British GT Rockingham
Pic: Jakob Ebrey
We had to work hard for it, but a win at Rockingham after a fightback was very satisfying. This was the first two hour race of the season and the Team WFR guys had worked hard at solving our diff issue from the Nurburgring. The car ran perfectly all weekend which is testament to the effort put in by the team. Friday testing went well and there wasn't muchbetween us and the Lotus over one lap but the extra 55kg we have to carry due to the driver pairing hurt us here on the twisty infield more than at any other track. The team played it strategically in qualifying with me doing the requisite laps at reduced pace and Warren doing the qualifying - he put in a great lap to steal pole from the Lotus by half a tenth.
The race started under cloudy skies on Sunday afternoon with Warren doing the first stint. Phil Glew in the Lotus was swiftly past Warren and gradually opened a gap. On lap 28 a safety car came out but we had to wait until lap 32 before we could stop during the pit window. At the beginning of the pit window, both Team WFR cars were pitted at the same time and the stop took longer than expected - we had to wait to fuel our car and lost a lot of time to the rest of the GT4 field. Once all the pit stops had been completed we found ourselves third in GT4 (both Lotuses having retired) over 40 seconds off the lead and half a minute from second. I drove flat out and was catching the two ahead at over two seconds a lap so was sure we could still win the race as there was over an hour to go. The lead car then had a stop go penalty which put us up to second. On lap 47 I closed on to the tail of the lead Ginetta and as we turned through the last series of corners at the end of the lap he lost the rear of the car, spun and I was in the lead! I was stretching away only to find that we had been given a stop go penalty relating to the earlier pit stop. I pushed hard and had built up enough of a gap so that we were still in the lead as I came out of the pits. There were 15 laps left to the end so I concentrated on bringing it home and we eventually won by 40 seconds.
We've restored our championship lead and it's on to my favourite circuit on the Brands Hatch GP layout in two weeks.