SV went into the last round of the Avon Tyres British GT weekend knowing that a positive finish would be crucial in securing our status as a front-running GT operation moving into 2013.
Our participation is the Ginetta GT5 Challenge had also taken a twist with two driver changes to be announced; David McDonald and Dan Denis were signed to hopefully bring some silverware in the final meeting.
In FP 1 and 2, we were consistently in the top three with Aaron Scott behind the wheel and things looked good for a front-row starting position in qualifying. The entire team were extremely impressed in the FP’s with John Dhillon’s pace – he and Aaron have been working hard on various techniques and it was really starting to show.
For one reason or another in quali, we didn’t quite hook that perfect lap up and we were certainly one of the cars affected by the red flag with minutes to go – Aaron was on his best lap at this point but unfortunately all it did was take more laps out of the brand new slick tyres… We would start 12 th but in the knowledge that we had the pace to be in the top few. John would start the race, handing over to Aaron…
In the GT5 Challenge, David had endured a nightmare start to his weekend – an engine change on the Friday meant that he hadn’t driven the car going into qualifying and managed a 12 th starting position. Dan had fared slightly better and put his car in 10 th. The first race was more like dodgems than racing, David had made a great start and was up into 7 th when he was hit from behind and forced out of the race. Dan brought his car home in 9 th and was not too far away from the leader’s pace which gave the team reason to be optimistic for race 2!
The McDonald car was too badly damaged to be fixed in time for race 2, which was a shame but David was happy as his deal to race in the Blancpain Endurance Series at Navarra with SV had just been concluded! Dan Denis then produced the drive of his life to take the SV Ginetta to 4 th place – a tremendous result and the team’s highest finish of the year!
The GT race proved for the neutral to be one of the best races I have ever seen, so close and great racing – a really good advert for GT racing.
John started the race is good spirits and for the first few laps he managed to hang on to the front battle, and his lap times were competitive. Unfortunately we started to slip further and further back as the session went on, and by the time that Aaron got into the car we were 1.5 laps down. John can take great heart from his pace in FP 1 and 2, and if he can build on his progress over the winter – they will be regular podium finishers in 2013 for sure.
Aaron then drove a fantastic stint to bring himself onto the back of the lead group albeit a lap down. As they were fighting for the Championship, it made no sense to get in the mix. However, in clear air he was the fastest car on track, and was made up with his own pace.
We can take great delight in having helped John improve so much throughout the year, in his first season of GT3 racing he has progressed every single time he’s been in the car. Practice makes perfect and if things work out, we’ll be pushing hard with Aaron to keep up the testing so John really hits the ground running in 2013. Aaron has been fantastic this year, and although sometimes he may not get the credit he deserves as the results haven’t been quite where he wanted them, he’s shown us and the GT paddock that he’s one of the fastest and most reliable drivers in GT racing.
Well done to Motorbase for lifting the Championship – fingers crossed this time next year we’ll be celebrating some silverware!
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Thanks for reading, remember it’s all about #winning! Be good ;)