Debut win for Lyons and Bateman in new Ferrari 458 as safety car causes pit drama

25 04 2011

Lyons and Bateman celebrate a debut victory for Scuderia Vittoria's Ferrari 458

Lyons and Bateman celebrate a debut victory for Scuderia Vittoria's Ferrari 458

BRITISH GT debutant Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman took the checkered flag in their Ferrari 458 for maximum points in an eventful Race Two at Oulton Park.

Lyons and Bateman had started at the back of the grid but early safety cars and pitlane drama left the field turned on its head and the Scuderia Vittoria team ended the race 20 seconds clear of the Jones brothers, with Michael Gausch’s Audi completing the podium.

A first corner crash for the KTM of Marcus Clutton forced the safety car out but it did not effect the leaders, Richard Westbrook led the field from the restart and set a new lap record, a 1.38.491. Westbrook in the Race One-winning Trackspeed Porsche opened up a big lead before the second safety car in 20 minutes caused mayhem.

With 23 minutes on the clock the pit lane opened and all the cars bar four dived into the pit lane to make their driver changes and try to gain positions with a quick switch.

The biggest winner was the Trackspeed Porsche of Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman who had started from the pitlane after a broken steering rack in Race One had left the team with a rebuild moments before the start.

Bridgman had benefited from the first safety car by catching the back of the pack but the second worked even better as he pitted on the lap the safety car was deployed and allowed Fisken to rejoin in third position.

The lightning quick United Autosports Audi was one of the cars not to stop and lost out, the fact Michael Gausch made it back up to third shows how with a bit more tactical nous, they could have won the race.

The race was full of drama even after the safety car had returned to the pits. Hector Lester spun from second place and David Ashburn got a stop/go penalty for not waiting long enough during the pitstop which dropped him back to fifth.

The MTECH Racing Ferrari 458 of Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron which had been so quick in the second half of Race One was going well before a mechanical problem forced them out promoting more cars into points paying positions.

And with the clock ticking down there was just time for Fisken to run wide and allow Ashburn and Guasch past.

Westbrook led the field from the restart after the first safety car

Westbrook led the field from the restart after the first safety car

All the incident happened behind the race winner though, Lyons who drove superbly in his first race was understandably delighted with the result.

Lyons told BritishGT after the podium celebrations: “I’ve seen three cars in a GT career so I can’t complain! The pit stop worked out perfect, from my point of view it couldn’t have gone better.

“I thought podium was on the cards before the race but that safety car really helped us out. The car is coming along really well. We’ve done no running in the car and it’s already there, I can’t wait for Snetterton.”

In GT4, Freddy Nordstrom and Leyton Clarke believed they had won in their Lotus Evora but a yellow flag infringement demoted them to second behind Jake Rattenbury and Josh Wakefield in a Century Motorsport Ginetta G50.

The Anthony Reid/Jordan Witt Chevron GR8 had another solid finish in 12th having run in the top ten for most of the incident filled race.

Race Two Results


1  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  1h 0m 18.610s / 85.70mph

2  Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones/Godfrey Jones  +21.633s

3  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  +30.411s

4  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Richard Westbrook  +36.125s

5  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +50.527s

6  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  +1m 06.906s

7  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen (DEN)  +1m 12.725s

8  Predator CCTV Ferrari  Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox  +1m 19.535s

9  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Freddie Hetherington/Julien Draper  +1m 23.238s

10  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  +1m 45.222s

Fastest lap: Westbrook 1m 38.491s / 98.39mph

GT Cup

1  Chevron Racing Chevron  Jordan Witt/Anthony Reid  31 laps


1  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon/Aaaron Scott  30 laps


1  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  31 laps

2  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  31 laps

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Jack Drinkall  31 laps

4  ABG Motorsport KTM  Athanasios Ladas (GRE)/Michael Mallock  30 laps


Rising star Nordstrom believes British GT debut success can fulfil Le Mans dream

6 04 2011

Freddy Nordstrom

Youngster Nordstrom would love a chance in Le Mans

Freddy Nordstrom believes success in the British GT in his debut season will catapult his career forward to his ambition of racing at Le Mans.

Surrey speedster Nordstrom, 22, will compete in a Lotus Evora alongside Leyton Clarke for Lotus Sport UK in 2011 and believes together they can win the British GT4 title.

The Anglo-Swedish driver is spurred on by the prospect of endurance races in the British GT this year as he sees them as a career stepping stone.

He exclusively told BritishGT: “Leyton and I have met in the past and we met once recently, he is a cool guy so we have no problems there. We’re both just eager to get our hands on the Lotus Evora.

“My aim is definitely to win the GT4 championship, but of course I aim to get several race wins along the way.

“It’s a new challenge for me. I have never done any endurance racing and I feel that it could benefit my progression as a racing driver as my ambition is to win Le Mans with Lotus.

“I feel endurance races show the real skill of a racing driver, as many people can set one fast lap but to do it consistently, lap after lap for an hour or more is a real art.”

Fitness is paramount to coping with the long slog of an endurance race and Nordstrom likes to spend his time playing football and tennis rather than training for hours in a gym as he can fit it around his studies at university.

Freddy Nordstrom SEAT Leon Supercopa Series

Nordstrom has tasted success in the SEAT Leon Supercopa Series

Nordstrom’s racing pedigree is burgeoning having won in the Mini Challenge and SEAT Cupra Championship over the last few years and he can’t wait to race the new Evora against a host of exciting British GT cars.

He added: “From a driving perspective I’m not sure what it’s like as I haven’t tested it yet, but from a visual aspect it looks like a great car! From speaking to those that have driven it, it sounds quite exciting.

“More cars always make the racing more interesting and exciting so that is always good.

“But there are some top manufacturers represented on the grid this year, which will be a great spectacle for the series, the drivers and teams and of course the fans.”

Whilst relatively inexperienced compared to his rivals, Nordstrom says the pressures of racing don’t worry him, the desire to win and have fun drives him on.

He concluded: “I don’t feel that much pressure. I go out there to have fun and put in all the effort I can to win.”