Photo: Jacques Letihon Photographe

Benjamin Lessennes confident despite difficult weekend at Zolder

One month on from a sensational five victories at Circuit Zolder with then co-driver Tom Coronel, 18-year-old Benjamin Lessennes had a very different race weekend on the TCR Benelux series second visit to the circuit, with just two podiums meaning the rising star’s points lead decreased to just three points over Guillaume Mondron.

Stéphane Lémeret co-drove for Lessennes this weekend, finishing third in the first race before losing a spot to the Peugeot of Kevin Abbring in Race 2 and taking fourth, while Lessennes finished third and eighth (and last) in his two sprint races, matching Volkswagen rival Lorenzo Donniacuo’s results in the afternoon.

Explaining the change in performance, Lessennes was quick to point to both the success ballast applied after their strong results last time out, and the change in the TCR’s Balance of Performance measures, which have hit Honda the hardest.

“We have 30kg more success ballast this weekend, plus 10kg more from the TCR organisation, so we’re 40kg more than (Team WRT’s) Maxime Potty and 60kg more than (Delahaye’s Guillaume) Mondron. And here, the weight is quite difficult for the brakes, so I think considering this and the weight we did OK.”

Lessennes was running in third in the fourth race and was set to extend his lead over Mondron until a mistake on the eighth lap after pressure from Team WRT’s Sam Dejonghe behind saw him spin and flat spot a tyre.

The team are looking ahead to the next round at Mettet. “I had my first win in TCR Benelux last year at Mettet,” said Lessennes. “It’s a great circuit, so hopefully it’ll be good for us again.”