British GT Round 1 | OULTON PARK, UK
17th April 2017
I was really looking forward to the first round of the 2017 British GT championship at Oulton Park. With a grid full of quick cars and drivers, it was going to be very competitive. Race day would be divided up into two one hour races and with the weather looking changeable it was sure to be an exciting weekend.
The first free practice session was wet to begin with then started to dry out towards the end, but our pace was good throughout and Sandy and I were happy with the car. The second session was dry and we ended up quickest which gave us a lot of confidence going into qualifying.
Sandy took part in the first qualifying session, putting in a great lap early on which put him on pole for race one. In my session it was very tight at the sharp end, but I qualified second, just 0.072 seconds behind the pole position Ginetta of Michael Simpson.
Race day came and so did the rain. Sandy got a great start in race one and quickly gapped the rest of the field, putting in fastest lap after fastest lap and before the pit stop the gap was almost ten seconds!
With the track too dry for wets but too wet for slicks, we decided to stay with the wets but run very low pressures to avoid cooking the tyres. The pitstop was going smoothly until the left rear wheel nut jammed, dropping us way down the order and I couldn’t make up time once I re-joined so we finished 15th.
Race two was dry and this time I was starting. I made a great start from 2nd and managed to get my car ahead of the Ginetta of Simpson into the first corner. I defended but as I got to the apex he clipped my rear end which sent me into a slide, collecting the Nissan of Martin Plowman. To finish it off I got rear ended by Joe Osborne.
This dropped me to dead last but I fought back through to 9th before the stop. Sandy took over and we actually made it into the lead however, towards the end of the race the safety car came out for a massive crash in GT3. This bunched the field up just as we received a 30 second penalty for being released from the pits too early. This once again dropped us to last which is where we finished.
Overall it was not the weekend we wanted. The pace was there but luck was not on our side. Thanks to the team for doing a good job over the weekend. Thanks also to my friends, family, sponsors and you for your support. All focus now goes to Rockingham where we hope to have a much better race.