Aug 2012

British GT Snetterton

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Pic: Jakob Ebrey
Another win and points in the first race after leading initially then running into mechanical issues, consolidated our championship lead but wasn’t enough to wrap up the championship. The weather at Snetterton was chopping and changing hourly from torrential rain to sunshine and back on Saturday and Sunday but we managed to avoid most of the rain. Warren did all of the first session on Saturday morning and was comfortably fastest in GT4 working on setup. I started the second session but this was cut short initially by a red flag, then by a torrential downpour which flooded the circuit. In spite of only doing 10 laps while we tried a few changes on the car, I was quickest in the session which turned out to be important as, due to qualifying being cancelled because of the weather, these times counted for the grid so we had a pole in each race.
I was quickest again in the morning warmup while bedding brakes so things were looking good for the race. I started race one and settled into the lead but was being chased hard by Mark Ticehurst in the rapid Mazda. I pushed on lap 2 to put some clear air between us and set fastest GT4 lap of the race, then eased away and had opened a gap of 6.5 seconds by the time the pitstop window was due to open. On lap 11 I suddenly had a lack of power, so decided to pit early to see if the problem could be rectified while I handed over to Warren. Warren went out and confirmed the issue and struggled around way off the pace. The team decided to pit and send the car out for a final lap to ensure that we scored points. Due to unusually high attrition, we were lucky to finish fourth. The Team WFR guys found that the catalytic converter had disintegrated and had the issue sorted for race two.
After heavy showers, the sun was once again out in time for the second race. Warren started and had contact with the Mazda and the APO Ginetta on the opening lap. A chunk had been taken out of the bodywork at the right rear but the car was OK so Warren pressed on. The Optimum Ginetta G50 had good pace and the extra 55kg of ballast that we have to carry made the difference as Warren handed the car over in second place. We had a longer pit stop than usual as the Team WFR mechanics cut away the loose bodywork and I came out of the pits in second behind the Aston Martin. I passed him for the lead on the first lap out and shortly afterwards noticed that the Mazda was close behind in second. I put in a few quick laps and eased the gap out to 4 seconds then to 6.5 with 10 minutes to go. I then had an uneventful run to the flag and we won by 11 seconds in the end. We now have a 59.5 point lead in the championship and it’s on to Silverstone for the 3 hour event.