GT Tour Paul Ricard
A front row start and finishing less than a second off a podium in race 2 was a great way to end the season. Driving the JMB Racing Nissan, my team mate for the weekend was Jean-Philippe Dayraut, who is a current World Touring Car driver, multiple Andros Trophy winner and has raced everything from Le Mans to Pikes Peak and most things in between. During testing, we were never out of the top 4 and the car felt very good in spite of running on old rubber. My first new tyre run was in qualifying and I missed out on pole by 0.1 of a second, but we had done less laps than everyone else, so I was looking forward to race one. Jean-Philippe qualified in eleventh for race 2. I made a good start in Saturday’s race and had my nose ahead of the pole sitting Mercedes, but as I was on the outside of turn one, I let him have the corner and as I turned in, I got a tap at the rear from one McLaren and immediately afterwards a second McLaren hit the right front of the car hard. I managed to limp back to the pits, but the car was badly damaged so the day was over after one corner. The JMB guys worked hard into the night to repair the car and it was ready to go on Sunday morning. Jean-Philippe started race two and made up some ground - when he handed over to me, I exited the pits in tenth place with some work to do. I made way way past a trio of Ferraris and a Porsche and was homing in on the back of an ART McLaren. I caught him with a few laps to go and was quicker than him but couldn’t find a way past without taking a big risk, so finished less than a second behind, fifth on the road which became fourth after scrutineering when a car was excluded due to a technical infringement. So a very positive few days - the car was good all weekend - JMB Racing and the guys from JRM did a fantastic job and it was good to share the car with Jean-Philippe who is vastly experienced and very quick. That’s it for 2013 - looking forward to next season!