Apr 2017

ELMS Silverstone

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Pic: Copyright 2017 LOU JOHNSON / SPACESUIT MEDIA

We managed to bring the car home to score points after a hard fought race at Silverstone in what was ultimately a damage limitation exercise. After a good test at Monza, in Free Practice on Thursday afternoon, the car felt very different and difficult to drive in the colder UK temperatures. Some changes were made overnight and the car was improved in Friday morning's session but there was still work to do. Rory did a good job in qualifying but the deficit to the other, mainly new generation GTE cars, was too much to breach and we qualified sixth.

We were several seconds off the Aston Martins, so the aim was to score as many points as we could and hope that the BOP would be more favourable from Monza onwards. Race day was sunny but still quite cold and I started the race. I spent the first few laps settling down and looking for a way past Andrew Howard's Beechdean Aston Martin. He was defending, and the Aston is quick, so I bided my time and took advantage amongst the LMP2 traffic with a move up the inside into Vale. The next car up the road was the No 77 Porsche and after 5 laps I had caught and passed it and was up into third place after the Roda Ferrari had been delayed. I set off after the TF Sport Aston Martin which I caught and passed, again in traffic, into Village corner. So I was into second with a 10 second gap to the Aaron Scott Ferrari 488 and that's how it stayed until I handed over to Rob Smith around the hour mark. With Silverstone having mainly right hand corners, the team elected to change only the left hand tyres which saves time at the pit stop. Rob fought hard but was overhauled by the faster Astons and after a battle with the Ferrari 488 of Duncan Cameron handed back over to Rory in fifth place. Rory put in a great stint and handed back over to me with less than an hour to go in fifth. We gained time at the pit stop by once again changing two tyres and I came out of the pits behind Matt Griffin in the Spirit of Race 488 but slowly drifted away from him and with a big gap to sixth place settled down to bring the car home.

I was happy with my introduction to the ELMS, particularly the first stint, but hope that we are closer to the rest of the field for the next round at Monza in 3 weeks time. Everyone at JMW Motorsport did a fantastic job and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.

Jody joins JMW Motorsport for ELMS

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Jody Fannin has joined JMW Motorsport in their Ferrari 458 Italia in the GTE class of the European Le Mans Series for the 2017 season. After two years in the GT3 class of the British GT Championship this marks a step up for Fannin to the GTE class. "Since the moment I stepped into a kart, I have always been aiming at endurance racing and this is a further step in that direction. The ELMS is a well established multi-class endurance racing championship and I'm really looking forward to working with JMW Motorsport who have a fantastic heritage in the sport."

After narrowly missing out on the ELMS GTE title in 2016, JMW Motorsport are back with their Ferrari 458 to mix it against the Ferrari 488's, Aston Martin V8 Vantages and Porsche 911 RSR's. "It's a quality field with several factory drivers in it and I can't wait to get going at the first round at Silverstone." commented Fannin. After showing good pace at the ELMS Prologue at Monza, the 23 year old forms a strong partnership with Rob Smith and Rory Butcher. "I'd like to thank Jim McWhirter for adding me to the lineup. I've known Rory for a while, having raced against him in British GT and know how quick he is and Rob is very focussed on winning, so we'll hopefully form a good combination."

The European Le Mans Series kicks off at Silverstone over the Easter weekend where it forms part of the World Endurance Championship package and travels to Monza, The Red Bull Ring, Paul Ricard, Spa and closes with the final round at Portimao in Portugal in October.