British GT Round 2 | Donington Park
30th April 2017
After a bit of bad luck in the first round at Oulton Park, we were hoping to turn things around and get our season back on track at Rockingham Motor Speedway for the second round of the British GT championship. This time it was a two hour race so it was going to be tougher on the car and more importantly the tyres, but I was looking forward to the challenge.
The free practice sessions went well on old tyres, as we chose to run the same tyres throughout to save a new set for the race; lots of changes were made and we mainly focused on race setup which was much more vital as Rockingham is a very hard track on tyres. Qualifying went well, Sandy was 2nd in the first session and I qualified 6th in my session which put us 4th with the combined times. We were also the top McLaren!
The start of the race almost went to plan – I knew I had to pass the Ginettas quickly or else they would end up pulling away. With the McLaren having great straight-line speed I was able to go around the outside of two Ginettas at turn 1 and then tried to pass the leading Ginetta around the outside into turn 2 but he forced me wide and I dropped to third but then quickly got back to second place at turn 3 under braking.
The safety car then came out for a GT3 car in the gravel which bunched the field up again, but on the restart I gained a good slipstream and passed the leading Lanan Ginetta into turn 1 and started to pull away, however, with our tyres going off quicker than theirs, they caught me back up in a few laps.
I had a plan though – if I could control the pace and maybe cause the other cars to battle each other, maybe I could get away from them. It worked for a few laps but eventually it was just me and one other Ginetta battling for the lead. I held him off as he tried different moves to pass me but I defended well.
After an exhausting hour defending I finally pitted from the lead and handed the car over to Sandy, he rejoined in the lead but the second place Ginetta of Stuart Middleton caught and eventually overtook him. We held second for the rest of the race with the third place Ginetta close behind.
Following our troubled time at Oulton Park it was good to finally get some decent points on the board with a second place finish and this result put us up to 4th in the drivers standings.
Thanks again to everyone for the support, the team for doing a fantastic job all weekend and all my sponsors. Our focus will now be on Snetterton in a few weeks time – we won one of the races there last year so I’m confident we can do a good job again.