Following a lengthy stint on the sidelines after his accident during the Spa 24 Hours in August, Jack Aitken will at last return to the wheel of his Emil Frey Lamborghini Huracán for the final round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe season in Barcelona this weekend.
The British-Korean driver suffered a fractured collarbone, vertebrae and a small lung contusion as a result of the dramatic crash in the opening hour of the 24 Hours at Spa-Francorchamps but has now completed his initial period of recovery and will once again line up alongside regular season team-mates Konsta Lappalainen and Arthur Rougier for the final Endurance Cup event of the 2021 campaign.
Prior to his accident, Jack had secured a well-earned fourth place (third in the Pro category) in the second Sprint Cup round of the year at Zandvoort in the Netherlands: the best overall result for the #114 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo so far this season.
Since then, the #114 has been racing in the Silver Cup class instead of the regular Pro category, and managed a podium in their class last time out in Valencia.
Now back at the wheel of a racing car for the first time in almost 10 weeks, Jack will close out his maiden year of GTs at a circuit which is very familiar. It’s a venue at which Jack has historically performed very well, having taken victory in FIA Formula 2 in 2018 and backing it up with a further podium the following year.
The GT World Challenge Europe season-finale will be a three-hour endurance race, in which all three drivers will spend around an hour in the car. Jack’s outright pace has been evident all season long, with a number of fastest laps set during his time at the wheel. Jack will also hope to rely on his superb qualifying speed this season in the cumulative Q1/Q2/Q3 qualifying session to determine the grid.
JACK ON…GETTING BACK TO RACING:
“It feels so good to be back! It’s been two and a half months since I’ve been out of the car, which feels like a very long time. I’ve been doing a bit of Formula 1 simulator work with Williams recently, which has helped me get back into things, and of course ramping up my personal training as well. I’m just really excited at the thought of driving again, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend. I’m still not at 100% to be honest and there will probably be a bit of pain and tiredness, but I’m hoping that once I’m back in the car I won’t notice! Barcelona is also a track that I know very well, so I don’t think I’ll be needing too much re-acclimatisation.”
JACK ON…HIS INJURY RECOVERY:
“It’s frustrating when you’re recovering from injury, but once you start training again it actually ramps up quite quickly and you make big progress faster than you think. So I’m sure I’m going to feel better and better from here on. Spa was obviously my biggest-ever accident but I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and rationalise everything, so I’m just very keen to get going again now. Emil Frey has been doing an incredible job recently and the car looks very competitive, so free practice in Barcelona can’t come soon enough for me.”
JACK ON…FINISHING THE YEAR ON A HIGH:
“Our objectives remain the same as they have done all year: we want to qualify in the first couple of rows and target a top 10 finish. We’ve already shown that we’re capable of mixing it with the frontrunners, but it’s such a competitive and closely-matched championship that you can’t rule anything out either way. From my perspective, there’s not a lot of pressure, so I’m just going to enjoy the weekend and do my best: hopefully we’ll have something to celebrate on Sunday!”
Source. Jack Aitken