Jun 2016

British GT Silverstone

Silverstone-025
Pic Jakob Ebrey

We were having a really good run before a GT4 car made contact with Peter with an hour to run while in fourth place, ending our race. It was always going to be a tricky event with the European GT4 Series joining us, meaning 51 cars on track, with 33 GT4 cars.

There was an additional hour of free practice on Friday afternoon during which we tried a few things with the setup which carried over into the free practice on Saturday morning. At the end of FP1 we were sixth quickest and the car much improved. There was an awful lot of traffic with some of the European GT4 visitors learning the track and taking some unusual lines in the process. Their series is for GT4 cars only, the majority of rounds being standalone races, so they're not used to the quicker GT3 cars coming through making it a challenge all round. In FP2, Pete got most of the track time and on my laps I didn't get a clear corner, never mind a clear lap. The car felt well balanced, however, so we would see what qualifying would bring.

Pete did a good job in qualifying, once again doing his quickest lap of the track and finishing ahead of the Ultimate Speed Aston Martin Vantage GT3. I was 0.8 off the Bentley on pole but in P10 in my session in a massively competitive field.

Sunday dawned wet and grey with a forecast for showers throughout the day. We did little running in the warmup and I tried slicks as it had stopped raining. It wasn't quite dry enough, but at least I knew where we were in case we were faced with similar conditions later in the day.

The race started behind the safety car on a drenched track and Peter was holding his own passing a GT3 Ginetta and after a safety car intervention, he handed the car over to me. By the time the safety car was back in on lap 21, I was in P15 with some work to do. I had a lot of lapped GT4 cars to make my way past before I could get after the GT3 cars in front. I was up to P9 by lap 23 P8 a couple of laps later and closing on the Barwell Lamborghinis. After passing one on lap 30, I was called in for a drive through penalty as a result of a pit stop infringement. I set off after the pack again and by lap 40 was in P4 catching the Demon Tweeks Lamborghini once again. After following it through Luffield, I peeled off to pit and hand over to Peter. There was a drying line and the track was definitely ready for slicks, so Peter left the pits on dry tyres for his stint. He got as far as Stowe Corner when he was tagged at the left rear by a GT4 car and after heavy contact with the barriers, the car was retired.

It was a really frustrating end to what had been a good weekend and a great display by the team. Onwards and upwards to Spa, my favourite track!