Q&A: Exclusive talk with title leader Geddie ahead of Silverstone decider

6 10 2011

Glynn Geddie

Geddie leads the title going into the two hour Silverstone finale © Malcolm Griffiths

WE talk to Glynn Geddie ahead of his championship decider in Silverstone with the title still in the balance.

How excited are you for the final race?

I feel really relaxed about the whole thing and I’m ready to get the job done. I’m not a nervous person so won’t let what’s going on around me distract me from preparing properly for the race.

I’ll start to get more excited when we head into qualifying before the main event on Saturday.

Are you optimistic for the outcome?

I’m quietly confident we can do enough to seal the championship. You’ve got to believe in your own ability or there’s no point being out there on the track.

If you don’t believe you are going to win then you won’t win.

But it’s going to be tough and we both must perform at our best to make sure we succeed.

Do you like Silverstone?

It’s a track that should suit our Ferrari 458 as it’s got lots of good long straights where we can make the most of the Ferrari’s speed.

I raced there in the FIA GT3 earlier this season and it’s a mega track especially with the new grand prix. I can’t wait to get on to the track.

How much do you want to go one better than last year and take the title?

It would mean a lot for me to win the championship this season. It was great to be able to help David Ashburn win it last year.

However, at the same time it was quite frustrating as I only missed out on a joint victory after missing a few of the earlier rounds so really want to go all the way this time round.

How much will it mean to you sharing the success with your dad?

I don’t know if a father and son partnership has won the British GT Championship before and if we can become the first it would be a tremendous achievement.

I know dad is looking forward to the Silverstone race and it’s been a real joy racing alongside him this season.

He’s performed really well and who knows we might be back in the British GT again next season as defending champions. It’s just really rewarding to be able to compete at a very high level alongside him.

We’re close and get on well and have managed to really spur each other on this season.

Who do you think poses the biggest threat?

We’re fortunate to hold an eight point lead over their nearest rivals Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin who run in a M-Tech Ferrari 458 going into the last weekend. They will probably be the biggest threat but when you consider a total seven teams can win it you can’t rule anyone out.

How will you approach the race? Go for the win or take the required points?

Several teams are still in with a chance of winning the team which is a fact we must remain mindful of. It would be great to win the race and finish on a real high so we’ll be going for the win.

But we’ll also be guided by our CRS team.

How good has the Ferrari 458 been in its debut year?

The 458 has been particularly enjoyable to drive, it has been a real challenge and a step up from the Porsche from last year. In a straight line it’s really quick but it does struggle slightly when it’s wet so let’s hope it’s dry at Silverstone.

There a few things that we could perhaps work on to make it even better but it’s still been a fantastic learning experience for me to compete in such a top class machine.

Do you have an firm plans for next year or anything in the pipeline?

I don’t have anything finalised for next season just yet, I suppose a lot will hinge on what happens this weekend. If I can win the British GT that will represent a significant breakthrough especially just a season after finishing second when I helped David Ashburn win the overall championship.

Winning the title could open up new opportunities for me and I need to carefully consider my future decisions particularly at an important time in my career.

have had 5 years driving that car and whilst it hasnt always been succesful it’s always been enjoyable, Im not sure what the plan is for 2012 so I’ll just treat it as another race and try to get the best result I can





Wilcox optimistic for Silverstone as Ferrari 430 could make last voyage

6 10 2011

Adam Wilcox on the pit wall at Oulton Park

Wilcox is looking to run his own race and get some big points in the season finale at Silverstone

ADAM Wilcox is looking to run his own race at the weekend and get the best result he can rather than worry about what effect he has on the championship.

The Ferrari 430 Scuderia has started to show some pace after a strong performance last time out at Donington where Wilcox and teammate Phil Burton’s fastest lap was only 0.3 seconds behind the winners’ Ferrari 458.

And with the season finale at Silverstone looming Wilcox is hoping that the longer two hour endurance style event and the style of track will suit the team.

He said: “I definitely prefer longer races, I think two and three hour races have been great especially with the minimum three driver changes it really shakes things up.

“We will just run our own race and I look forward to see who takes the title, it’s been one of the most competitive seasons for years.

“I think the Scuderia could suit Silverstone so watch this space.”

And looking ahead to 2012 Wilcox knows this could be the last race in the Ferrari 430 with new cars available for next year but will treat this as just another race in one of his favourite cars.

He said: “I have had five years driving that car and whilst it hasn’t always been succesful it’s always been enjoyable.

“I’m not sure what the plan is for 2012 so I’ll just treat it as another race and try to get the best result I can.”





United Autosports to attack in Silverstone finale to steal GT3 championship glory

27 09 2011

United Autosports celebrate a maiden British GT win for the Guasch/Bell Audi © Jakob Ebrey

Victory celebrations are a distant memory for United Autosports who are clinging onto their title hopes © Jakob Ebrey

UNITED Autosports will head into the final round of the British GT at Silverstone in ‘full-attack’ mode after seeing their championship rivals flourish at Donington.

Teammates Matt Bell and Mike Guasch were the early season pace-setters and led the championship from rounds three to eight but the last two meetings have seen them fall to third, 11 points off the lead.

But with 37.5 points on offer in the two hour finale at Silverstone the Anglo-American pair know it is all to play for and the fightback in the second half of the race at Donington shows they still have their early season pace.

Mike Guasch had a collision in the wet after just thirty minutes and after a pit stop to repair the damage they were dropped down to last.

A brave drive from Bell brought the Audi R8LMS back into contention and carded a seventh place finish in the GT500 event which keeps their championship hopes alive.

Englishman Bell said: “Unfortunately Mike made a small mistake in the wet and hit another car which put the hood up on the car so he had to pit for repairs.

“After that, it was just a case of pushing as hard as I could and regaining as many places as possible. THe race has probably been the hardest drive I have ever had – it was pretty difficult with some heart in mouth moments trying to overtake as the car was not right after the collision.

“Our result leaves Mike and I with a mountain to climb due to our main competition finishing ahead of us.”





Geddie family head to Silverstone on the edge of British GT glory in Ferrari 458

26 09 2011

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

The Geddie's will be hoping for more celebrations at Silverstone in October with the title on the line

THE father/son Geddie pairing are well placed for title glory at Silverstone next month after a fifth place finish at Donington Park saw them extend their championship lead over their rivals.

Glynn Geddie and father Jim finished fifth with their CRS teammates Andrew Tate and Alex Mortimer forced to retire after a trip to the gravel which brought the safety car out.

But Geddie is optimistic that with the limited success ballast and being in pole position in the driver standings they can make their title dream a reality at Silverstone.

Geddie narrowly missed out last year finishing second to then teammate David Ashburn in the Trackspeed Porsche and is hoping to go one better next month.

He said: “I’m satisfied with our weekend’s work at Donington and we can now really look forward to Silverstone.

“We’re now in a very strong position but there’s still a lot of work to be done before we can seal the title. We could have won the championship at Donington had results gone our way but it wasn’t to be although we have to be pleased that we stretched our lead.

But we’re happy with the way the car is running after a lot of hard work from the CRS Racing team during the course of the season so we’re confident of finishing the job.

“However, we must ensure we remain as professional as ever to give ourselves every chance of succeeding. We’ll work alongside the team to make sure we are prepared as possible for the finale before yet another season comes to an end.”





Fisken and Bridgman rue bad luck with backmarkers at Donington Park enduro

26 09 2011

Bridgman had looked quick in qualifying but engine failure put paid to a second 2011 win © Jakob Ebrey

Fisken and Bridgman were unlucky with a GT4 backmarker that compromised their chance of victory © Jakob Ebrey

A THIRD podium finish for Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman could of been so much more after a backmarker ruined their chances of a win.

The pair reminded the field that the Trackspeed Porsche still packs a punch despite being out of the title hunt after the Rockingham engine disaster and again mastered changeable conditions as they had at Brands Hatch.

After narrowly sneaking second after a penalty for the MTECH Ferrari 458, it was a feeling of what might have been after a clumsy moment with a GT4 backmarker robbed them of the lead.

Fisken was forced to circulate slowly under Safety Car procedure behind a crippled GT4 Aston Martin, allowing the chasing MTECH Ferrari to close in.

With their advantage now all-but negated, the backmarker then swerved late across the Porsche’s path into the pits just as racing resumed. With Fisken hard on the brakes, Duncan Cameron was able to easily nip past, even though the race remained under caution.

Fisken was happy to be back on the podium but understandably disappointed with the impact that the GT4 backmarker had.

He said: “It’s great to get back on the podium and an excellent result for the team, but I can’t help feeling a sense of ‘what if’. I was really enjoying myself out there, especially in the opening stint, when the track was at its trickiest.

“I’ve always revelled in those sorts of conditions because of my background in historic racing where power comfortably outstrips grip.

“Tim was then able to extend our lead before I got back in. We were comfortably clear of the rest so to have the GT4 Aston Martin compromise our race like that is just so disappointing.

“I had no choice but to stay behind even though the Safety Car was going faster. That allowed the others to claw back everything they had originally lost.

“Without being so badly delayed I think we would have won, especially when Tim showed in the final stint that we also had the dry pace to compete with the Ferraris. That at least bodes well for the final round where we will be looking to end our year on a high.”

Bridgman was equally delighted to get some big points but again left frustrated that bad luck compromised a winning position.

He added: “I’m delighted with the podium but can’t deny my frustration with all the little elements that conspired against us throughout the race. The car was great this weekend, especially in the changing conditions, which allowed me to open up a decent gap during my first stint.

That it was negated behind a Safety Car isn’t the problem – that’s endurance racing – it was the way in which Gregor, who was fantastic in those tricky early conditions, was held up by the stricken Aston Martin during the caution period, which helped others catch up, that really cost us.

 “We know the Ferrari 458 is a faster package in the dry over a stint but on sheer one-lap pace we were right there, as proven by the fastest lap.
“I was pretty certain the MTECH car would be penalised so it was just a case of sticking with him and picking up the pieces post-race. It was a great result that sets us up nicely for the final round.”




Scuderia Vittoria duo claim twilight win as championship goes down to the wire

26 09 2011

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

Lyons and Bateman took their second season win in the three hour twilight enduro © Jakob Ebrey

SCUDERIA Vittoria pairing Charles Bateman and Michael Lyons secured their second victory of the season after a dramatic three-hour race into darkness at Donington Park.

The duo had qualified in eighth place in their Ferrari 458 Italia but played the strategy game well to move into the lead heading into the final hour of the race.

Despite a third Safety Car period late on, Lyons was able to bring the Ferrari home to the finish to give the team its first win since the opening rounds of the campaign at Oulton Park.

In GT4, the Lotus Sport UK team stormed to victory, with Phil Glew and James Nash leading from start to finish to win ahead of the Ginetta of Josh Wakefield and Jake Rattenbury.

The race had started in the wet after earlier rain, which led to tricky conditions throughout the opening stint.

Early on, the Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin proved the class of the field, with the team electing to put Jonathan Adam in for the first stint while most teams took the decision to start with their professional driver watching from the pit wall.

From sixth on the grid, Adam stormed through to lead by the end of the first lap and then pulled away at the margin of three seconds a lap before the gap between the Aston and the chasing pack eventually started to stabilise as conditions improved.

Behind Adam, Gregor Fisken had also got ahead of reigning champion David Ashburn and into second place, with the two Trackspeed Porsches running in tandem ahead of the MTECH Ferrari of Duncan Cameron, Bateman and Mike Guasch’s United Autosport Audi.

Bateman made a move on Cameron for fourth just before the 20-minute mark and that allowed Guasch also to close on the Ferrari, before contact between the two cars saw Cameron slip down to eighth and left the Audi to pit with bodywork damage which cost it two laps.

The Aston Martin led through to the opening round of stops – at which point the field switched to slick tyres on the drying track – but that would be as good as is got for the Beechdean crew as Andrew Howard then suffered a spin at Redgate on his out lap.

Dropping down to fourth, Howard then lost further places among the quicker ‘pro’ drivers before a spin at the Esses saw the Aston beached in the gravel and led to the Safety Car being deployed.  Although he managed to get the car back to the pits, the Aston Martin was soon retired.

It would prove to be the moment when the race swung towards Scuderia Vittoria, as the team called Michael Lyons – who had taken over from Bateman – in for a second stop.

Keeping the car towards the front, Bateman then pitted when the Safety Car came out for a second time to remove the CRS Ferrari of Andrew Tate from the gravel, and this handed control back to Lyons as the three cars ahead all pitted.

Despite his final stint running to just over an hour, and with fuel needing to be saved, Lyons maintained a lead of more than 20 seconds before the Safety Car was called out for the third time with 16 minutes remaining when the MTECH Ferrari of David Back went off.

With three lapped cars to act as a buffer against the chasing pack, Lyons was able to hold on to his lead and take victory as a heated battle developed behind for second place.

Those boys behind at the finish were the MTECH Ferrari of Matt Griffin and Tim Bridgman’s Trackspeed Porsche, which had moved to the front of the field by the half-way stage – the former despite the earlier delay in Cameron’s first stint.

Bridgman had been the race leader when the second Safety Car period was called, ahead of Griffin. Both cars dived for the pits to complete what would be their second of three mandatory stops – with Gregor Fisken and Duncan Cameron maintaining position when they rejoined the circuit.

However, while still behind the Safety Car, the pair found themselves stuck behind the GT4 Aston Martin of Sergio Lagana, which was suffering from a gearbox issue and which they were unable under the Safety Car rules to pass. Having already been delayed, there was further drama for Fisken as he exited Goddards to take the restart when Lagana suddenly dived for the pits, forcing the Porsche man to jump on the brakes and allowing Cameron through into the lead.

The Ferrari would then lead the Porsche through to the final stops, where both were jumped by Lyons, with Griffin and Bridgman setting about chasing down the leader over the final 40 minutes.

The final Safety Car looked like setting up a grandstand finish but Griffin found himself stuck behind the lapped cars of both Gordon Shedden and Adam Wilcox and was unable to challenge Lyons for the lead, although any challenge would ultimately have been immaterial when stewards handed Cameron and Griffin a time penalty for the earlier pass on Fisken at the end of the second caution period.

With that time penalty applied, the MTECH car dropped back behind the Porsche, into third place, with Fisken and Bridgman securing the runner-up slot.

Outside the top three positions, the second Trackspeed Porsche of Ashburn and Stephen Jelley took the chequered flag in fourth place with its challenge having been hampered by a number of minor off-track excursions by Ashburn.

The CRS Ferrari of championship leaders Jim and Glynn Geddie was the final car to finish on the lead lap, in fifth place having lost time – and position – during the opening stint when the car was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for a starting procedure violation.

The all-new Rosso Verde Ferrari 458 Italia rounded out the top six after an encouraging debut, with touring car star Gordon Shedden quickly up to speed and matching the pace of the front-runners as he looked to lift the car back up the order after team-mate Hector Lester lost time during the wet opening stint.

Guasch and Bell lifted the delayed Audi – the only one in the race after the sister car was ruled out by a qualifying accident – back up to seventh at the finish, although the two laps lost early on would prove to be too much to make up. They regained one of the laps lost but seventh was the best the pair could have hoped for.

The 360 Vision Ferrari of Phil Burton and Adam Wilcox, the Speedworks Corvette of Ron and Piers Johnson and the Rollcentre Ginetta of Tom Sharp, Martin Short and Matt Nicoll-Jones rounded out the top 10 – the latter having been one of the stars of the early stages as Sharp fought his way up into the top five with a series of daring moves in the tricky conditions. For his sterling efforts at the wheel, Burton was awarded the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend trophy.

The GT4 category was dominated by the Lotus Sport UK Evora of Phil Glew and James Nash, which led throughout the three hours and claimed victory despite a late stop/go penalty. A strong first stint from Glew in the wet conditions saw the Lotus challenge a number of the quicker GT3 cars and the pair took the chequered flag a lap clear of the Ginetta of Josh Wakefield and Jake Rattenbury.

The Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta of Dan Denis and David McDonald had been well placed for third before a misfire in the final half hour saw the pair drop well off the pace. It allowed the KTM X-Bow of Marcus Clutton and Peter Belshaw to claim the final place on the podium, despite the car being forced to serve two stop/go penalties.

Elsewhere among the GT4 brigade, the second Lotus of Leyton Clarke and Freddy Nordstrom stopped on track, while the Barwell-run Secure Racing Aston Martin was hampered by its gearbox issues but did return to action late on, albeit 29 laps down.

Just 18.5 points separates the top nine drivers as the Avon Tyres British GT Championship heads for a grand finale at Silverstone on 8 October. The GT4 class is still open, too, with Belshaw and Clutton taking a 26.5-point lead into the last two-hour race of the season.

Round 9 Race Results

GT3

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  3h 0m 43.609s / 86.70mph

2  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  +6.054s

3  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  +6.100s

4  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Stephen Jelley  +9.029s

5  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +33.549s

6  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Gordon Shedden  104 laps

7  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  104 laps

8  360 Vision Ferrari  Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox  102 laps

9  Speedworks Motorsport Corvette  Ron Johnson/Piers Johnson  102 laps

10  Rollcentre Ginetta  Martin Short/Matt Nicoll-Jones/Tom Sharp  102 laps etc

GT4

1  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  James Nash/Phil Glew  100 laps

2  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  99 laps

3  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  98 laps etc

Fastest lap: Bridgman 1m 31.205s / 98.17mph (record)





Trackspeed take Donington Park pole as three-hour enduro tests title contenders

25 09 2011

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

Defending champions Trackspeed stole Donington pole after a close-fought qualifying session

DEFENDING champions Trackspeed will start the three-hour Donington Park enduro from pole after edging out rivals MTECH during an absorbing qualifying session for the penultimate event of the season.

In a red-flag affected session which featured a near half-hour stoppage, Stephen Jelley emerged with the quickest time at the wheel of the #1 Porsche 997 GT3 R; a lap of 1m 30.315s being the fastest seen over the course of the day and enough to secure his position at the head of the field.

The Porsche Carrera Cup racer, called into the Trackspeed line-up this weekend in the absence of Richard Westbrook, had just seen team-mate Tim Bridgman take provisional pole in the sister car when he produced a storming final sector to edge ahead and eventually took pole by just 0.005s.

Jelley said: “I’ll take that. The key to the lap was the chicane heading onto the Melbourne Loop as it’s very easy to get it wrong and overdrive the car, which is what I did on my first lap.

“The corner is deceptively quick and you can either slow down too much and cost yourself time, or you can try to go into the corner too quickly and end up braking too late.

“As it was, I managed to thread the needle and nail the lap to get pole. We’ve worked hard today and the car felt great, but it is a long race ahead. However, being on pole and starting at the front is the safest place to be.”

Matt Griffin would emerge as the closest challenger to the Porsche driver at the wheel of the #21 MTech Ferrari, having earlier admitted during free practice that he expected a close-run battle for pole.

Griffin had held provisional pole early in the session before the red-flag stoppage but when the session resumed, he fell agonisingly short of pipping Jelley to pole. However, he was as least able to split the Trackspeed Porsches with Bridgman left to settle for third place in the #2 997 GT3 R; albeit only 0.035s further back at the top three were split by just 0.040s.

Fourth quickest was the #23 Audi of Matt Bell, a tenth of a second away from pole, although it was a mixed session for the United Autosports team after John Bintcliffe went off into the gravel at McLeans inside the first ten minutes.

Having just set his quickest lap, Bintcliffe went backwards into the tyres at the right-hander and was ruled out for the remainder of the session; the car eventually being recovered to the pits when the red flag was thrown after the KTM X-Bow also went off track at the Esses.

Damage to the wall and the need to delicately lift the Audi onto a flat-bed truck before it could be returned to the paddock meant the stoppage eventually ran to more than 25 minutes.

Outside the top four, the #11 CRS Racing Ferrari of Alex Mortimer was fifth fastest having been the car to beat at the time the session was halted, with the top six completed by the Beechdean Aston Martin in the hands of Jonathan Adam.

The car, winner last time out at Rockingham, spent much of the early part of the session in the pits but Adam was than able to steadily climb up the field to secure a place on the third row of the grid.

Showing the close nature of the times, the top ten on the grid were covered by just eight tenths of a second when the 40 minutes came of running drew to a close.

Although the new Rosso Verde Ferrari 458 Italia successfully came through its first qualifying session to secure eleventh on the grid thanks to joint BTCC points leader Gordon Shedden.

There was trouble for other GT3 teams with Preci-Spark and Century Motorsport both forced to miss the session with engine problems. The Stark Racing Ginetta also hit trouble after stopping on track without setting a representative time.

In GT4, the battle for pole wasn’t quite as close as in GT3 but was still a tightly-fought affair, which eventually went the way of the #48 Lotus of Phil Glew and another debutant from the BTCC, James Nash.

Glew’s time of 1m 37.678s saw the Evora take pole ahead of the Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta G50 by just a tenth of a second, marking the first class pole for the Lotus Sport UK team.

Glew added: “That was really good for us. We’ve had our first win and now the team has told me that is our first pole, so it’s been a good day.

“As well as getting pole, we think we’ve got good race pace three hours is a long time tomorrow. We have to make sure we keep our noses clean at the start and hopefully the result will come.”

The KTM was third in class ahead of the second Lotus, despite the #49 car hitting problems which saw it return to the pits with damage to the front end. The Century Motorsport G50 and the Barwell-run Aston Martin Vantage rounded out the GT4 field.

Away from the two main classes, the Invitational Class Nissan GTR – making its British GT debut and competing for only the second time – bounced back from problems in the earlier practice sessions to set its quickest time of the day and will start the race from just outside the top ten in twelfth overall in the hands of Alex Buncombe and FIA GT1 World Championship racer Nick Catsburg.

Three places behind the Nissan on the times was the GT3B Ferrari 430 of Aaron Scott and John Dhillon in 14th, with the GTC class Chevron GR8 qualifying 16th on the grid in the hands of Jordan Witt and Anthony Reid.

Qualifying Results

GT3

1  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Stephen Jelley  1m 30.315s

2  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  1m 30.320s

3  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  1m 30.355s

4  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  1m 30.448s

5  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  1m 30.698s etc

GT4

1  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  James Nash/Phil Glew  1m 37.678s

2  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  1m 37.784s

3  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  1m 38.440s etc