a solid day of practice on the Saturday, Sunday morning was qualifying for the 3-hour race in the afternoon. Three 15 minute sessions would determine the starting grid, with all three drivers to qualify and the average of their times providing the end result for the car. With 55 cars on the grid, this starting position would be extremely important.
In his first race event, not only in the Championship but also in a GT car, Calan set a blistering 1:46.3 in his WRT BMW M4 GT3. He would then replicate this time over the next two laps before taking the tyres beyond their best. In a incredible first-up performance this would be P1 in their Gold class and P7 overall.
The end result for the car after qualifying was completed was P2 in class, and P15 overall which is where they would start the race from.
Niklas Krutten started for the team and executed an excellent first stint guiding the car through the hectic start and challenging safety car restarts.
After the first hour, Krutten pitted and through the first driver change Calan took over the wheel. When he exited the pits he resumed the race around half a second in the lead of the Gold Class ahead of the Audi R8 in second place.
For the entirity of his 1 hour stint, Calan would lead the Audi with a similar gap, whilst pushing on the rear of the lead group ahead. This was an outstanding display of consistency and pace, again even more so considering his debut in this category.
In the back half of the session, Calan was having to manage the tyres and this would continue to be the case for Jean-Baptiste Simmineaur in the final stint.
Simmineaur also put in a strong performance to bring the car home on P3 15 secs behind the leader and less than 1 second behind the strong charging McLaren which had demonstrated very quick pace throughout the lap.
Ultimately the P3 in class also saw them finish P12 overall which is a very solid start to the season from which to build.
"A Great start to the season and thanks to team WRT, Niklas and JB for the weekend and I can’t wait for the next one", said Calan after the race.
“Obviously, finishing on the podium is nice but I think we had the potential for more. From my side, I still have a bit of work to do, in terms of race pace management, and that will be my priority going into the next races.”
The next round of the GT World Challenge is in the UK at the historic Brands Hatch circuit May 13 - 14.