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.”
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Guasch secures dominate race one pole for United Autosports at Rockingham

3 09 2011

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

Championship leader Mike Guasch took pole for Race One at Rockingham (www.britishgt.com)

MIKE Guasch claimed pole for the first Rockingham Avon Tyres British GT Race, setting a 1:19.750 lap time in the #23 United Autosports R8 LMS midway through the first of the two 15-minute sessions.

Michael Lyons’ #5 Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 was the first car out of the pit lane at the start of the session, but an error at Deene allowed Gregor Fisken to go by and it was the #2 Trackspeed Porsche that set the first benchmark – 1:23.188.

Clearly this wasn’t going to remain unbeaten for long and the Scot went 2.2s faster on his next lap. Lyons recovered from his error to go second, with David Ashburn third in the #1 Trackspeed Porsche.

The fight for GT4 pole was destined to be an eventful one, with Dan Denis setting a 1:25.398 in the early moments of the session in the #50 Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta G50.

Mike Guasch was always going to feature prominently in Qualifying after two encouraging Free Practice sessions, and it wasn’t long before the #23 Audi was posting fastest sector times; and when the third dot turned purple, the R8 had moved to the top of the times with a 1:20.394 – and improved again the next time around.

Lyons managed to secure a front-row starting place in the #5, while the two Trackspeed Porsches locked out Row 2. All four leading cars would end their sessions with several minutes still remaining.

Andrew Tate and Duncan Cameron appeared to be struggling in their Ferraris during the opening stages, being in 18th and 14th positions respectively at the midway point, but both improved as the final five minutes approached.

The #21 MTECH 458 jumped to sixth, while the #11 CRS car claimed tenth. David Jones placed the #22 Preci-Spark Mercedes SLS on the third row, alongside Cameron.

Phil Burton found himself immediately in brake trouble as the session started and was forced to pit after two laps. Some quick adjustments allowed him to claim 14th by the close.

The GT4 lead changed a number of times during the quarter hour. Jake Rattenbury, in the #42 Century Motorsports Ginetta, and Freddy Nordstrom’s #49 Lotus Evora both demoted the Scuderia Vittoria G50 before Dan Denis regained the upper hand with a 1:24.884 – the top four cars in the class being covered by half a second. P

eter Belshaw was unable to break the 1:26 mark in the ABG KTM X-Bow and would start the race from the back row.

Race One Qualifying

GT3

1  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)  1m 19.750s

2  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons  1m 20.141s

3  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken  1m 20.634s

4  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn  1m 20.707s

5  Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones  1m 20.980s

6  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron  1m 21.113s etc

GT3B

1  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon  1m 25.948s

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis  1m 24.884s

2  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Jake Rattenbury  1m 25.056s

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Freddy Nordstrom  1m 25.071s

4  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson  1m 25.346s

5  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw  1m 26.360s





New Secure Racing Aston Martin wants fans to crack the code at Brands Hatch

3 06 2011

Secure Racing's livery will feature a coded message for fans to crack

Secure Racing's livery will feature a coded message for fans to crack

A NEW British GT team will mark its debut at Brands Hatch in two weeks with an innovate fan competition.

The Secure Racing Aston Martin GT4 will feature a hidden, coded message as part of the livery to be unveiled at the Brands Hatch meeting on June 18/19.

Designed by one of the world’s largest security consulting firms, PWC, the code will feature on the car and the challenge for spectators is to crack the code to win a chance to sit alongside one of the drivers round the track.

Fans of the series who cannot get to Brands Hatch will also have the opportunity to crack the code with pictures of the Aston Martin posted on their website and on Twitter.

Leeds-based British GT debutant Chris Holmes, 24, one of the Secure Racing Aston Martin GT4 drivers told the official website: “It’s a great competition and a great prize. We are looking forward to involving a lot of people in it who might otherwise not be following British GT.

“It’s the first time I will have raced a car with a roof, and I am super-excited about it.

“I have tested the car and I know that the guys from Barwell Motorsport, who will be preparing the Aston, know what they are about, so I am hoping we will be there or thereabouts with the pace from the outset.”

Team-mate Peter Erceg will also make his series debut at Brands Hatch having had Porsche Club racing experience and races in the GT3 Challenge.

Confirmation of Secure Racing’s Aston Martin entry brings the total of different manufactures in the GT4 class to four, alongside KTM, Ginetta and Lotus.

The GT4 has been hotly contested this year with wins for both the ABG Motorsport KTM X-Bow of Belshaw/Clutton and the Century Motorsport Ginetta of Rattenbury/Wakefield.

Championship manager Benjamin Franassovici welcomed Secure Racing to British GT: “It is great to see GT4 flourishing in this way; to have four different marques represented is very pleasing. I know that Peter, Chris and the Aston will be a very competitive prospect.”