Tony Gilham was relatively happy with the first day at the office as practice for Round 1 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB got under way at the rainy Hampshire circuit of Thruxton.
With the first session red flagged in the opening stages due to standing water making the track too dangerous for the 420bhp Porsche’s (which will reach speeds of up to 170mph in dry conditions) he and the other drivers headed to the Porsche hospitality before getting the call to get back out on track, ” We then went to the Porsche hospitality area for lunch and before we had finished our meal, we were told that we were due back out on track in 5 minutes – the lounge emptied in seconds!” he said.
Heading out on track with a full wet setup Gilham quickly settled in to his rhythm completing a total of 20 laps, setting his fastest time of 1:25.158 on the 17th lap, resulting in finishing the session in 6th overall, just behind Pro-Am 1 rival Ollie Jackson.
With the session complete he headed back to the paddock, “I sat down with my mechanics for a team de-brief and discussion to try to find further improvements.” says Gilham, “This included looking at data downloads to see where time could be made up.”
Moving on to the second session the track was deemed 90% dry, things looked promising for a good second session, unfortunately as the cars went out on track the rain started to fall lightly, by the 3rd lap the conditions were getting worse.
“The track was greasy as the rain got heavier.” admitted Gilham, “We were on an intermediate set up for these conditions, but after another torrent of rain, I called it a day after just 3 laps, finishing 5th overall and 2nd in my classification.”