Jun 2015

British GT Silverstone

Silverstone -0039

It was a frustrating weekend at the Silverstone 500 but we showed good pace and if it wasn't for the early puncture, we could have had a good result.

The weekend started with an hour long warm up on Friday afternoon and in wet conditions, I was second quickest, less than a tenth off Jonny Adam in the Beechdean Aston, so a good start to the weekend. Saturday morning was a complete contrast in dry, sunny conditions, and in FP1 we had good pace considering the age of the tyres we were out on. Andrew started FP2 but a misfire had developed which proved difficult to resolve in spite of the TF Sport guys trying a few fixes. With little time available, the decision was taken to qualify with the misfire to make sure we were ahead of the GT4 cars, then change the engine and wiring loom overnight. It was a late night for the team, but Andrew reported the car was once more running perfectly for the Sunday morning warm up.

A shower not long before the start of the race meant a wet start, but with the rain having stopped, the track was going to dry at some point. Andrew started but on lap three he was hit from behind at Club, resulting in a bent rim and a puncture. He did a good job to bring the car back to the pits without any further damage, but, by the time the wheel had been changed and the car checked over, we were a lap down in 34th place. A safety car was deployed on lap twelve and Andrew had climbed through most of the GT4 field and was up to 21st place. The car pitted and I took over, still on wets. During several laps behind the safety car there was discussion over the radio over whether to pit for slicks or not. The track was drying on the racing line, but was still wet off line which would make overtaking very tricky. The decision was taken to go for slicks and TF Sport had the car turned around quickly and I was back at the end of the train of cars when the safety car pulled into the pits. I set the car’s fastest lap of the race while picking my way through the GT4 cars on the first flying lap, so the slicks were working well. Overtaking off line was very tricky but I was the fastest car on the track during my stint, setting several fastest laps of the race at the time, chasing down the then race leader (although I was a lap behind him) and passing several cars on the way. I handed the car back to Andrew on lap 39 and had made it up to fifth place. Andrew rejoined in twelfth and did a great job in now dry conditions to hand the car back to me for the final twenty minutes when a safety car was deployed. I was in 8th, but with the whole GT4 field in front of me, it took a short while for me to get through them, by which time the seventh placed car was a way up the road and with not much time left, we had to settle for eighth place. The TF Sport guys did a great job all weekend and with a bit of luck we could have had a good result. I'm looking forward to Spa - I've only raced there once in the 2013 24 hour race, but it's my favourite track, so looking forward to getting up to speed quickly.