Geddie father/son combo secured British GT title in dramatic Silverstone finale

9 10 2011

Despite not winning a race all season, the Geddie's ended the season as champions

Despite not winning a race all season, the Geddie's ended the season as champions (www.britishgt.com)

CRS Racing pair Glynn and Jim Geddie took championship glory in the final round of the 2011 season at Silverstone with a third place finish.

The race was won by Beechdean Motorsport’s Jonathan Adam and Andrew Howard in their Aston Marton DBRS9. A dozen drivers could have claimed the title in the exciting two hour finale.

The early stages of the race had been dominated by the Audi of Joe Osborne, which had been added to the United Autosports line-up to aid the championship challenge of Mike Guasch and Matt Bell.

Having qualified on the second row of the grid, Osborne moved into second place at Stowe on lap one and then took the lead from David Ashburn’s Trackspeed Porsche on lap two before streaking away at the head of the field.

Behind, Charles Bateman attempted to give chase in the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari, having worked his way up to second place with defending champion Ashburn running in third. Poleman Howard, meanwhile, had slipped back the order to fifth by the end of the second lap.

As the first half of the race played out, United Autosports’ decision to put Osborne out for the opening stint saw him increase his lead to the best part of half a minute from Bateman behind, while Howard – after a difficult opening few laps – fought his way back ahead of the Porsches of Gregor Fisken and Ashburn to go third.

Heading towards half-way and the start of the driver changes, Bateman and team-mate Michael Lyons found themselves as the men to beat in the championship, with Jim Geddie running down in eighth.

However, the race would be turned on its head when Paul Whight went off in his GT3B class Aston Martin DBSR9 exiting Stowe, with the car going backwards into the tyre wall on the inside of the circuit.

Just as the field started to cycle through the mandatory stops, the Safety Car was deployed to allow the Aston Martin to be recovered, with a number of cars electing to pit straight away – although the leading Audi wasn’t amongst them.

Osborne was however waved through by the Safety Car and then elected to pit, which allowed team-mate Zak Brown to resume in the lead.

With the Safety Car having not picked up the leading car, there was then a lengthy run under caution before the race resumed with Brown leading in the Audi from Michael Lyons in the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari and Godfrey Jones in the Preci-Spark Mercedes, which had made up places after a strong opening stint from twin brother David, who was handed the Sunoco Driver of the Day award for his efforts.

Jonny Adam was fourth ahead of Richard Westbrook’s Porsche, with Glynn Geddie sitting sixth. As it stood therefore on the restart, Lyons and Bateman were set to take the title by a single point.

Within a matter of laps of the restart, however, that all changed, as Adam, Westbrook and Geddie all got ahead of Jones’ Mercedes in quick succession – with fifth place set to hand the Geddies the championship crown.

Having been able to close on Lyons thanks to the Safety Car, Westbrook and Geddie then moved ahead of the double race winner while, out front, Adam took little time in reeling-in Brown’s Audi to move into the lead in his Aston Martin.

Lyons slipped behind both Tim Bridgman and Matt Griffin before his title hopes were ended by a drive-through penalty for exceeding the track limits. Griffin’s hopes of taking the crown for MTech also faded when he was given a stop-go penalty for a pit-stop infringement.

As Adam pulled away at the front of the field, Brown tried his best to defend second from Westbrook before conceding position to the Porsche, and Geddie eventually followed him through into third, albeit only after a huge battle with Brown’s Audi which saw the two cars almost banging wheels on more than one occasion.

With Westbrook and Geddie then fighting over second, Adam found himself unchallenged at the front of the field and he successfully brought the Beechdean Aston Martin home to the finish to take victory in what will be the car’s final race before retirement.

Behind the Aston Martin, Westbrook took the flag second despite struggling with tyre wear as the race wore on, which allowed Geddie to close in behind.

Although third would have been enough to secure the title, Geddie gave his all to try to find a way through but as the two cars exited Luffield for the final time, it was the #1 Trackspeed Porsche that crossed the line second, with Geddie still behind.

Title success for the Scottish pair came despite them failing to win a race all season, with the championship instead being the reward of a consistent approach over the course of the year.

Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman took fourth place for Trackspeed while the Jones brothers crossed the line fifth. Despite Osborne’s earlier heroics, Brown had to settle for sixth at the wheel of the #29 Audi, ahead of a disappointed Lyons and Bateman, who crossed the line seventh after their drive-through.

Of the other drivers who had help championship aspirations before the start, Griffin and Cameron took ninth while Hector Lester finished just outside the points in 11th. Mike Guasch and Matt Bell meanwhile ended the race 22nd after losing time in the pit repairing damage picked up in contact on track.

As was the case in the penultimate race of the season, at Donington Park a fortnight ago, the Lotus Sport UK team took GT4 victory thanks to the #48 Evora.

Having qualified on class pole, Glew led the class early on ahead of the Ginetta of Dan Denis, with the pair battling hard on track through the early stages before the Evora started to establish an advantage.

Glew kept the lead until handing the car over to team-mate Holmes, and he maintained the advantage to secure what would ultimately be a comfortable victory when the Ginetta was handed a drive-through penalty and slipped to third in class.

Despite a tough opening stint, the ABG KTM fought back to take the chequered flag in second place, which was more than enough to secure class championship honours for Clutton and Belshaw, who had gone into the weekend needing only to finish inside the top six.

Round 10 Race Results

GT3

1  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam  2h 01m 26.220s / 97.68mph

2  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Richard Westbrook  +22.738s

3  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +22.939s

4  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  +37.231s

5  Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones/Godfrey Jones  +43.170s

6  United Autosports Audi  Joe Osborne/Zak Brown (USA)  +56.941s

7  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  +1m 14.286s

8  MTECH Ferrari  Julien Draper/Matthew Draper  +1m 20.669s

9  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  +1m 23.848s

10  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  53 laps etc

GT4

1  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Chris Holmes/Phil Glew  52 laps

2  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  51 laps

3  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  51 laps

4  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  50 laps

5  Magic Ginetta  Stewart Linn/Chris Midmark (SWE)  50 laps

6  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  49 laps

7  Secure/Barwell Aston Martin  Peter Erceg/Tiff Needell  49 laps

Fastest lap Bateman 2m 06.162s / 104.45mph Est Rec





Late title push for Scuderia Vittoria as sensational enduro win sets up finale

26 09 2011

Lyons struggled with front end grip at Brands Hatch in a dramatic race

Lyons and Bateman are back in the title hunt after a stellar win at Donington

MICHAEL Lyons and Scuderia Vittoria teammate Charles Bateman stormed to a second race win of the season in a testing three-hour enduro at Donington Park to catapult them back into title contention.

The 20-year-old and Bateman took the GT500 by the scruff of the neck in the second half of the race and pulled out a lead over their closest rivals.

The fantastic result leaves Lyons with a shot at British GT glory in his debut season and the championship finale at Silverstone on October 9 is one not to be missed.

Lyons added: “The amazing thing is that this now leaves us firmly back in the championship chase with one round to go. After winning at Oulton Park earlier in the year which seems like such a long time ago, we now have a reasonable chance.

I will do my best to win at Silverstone the last race and just see what happens.”

Bateman started first on a damp and slippery surface and took the car from eighth to fourth before bringing it into the pits for Lyons to take over.

By this time, the circuit was bone dry and slicks were the only option. Lyons immediately set about setting fastest laps before the safety car was out again, this time for a beached Aston Martin.

As soon as the safety car came out Lyons pitted from an astonishing second place – in effect buying the team a free pit stop – a strategy that would pay big dividends at the chequered flag.

Bateman put the laps in and maintained the place and as the safety car came out for the third time, the team pitted on lap 62 to hand back over to Lyons for the last stint.

When Lyons rejoined the race he was in fifth place and a lap down, but the strategy was working well with a whole pit stop in hand to claw back the deficit to those in front.

By lap 85 Lyons was leading having passed cars on track and in the pits and the gap was 37 seconds. The biggest question at this point was whether a splash and dash for fuel would be needed.

Fortunately with some measured driving and fuel management they saw of the MTECH Ferrari 458 and ever present Trackspeed Porsche.

In the closing minutes though the #20 Ferrari spun off the circuit causing a safety car to come out one more time. This meant the lead was reduced to zero and when the safety car came back in, Lyons had to fight extremely hard to hold on to the flag.

Lyons said: “It was a mega race, those last twenty minutes just took forever, I never thought the race would finish. All the safety cars through the race both helped us and hindered us in equal amounts, so I suppose it just evened out really.

“The times in my last stint were great and against some really strong competition, so I’m really pleased with how it has all gone, this really is the race to win in British GT, and to beat the factory drivers too was very satisfying.

“The team have also done a great job all weekend, and the strategy and the way they spotted the opportunity to build a free pit stop was incredible, so I have to say thank you to the guys too.”





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)





Mortimer and Tate take maiden win as championship lead is turned on its head

5 09 2011

Mortimer and Tate celebrated their first 2011 win at Rockingham in a thrilling race

Mortimer and Tate celebrated their first 2011 win at Rockingham in a thrilling race

THE championship was turned on its head once again in race two at Rockingham as Alex Mortimer and Andrew Tate took their maiden 2011 win in the CRS Racing Ferrari 458.

The weather for race two was completely different to the rain-soaked Rockingham that met the drivers in race one but it still produced a result that sets the championship up for a grand stand finish.

The winning Ferrari pair had no match for the Trackspeed Porsche of Phil Keen in the opening stages but overtook them in the pit stops and never looked back as rear damage to the Porsche forced them into the pits for some repair work.

Ferrari rivals Glynn Geddie and Matt Griffin were flying but drive-through penalties for not obeying the track limits at the Tarzan hairpin dropped them both down into the midfield but their pace was such that they muscled their way back into contention and finished second and third respectively.

Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman continued their impressive season with a fourth place finish holding off the championship leading United Autosports Audi. A late overtaking attempt by Audi racer Mike Guasch dropped him back down to fifth from third as Lyons and Griffin’s teammate Duncan Cameron pounced on Guasch’s over-exuberance.

The result leaves Mike Guasch and Matt Bell now five points off the new title leaders, the Geddie father-son partnership, with Griffin and Cameron a further ten points back ensuring the Donington and Silverstone races will be enthralling.

The Trackspeed Porsche who had led the early laps finished in sixth with the #2 Trackspeed, who was due to start on pole, never making the starting grid with fatal engine failure in the early morning warm-up session.

Seventh was the powerful Mercedes, the Jones brothers failing to match their pace from the earlier race, and eighth was the popular Allan Simonsen and Hector Lester who struggled to match the pace of the newer cars in their older Ferrari 430.

Ninth was the sister United Autosports Audi of Jay Palmer and John Bintcliffe and race one winners Beechdean Motorsport rounded off the points.

Meanwhile Dan Denis and David McDonald secured a triumphant double in the GT4 class after Phil Glew had set the early pace after starting from class pole in the Lotus Evora, but was unable to pull out a significant lead over Marcus Clutton, who was hanging on doggedly in the ABG KTM X-Bow.

The Ginetta G50 of Josh Wakefield and Jake Rattenbury twice fell foul of the track limits ruling, which left them third at the end.

Race Two Results

GT3 & overall

1  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  1h 1m 02.070s

2  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +3.866s

3  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  +5.187s

4  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  +6.028s

5  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  +6.333s

6  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Phil Keen  +11.508s etc

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  41 laps

2  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  41 laps

3  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  41 laps

4  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  40 laps

5  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Phil Glew  26 laps

Fastest lap Mortimer 1m 21.433s / 85.76mph





Beechdean triumph in Rockingham rain as the championship front-runners stumble

4 09 2011

The Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin DBRS9

The Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin braved the rain at Rockingham to take the win (Pic: BritishGT)

BEECHDEAN Motorsport took a comprehensive victory in a rain-soaked first race at Rockingham finishing nearly a minute ahead of their closest rival.

The Aston Martin of Andrew Howard and Jonathan Adam took the win with the Preci-Spark Mercedes of David and Godfrey Jones in second and the consistent Trackspeed Porsche of David Ashburn and Phil Keen completing the podium.

After torrential rain in the morning warm-up session feelings in the paddock were mixed as to what set up to run and it was the  Aston Martin that made the most of the conditions with Howard and latterly Adam leading from the Mercedes of the Jones brothers.

The rain seemed to be clearing up with the track drying out as the start approached but with the race underway the rain started to fall again and those on the wrong tyres had to dive in to the pits to get their wet weather tyres on.

Championship leaders Matt Bell and Michael Guasch managed only tenth place and their title rivals, the Geddie father-son combo, failed to capitalise having to start the race from the pitlane and ended 12th. Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron, third in the title hunt, only managed 11th throwing the championship wide open.

The Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 of Jody Firth and Stefan Hodgetts produced a stunning display to finish fourth, only failing to make the podium after contact with the Trackspeed Porsche late on.

Sole GT3-B runners, John Dhillon and Aaron Scott finished fifth overall with Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen in the Rosso Verde Ferrari fifth, also setting the fastest lap, a 1;36;769.

Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman continued their debut season with a seventh place but struggled to match the leaders’ pace finishing a lap down. Adam Wilcox managed to put aside brake trouble and with Phil Burton brought the Ferrari 430 Scuderia home in eighth just ahead of the Ginetta G55 of Ian Stinton and Michael Simpson in ninth.

In GT4, Dan Denis and David McDonald followed up their victory at Spa with another class win finishing a lap ahead of the two Lotus’. Freddy Nordstrom and Leyton Clarke took second in class ahead of Lotus Sport UK teammates Ollie Jackson and Phil Glew and have closed the gap on the KTM X-Bow championship leaders. The open top racer of Peter Belshaw and Marcus Clutton came fifth and last in the GT4 class showing that this title race is not over either.

Race One Results

GT3 & overall

1  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam 1h 1m 35.928s / 68.02mph

2 Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Phil Keen +41.965

3 Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones/Godfrey Jones  +58.425s

4  Century Motorsport  Ginetta Jody Firth/Stefan Hodgetts +1:11.225s

5  MTECH Ferrari John Dhillon/Aaron Scott + 1:28.880s

6  Rosso Verde Ferrari Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen +1:36.514s

7  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman +1 lap

8  Predator CCTV Ferrari  Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox  +1 lap

9  Stark Racing Ginetta  Ian Stinton/Michael Simpson  +1 lap

10  United Autosports Audi  Michael Guasch/Matt Bell +1 lap etc

Fastest lap: Simonsen 1m 36.769s / 72.17mph

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  +1 lap

2  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  34 laps

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus Ollie Jackson/Phil Glew 34 laps etc





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





‘Promising’ debut season for youngster Lyons as he continues to dream of glory

25 08 2011

Scuderia Vittoria showed the 458 was quick with a win in Race Two © Jakob Ebrey

Michael Lyons showed the 458 was quick with a win in Race Two at Oulton © Jakob Ebrey

MICHAEL Lyons is optimistic about the remainder of the season and is looking to continue his ‘promising’ start in British GT racing.

His debut race weekend saw him pick up a win at Oulton Park and the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458, at the hands of Lyons and teammate Charles Bateman, has shown impressive pace throughout the season so far.

But Lyons, 21, believes there is more to come from the car especially now that some of the handling issues have hopefully been rectified in the summer break.

He said: “Promising, would be the way to put it in one word. I’ve had good speed and have already won races in only my first year in GTs as well as securing a couple of poles.

“But we haven’t gained the consistent big points hauls we should have in order to be where we should be in the points table right now.

“Fundamentally I’ve found it to be a very good car, it’s relatively easy to drive and with the raft of updates we’ve received it’s seems to be getting faster but it’s been an adjustment for me having never driven a race car with power steering and ABS.

“We have struggled with a handling in-balance which has slowed our progress in races recently but with some work over the summer I’m sure we can cure it.”

“I think it’s important for us to fight race by race, we were second in the championship a few races back but it seems like a long time ago and it just shows you how quickly things change.

“Therefore for us I think it’s important to just focus on getting the best results we can and see where that leaves us at the end of the year.”

Last time out at Spa, Lyons endured a troubled weekend with bad luck after bad luck preventing him adding to his win tally but despite his tender age he is mature enough to accept it is all part of the sport.

The Essex racer added: “This is hard one. I suppose you have to say it’s racing. Everyone has good and bad days. You have to be able look at everything, see the root cause of the problem and draw any positives that can be from the situation.

“Then try and make plans for how to ensure the same thing can’t ever happen again. At Spa for example I knew I had the pace as I put the car on championship class pole, then when the rear toe link broke while battling for the lead I had to accept that things like that just happen sometimes.

“As for Race Two there was nothing I could do, the car had problems before it was handed over to me so I knew all I was doing was a damage limitation exercise/

“I managed to get the car home in the points which was believe me an achievement in itself.”

And Lyons revealed he did not have any firm plans for 2012 in British GT and that he is focusing on the rest of 2011 and his other commitments to F5000 and historic F1 racing.

He did allow himself to dream of the future though, he concluded: “My aim is to become a factory driver and win the Le Mans 24 Hours.”

The next British GT race is at Rockingham on the weekend of September 3/4.