Swiss driver Pascal Bachmann and Frenchman Jahid Fazal-Karim will share the #007 Aston Martin Vantage AMR in the Am class. On two occasions, South African Xolile Letlaka will be a substitute driver. In addition, a Vantage AMR GT4 will occasionally be entered in the GT Cup Open for Jayan Fazal-Karim and Julien Darras.
The 2022 season was a learning experience for Street-Art Racing. The Belgian team discovered both a new car, the Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 chassis #007, and a new championship, the International GT Open. The team managed by Albert Bloem and Damien Hellebuyck was present at four of the seven meetings and saw Pascal Bachmann finish on the podium twice in the Am class.
For the new campaign in the International GT Open, a complete programme awaits the team based in the suburbs of Charleroi. The superb Aston Martin Art Car decorated by Christophe de Fierlant, which was one of the darlings of both cameramen and photographers last year, will this time be at the start of the seven races. Alongside the Swiss driver Pascal Bachmann, Frenchman Jahid Fazal-Karim will be present on five occasions.
“I am more than happy to be back in the International GT Open with my friends from Street-Art Racing, who in a manner of speaking are my second family, as we start our fifth season together," confided Pascal, the 2019 GT4 European Series Am Cup Champion. "Driving a GT3 is a much bigger challenge than anything I have done before, but I have had a great deal of fun driving the car. Being able to compete in the entire championship this year will allow me to drive more often and I hope to be able to confirm the progress I made by the end of 2022. And then, beyond the purely sporting aspect, my friend and team-mate Jahid and I are looking forward to all the good times and emotions which we are certain to share this year.”
Jahid Fazal-Karim, who was seen driving the GT4 version of the Aston Martin Vantage AMR last year, has now moved up to the next level, competing in five of the seven races this season. “I will miss Spa-Francorchamps and the Hungaroring due to work commitments, but I am still looking forward to driving this beautiful GT3 car,” said Fazal-Karim, who is also the boss of Street-Art Racing's long-time partner Jetcraft. “I learned so much last year in the GT Cup Open, sharing the wheel with our coach Julien Darras. I am a competitor and I want to do well, but it is very difficult to set a precise objective. We will try to enjoy the season as much as possible and any good results will be a bonus.”
When Jahid is unable to be present, Xolile Letlaka will take over. “I myself own an Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3,” says the South African. “And we share the same engineer, Matty Driessen, with Street-Art Racing. When the idea of competing in two races in Europe came up, I did not hesitate! I created the Africa Race Together foundation to promote motorsport in Africa and I had already been able to get the word out at the Kyalami 9 Hours, an international event. Coming to Europe will be another opportunity to put this foundation in the spotlight... and I hope this is just the beginning!”
In addition to a full programme in the International GT Open, Street-Art Racing will also be present at three events in the GT Cup Open Europe, which is the second division of the GT Open meetings. Jayan Fazal-Karim (Jahid's son) and his coach Julien Darras will compete in three events this year, driving an Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 which has been turned into an Art Car by Phil Akashi, and will be present at Portimao, Monza and Barcelona. The new design will be presented in Barcelona on Wednesday 15 March 2023, during the championship official Test-Days.
“We are extremely happy with this programme, which combines both the sporting side and the good atmosphere which we love to have in our team,” smile Albert Bloem and Damien Hellebuyck. “Pascal, Jahid and Xolile are charming and passionate people. Our goal will be to get them on the podium as often as possible in their class. See you in Portimao at the end of April for the launch of the season!”
Calendar for the International GT Open 2023
28-30/04 – Portimao (PRT)
26-28/05 – Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
16-18/06 – Hungaroring (HUN)
21-23/07 – Circuit Paul Ricard (FRA)
08-10/09 – Red Bull Ring (AUT)
22-24/09 – Monza (ITA)
20-22/10 – Barcelona (ESP)