British GT Round 4 | Silverstone | 11th June 2017
Getting our first win of the season at Snetterton last time out and moving to third in the championship really put the fire in our bellies heading to Silverstone for British GT’s blue riband event. With it being a three hour race this time a lot of things were going to come into play to ensure we had a good race. Strategy was really important this time and deciding when to pit could be crucial in deciding our race. For this weekend we also had an extra twenty kilograms of ballast on board and our minimum front ride height was increased by five millimetres. Hopefully these changes wouldn’t make too much of a difference.
Testing & Practice
Friday testing went really well. We had a smooth day with no issues and topped the time sheets in the session. We were surprised at this as the car wasn’t handling great but others were complaining of the same thing, so it must have been down to the grip on the track.
In the Saturday practice sessions it was difficult to tell what the pace was like as the tyres we used were well past their best. It was important that we tested on these tyres though to make sure we had a good race setup.
Qualifying was good although not what we hoped for at what we thought would be our strongest track. I put in a time good enough for 3rd in my session and Sandy was 2nd in his session which put us 4th in combined times. Our championship rivals in the Ginetta were 2nd and 8th.
Race day came and I was really looking forward to starting the race. My eyes were set on the Ginetta in front and trying to make it past that car as soon as possible. The start went great and I moved to third at turn one, then got a good slipstream up to Maggots and made a move down the inside at Chapel Curve to take 2nd. I held onto it for a couple of laps but eventually dropped down the order with a car that didn’t quite have the pace of the rest of the field for some reason.
We decided to go long before our first pit stop, when I handed over to Sandy who rejoined but was also having trouble with the handling of the car. At this point the field was really starting to spread out and to make up a position was becoming harder and harder.
Sandy then pitted with just over an hour left and handed the car back to me. I came out on fresh rubber with the car feeling much better handling-wise, but once the tyres started to degrade I was struggling again, then in the middle of my stint yellow flags came out at turn 1 for two cars that had broken down. After a couple of laps of the yellow being out I was caught out by a tail wind at turn 1 which caused me to exceed track limits – the stewards immediately assumed I was driving dangerously and gave me a drive through penalty, although luckily we only lost one place.
Our last pit stop came with just fifteen minutes to go, Sandy jumped in and brought the car home in 10th place.
It was not a good weekend for us after having such a good time at Snetterton but we’ll regroup and work as hard as we can, analyse everything and come back stronger than ever at Spa Francorchamps in July. Thanks to my sponsors and everyone for the support. Lets smash it next time!