Snetterton 8th August 2016
After not even getting to drive the car in the race at Spa, I was all fired up for Round 6 of British GT at Snetterton – with two one hour races I was excited to see what our car could do around this very technical circuit.
Saturday practice went really smoothly and the car had good pace on the longer runs with worn tyres which we were very happy about and after a couple of setup changes we felt we had dialled in the car pretty well.
Confidence was high for qualifying on Saturday afternoon, with Sandy first out, setting a lap good enough for P3 before coming in to hand to car over to me for my session.
However, we found a coolant leak which couldn’t be fixed before my session so I could only do one flying lap, initially putting in a time that qualified us 4th but quickly dropping to 6th after others got extra laps whereas I had to pit. It wasn’t the qualifying hoped for but our race pace was still going to be strong.
Sandy was starting for race 1, but unfortunately got boxed in at the start and dropped to sixth, but quickly charged back through the field to third and then second just before the stop, handing over to me, where I rejoined in 1st after jumping the leader at the pit stop.
Head down, I pushed to try and get a comfortable gap over the two Aston Martins behind me, pulling away as they made contact at the hairpin, allowing Ross Gunn, who was setting times similar to me, to move into 2nd place.
After a couple more laps I felt my tyres were starting to drop off a fair bit, allowing Ross to close the gap considerably, and on the last lap he got the gap down to a second which put a lot of pressure on me as we hadn’t won a race yet this season, but then he went wide at turn one on the last lap which gave me a bit of breathing space, allowing me to bring the car home for its first win of the season,.
It was very close at the finish with only 0.3 of a second separating us!
We had a bit more work to do in race 2, starting 6th – on the formation lap I made contact with a weaving Ginetta which caused part of the front bumper to break and rub on the tyre.
I got a good start and worked my way up to 4th by turn 3 but the bodywork was rubbing badly and I had to pit to fix it, dropping us way down the order, coming out 28 seconds behind the car in front.
Managing to close the gap to under 20 seconds, I handed the car over to Sandy, giving him a lot of work to do, but put in the drive of his life to get the car back into the top 10 and eventually finishing fourth, pretty amazing considering what had happened.
To get our first win after coming close on several occasions made it that much sweeter. I’d almost forgotten what winning feels like after going almost a year and a half without winning a race!