Geddie set to light up Spa 24 in new McLaren alongside other British GT stars

28 07 2011

The CRS Racing father/son pairing celebrate an unexpected pole position at Snetterton

Geddie has been competing for CRS Racing in the British GT and will race for the team in the Spa 24 Hours in the new MP4-12C

CRS Racing’s Glynn Geddie will test himself on the European stage in the Spa 24 Hour endurance event in the brand new McLaren MP4-12C.

The Aberdeen ace, who currently sits second in the British GT title hunt, has been drafted in as part of the Pro-Am driver line-up by his mentor Andrew Kirkaldy.

Kirkaldy, an executive of the McLaren GT division, has played an important role in Geddie’s development this year in the CRS Racing Ferrari 458 and has selected the Scot for the famous enduro.

The McLaren MP4-12C debuted in the British GT at Spa last month with Kirkaldy at the wheel and this latest event marks another step in the development of the GT3 racer for 2012.

Geddie is delighted to be handed the chance and can’t wait to get behind the wheel alongside CRS Racing stablemates Phil Quaife, Adam Christodoulou and Roger Wills.

He said: “I feel honoured to be part of something as special as this with such an innovative car brand as McLaren.

“This is the first model to be converted from a McLaren road car to compete in a 24 hour race since the McLaren F1 GTR at Le Mans back in 1995.

“I’ll be among some esteemed company for the race and I’ll be paying full attention to make sure I learn as much as possible to aid my future development.

“It’s going to be quite a thrill to get behind the wheel of the MP4-12C GT3 and I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing what it can do at Spa-Francorchamps.”

Matt Griffin and Richard Westbrook, both top British GT competitors, will also compete in the Total 24 Hours of Spa this weekend (July 28-30).





United Autosports pair Bell and Guasch lead British GT hunt into summer break

16 07 2011

United Autosports lead the championship going into the two month summer break (www.britishgt.com)

United Autosports lead the championship going into the two month summer break (www.britishgt.com)

UNITED Autosports head into the British GT summer break with Anglo-American pair Matt Bell and Mike Guasch leading the pack.

Five top-six finishes in the opening six rounds have seen the Audi R8 drivers top the standings since their victory in Round Three.

But with no recent podiums their closest competitors have started to reel them in and their championship lead has been cut to just two points before a trip to Rockingham in September.

Bell and Guasch finished sixth in Race One at the recent Spa meeting and a last lap overtake on their closest rivals in Race Two secured fourth place and some valuable championship points.

Guasch was slightly disappointed with their pace at Spa but knows consistency is the key and is well aware that many people would love to be in their position.

He said: “Our main aim was to get as many points as we could from both races today and although I’m a little disappointed with our results, we achieved a decent score. The championship is really tight.”

And Guasch’s boss, Richard Dean, co-owner and MD of United Autosports is pleased with how the season is developing and is confident with some hard work they can take the British GT title at the end of the year.

He concluded: “To date, we’ve achieved a win, second, third, fourth, sixth, eighth, and two ninths.

“Unfortunately the Brands non-finish for Mike and Matt has brought the title race very close.

“The Ferrari must get a penalty and the three remaining tracks are all suit the R8 LMS. It’s a pleasing position to be in.”





Bad luck costs Scuderia Vittoria and Lyons podium in British GT enduro at Spa

13 07 2011

Michael Lyons suffered a string of misfortunes at Spa in his Ferrari 458 © Jakob Ebrey

Michael Lyons suffered a string of misfortunes at Spa in his Ferrari 458 © Jakob Ebrey

MICHAEL Lyons is focusing on the future after a torrid luck at the weekend in Spa cost the team a possible podium and championship points.

The Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 had looked quick in practice and qualifying and Lyons and co-driver Charles Bateman were looking to repeat their Oulton Park success.

The Essex racer had qualified on GT3 pole for Race One but a rear tow link broke on lap sending him into the gravel at 140 mph and in Race Two he had to nurse the car to ninth place after a set-up mistake degraded the tyres down to the steel rims.

But at the tender age of 20 years old Lyons showed maturity and understood that weekends like these happen now and again and you have to learn to move on.

He said: “Today was just one of those days, and as hard as it is to accept, that is just how motor sport is sometimes.

“Even though the results weren’t there, there are still some positives to take from this weekend; such as getting back to the front in qualifying and racing hard.

“After qualifying it looked like we were back on track and looking good for a potential win in Race One, and a solid result in Race Two.”

“We now have to look at the rest of the year, and hope for some luck, and try and win as many of the remaining races as possible.”

And Scuderia Vittoria Team Principal Piers Maserati was equally disappointed but praised his driver for bringing the car home.

He added: “Today was disappointing, Race One was looking good until we had a parts failure which put us out of the lead and eventually out of the race.

In Race Two we clearly had a serious issue with the dampers and Michael did an excellent job to bring the car home in one piece in the points”.





Fisken and Bridgman British GT title tilt back on track after big points haul at Spa

13 07 2011

Fisken and Bridgman were on the podium again and are right back in the title hunt

Fisken and Bridgman were on the podium again at Spa and are right back in the title hunt © Jakob Ebrey

Gregor Fisken and co-driver Tim Bridgman left Spa with a solid points haul and with their 2011 British GT title hopes still alive.

The Trackspeed duo were delighted to record seventh and second-placed finishes in the two rounds at the Belgian circuit after a mixed weekend at a track which has historically favoured Ferraris.

But the Porsche had the pace all weekend and Fisken and Bridgman were unlucky not to score two podiums after a strategic error in qualifying left Bridgman exposed in Race One with rear tyre grip non-existent

However no such mistake in Race Two saw a stunning drive by Fisken secure second step on the podium finishing just under a second behind the race winner.

The weekend leaves the two just 28 points off the leaders of the championship and after their scintillating victory at Brands Hatch last month and their points tally at Spa, the momentum is with the Trackspeed team.

Fisken said: “I’m delighted with how this weekend turned out because Spa isn’t a circuit that plays to the Porsche’s strengths.

“With so many championships on track at the same time traffic was always going to be a factor and I think we managed that particularly well.

“We’ve learned from our mistake in qualifying and won’t be going down that set-up route again. I can’t speak highly enough of Tim who somehow got the car to the finish of race one on tyres which were practically down to the canvas.

“Without the problems a podium looked likely but in the circumstances seventh feels like a miracle!”

Bridgman was equally optimistic and praised the team for producing a car that could challenge the frontrunners and can’t wait to score more points at Rockingham in September.

He concluded: “We arrived at Spa aiming for a solid points haul so to leave there having nearly won is a great achievement.

“Full credit to the Trackspeed guys for giving us a great package even if we collectively made an error in qualifying.

“The car was so difficult to drive on the worn tyres which is why it was better to score some points and bring the car home unscathed than fight too hard.

“Traffic on my qualifying run meant I started out of position in the second race. We knew the car had great pace though and I was delighted to really get stuck in against a strong pro driver line-up for the first time this year.

“Gregor continued the good work after that to close down the Ferrari and with one more lap he might have got him.

“It’s the sort of result that proves we’ve turned our season around. Hopefully there’s more to come at Rockingham.”





Wilcox disappointed with old Ferrari 430 after unreliability costs team in Belgium

11 07 2011

The Ferrari 430 Scuderia had looked quick in testing but a broken rear damper scuppered a podium

The Ferrari 430 Scuderia has been unreliable in 2011 and clutch failure put paid to Wilcox's chances at Spa

A DISAPPOINTING season for Lichfield British GT star Adam Wilcox continued at Spa this weekend as mechanical problems once more plagued his Ferrari 430.

Wilcox and co-driver Phil Burton finished Race One at Spa on Saturday in eighth but managed only seven laps in Race Two before a gearbox failure forced them out.

A clutch fault in first practice on Friday morning set the tone for the race meeting as the Predator CCTV Racing pair had no car setup time with the team working to the wire to get them out for qualifying.

And Wilcox is disappointed with how the older Ferrari 430 has matched up against the newer machines such as the Ferrari 458s and Audi R8s.

He explained: “I think it’s clear the 430 is long in the tooth now as all the new cars such as the 458 and McLaren are faster over a single lap.

“Not only that but they are also able to maintain the pace due to the massive tyres sizes they have so the tyre drop is nowhere near how fast the 430 loses its grip.”

Wilcox and the team are happy to put Spa behind them and are working towards challenging in the remaining races but are also looking ahead to 2012 already.

The Lichfield ace added: “The car will be rebuilt and we plan to do some testing in the time off to maximize what we have with the 430 Scuderia because it’s still a fast car.

“I think we would need a bit of luck to challenge for wins but it’s possible. We are already looking ahead to 2012 and seeing which of the new cars available would give us the best chance to have a crack at the British GT title.”

The 2011 Avon Tyres British GT season has a mini-summer break before returning to action at Rockingham in early September.





Maiden British GT win for MTECH Racing’s Griffin and Cameron in Race Two at Spa

9 07 2011

Griffin and Cameron took their maiden 2011 British GT win at Spa (www.britishgt.com)

Griffin and Cameron took their maiden 2011 British GT win at Spa (www.britishgt.com)

MATT Griffin and Duncan Cameron finally fulfilled their Ferrari 458s promise with a maiden 2011 British GT win at Spa in the second race.

The MTECH Racing pair have shown flashes of brilliance all season but could not hook up a full race weekend but after a second place in Race One, they followed it up with victory in Race Two.

Richard Westbrook had again led from pole and looked set to take his second race win of the weekend but a puncture forced him out on lap nine paving the way for Griffin and Cameron.

Griffin led from lap nine onward until the driving changes and then Cameron took over to maintain the lead and eventually take the flag by 0.9 seconds from Gregor Fisken.

Griffin was full of praise for teammate Cameron who held off a late charge from the Trackspeed Porsche.

He said: “I didn’t get a great start and was fourth. It took a little time for our car to get to where I wanted it to be grip-wise, but once it did I was able to get past Alex Mortimer and Glynn Geddie and started to catch Richard.

“I got the lead and was able to get my head down and build a lead. Duncan jumped in and did an incredible job under a lot of pressure. We got the win and we’re over the moon.”

The #2 Trackspeed Porsche of Fisken and Tim Bridgman was down in fourth after the pit stops but Fisken, the experienced Scot, was in a racy mood and soon took the Geddie CRS Racing Ferrari and the Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin.

Fisken was delighted with his pace and revealed he believed he could challenge the leaders and gave it everything right to the end.

He added: “It was very close; I certainly wasn’t going to settle for second if I could have taken the win.

“The team kept telling me I was taking time out of him, but it would have needed a mistake from Duncan really to get past him cleanly. Duncan was driving very well; it was a real good scrap.”

The Andrew Howard and Jonathan Adam Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin rounded off the podium only 6.7 seconds behind the winner.

Fourth was the debutant, the McLaren MP4-12C in the Invitational class with title leaders Mike Guasch and Matt Bell finishing fifth and the Geddie family in sixth.

A superb weekend for the Speedworks Motorsport Corvette of the two Johnson’s came home in seventh with Ron Johnson named Driver of the Weekend.

The popular Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen’s Rosso Verde Ferrari, the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari of Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman and the United Autosports Audi of Bintcliffe and Palmer rounded out the top ten.

In GT4, the first-race class victors, Dan Denis and David McDonald fought a pitched battle with the Phil Glew and Ollie Jackson Lotus for much of the race.

The Lotus gained the upper hand after three laps and maintained its advantage after the pit stops to win. It was not Denis and McDonald in second spot, however – their afternoon went wrong on the penultimate lap when their Ginetta’s gearbox developed a problem.

That allowed class points leaders Marcus Clutton and Peter Belshaw in their ABG KTM through for second, ahead of Aston Martin men Chris Holmes and Peter Erceg, who claimed a maiden class podium placing for the Secure Racing/Barwell Motorsport squad.

Race Two Results 

GT3

1  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  1h 0m 25.159s / 103.72mph

2  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  +0.888s

3  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam  +6.697s

4  McLaren GT McLaren MP4-12C (Inv Class) Chris Goodwin/Andrew Kirkaldy  +24.020s

5  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  +26.247s

6  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +27.726s

7  Speedworks Motorsport Corvette  Ron Johnson/Piers Johnson  +1m 22.574s

8  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen (DEN)  +2m 47.512s

9  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  23 laps

10  United Autosports Audi  John Bintcliffe/Jay Palmer  23 laps

11 & GTB winner  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon/Aaaron Scott  23 laps etc

Fastest lap: Westbrook 2m 24.615s / 108.34mph (Record)

GT4

1  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Phil Glew  23 laps

2  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  23 laps

3  Barwell/Secure Aston Martin  Peter Erceg/Chris Holmes  23 laps





Westbrook and Ashburn keep calm head under safety car to take Spa victory

9 07 2011

Westbrook produced a phenomenal lap to take pole position in Race Two at Spa (www.britishgt.com)

Westbrook's expert safety car management contributed to Race One victory (www.britishgt.com)

TRACKSPEED duo Richard Westbrook and defending champion David Ashburn took the honours in the first race at Spa in the British GT.

The Porsche drivers held off a late challenge from Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron to seal victory on European soil and take their second win of the season.

The hour long sprint was not without drama as a mid-race safety car caused by accidents in the other championships sharing the track allowed the frontrunners to pit and get their driver changes out of the way.

A swift stop from Trackspeed got them out first behind the safety car and an expert restart from Westbrook pulled out a five second gap over Griffin in the MTECH Racing Ferrari 458.

Griffin came back over the remaining laps and even briefly passed the Porsche but could not hold on as tyres degraded and he eventually finished behind Westbrook by 2.5 seconds.

Griffin said: “It was the safety car which killed us because Westie somehow managed to put a lapped car between him and me.

“We lost five seconds at the restart as a result and I pushed very hard to catch him, maybe hurting my tyres a little in the process.

“I made a good passing manoeuvre on him at Les Combes, but it was too slippery to hold it and he got me back.”

And Westbrook was aware that he had used tactics to gain the victory as he admitted his Porsche was not as quick as the Ferrari 458 in a straight shootout.

He added: “The Porsche isn’t really a match for a well-driven Ferrari 458, so you have to do as much as can; use your head, make a break with the traffic and that’s the only way we can compete.

“It was a good race, and in the end I just had enough. Matt was eating into my lead at the end so it was tough. It’s always nice to win, and all credit to David for bringing the car into the pits in the lead.”

CRS Racing’s Geddie father and son partnership completed the podium after starting way down in eighth and good teamwork and driving brought their Ferrari 458 home only five seconds behind the leaders.

Elsewhere the debuting McLaren MP4-12C held the lead from the start before contact pushed Chris Goodwin and Andrew Kirkaldy back down to 12th.

Andrew Tate and Alex Mortimer were another pairing to make good progress from a lowly grid slot, converting 12th on the grid to fourth at the line, ahead of the Andrew Howard/Jonathan Adam Beechdean Aston Martin, which picked off the faltering Trackspeed Porsche of Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman on the penultimate lap.

Bridgman’s sixth became seventh on the final lap when he was passed by the United Autosports Audi of championship leaders Mike Guasch and Matt Bell.

Phil Burton and Adam Wilcox put clutch problems in practice behind them to claim another points finish in eighth in the Predator CCTV Ferrari

In ninth was the Ron and Piers Johnson Speedworks Corvette, which enjoyed a strong and reliable run for the team’s first points of the year.

Godfrey and David Jones, the only front-runners not to pit at the start of the safety car period, completed the top 10 in the Preci-Spark Mercedes.

For once everything went right for the Scuderia Vittoria GT4 pairing of Dan Denis and David McDonald.

Denis started from the pole in the Ginetta G50 and led comfortably all the way to the stops, and McDonald maintain the gap over the pursuing Ginetta of Josh Wakefield and Jake Rattenbury to score a handsome class victory, the duo’s first of the season.

Denis was delighted to finally get a win on the board in the British GT Championship.

He concluded: “My qualifying yesterday was fantastic. I got a good start and built a comfortable lead, and my pace was good.

“I was a bit worried when the safety car came out that I would lose my big lead but the team did a great job in the pits and David drove quickly and sensibly. It’s great finally to get a win.”

Race One Results

GT3 & overall

1  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Richard Westbrook  1h 0m 13.778s / 95.38mph

2  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL) +2.520s

3  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +5.189s

4  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  +17.102s

5  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam  +17.876s

6  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  +19.687s

7  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  +22.913s

8  Predator CCTV Ferrari  Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox  +38.971s

9  Speedworks Motorsport Corvette  Ron Johnson/Piers Johnson  +39.553s

10  Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones/Godfrey Jones  +40.036s etc

Fastest lap: Griffin 2m 24.845s / 108.20mph (Record)

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  +2m 14.732s

2  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  21 laps

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  21 laps etc