Generation Bentley Racing were forced to play the role of spectators for the weekend’s Avon Tyres British GT Championship race at Silverstone after a fire damaged their Continental GT3 in practice.
Steve Tandy was at the wheel of the #2 entry in the closing stages of Saturday’s second practice session when he radioed back to the team reporting smoke in the cockpit, before pulling off the track in the newer Arena section of the track and triggering the on-board fire extinguisher before exiting the car.
Though Tandy’s swift actions as well as those of the track marshals limited the damage it was enough to bring their weekend’s racing to an end before it had really begun.
“To say we are disappointed is an understatement,” said Tandy’s co-driver James Appleby. “Unfortunately due to the extent of the damage to the car we were unable to compete in the race. While looking at the lap times we achieved in FP1, it’s a great shame we didn’t get to show the cars full potential.”
“We’re not really sure what caused the fire at the moment, so we are trying to establish what the reason was and to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Special thanks to the marshals at Silverstone Circuit who were at the scene very quickly and had the fire extinguished before it really got a chance to take hold. We are incredibly lucky that it wasn’t any worse.”
The team’s disappointment was compounded as up to their point of exit they had shown strong pace, Appleby setting the fifth fastest time of the first practice session as the team continued their progress after a strong showing the week previous as part of the Blancpain Endurance Series grid.
Tandy and Appleby will hope for better luck at Snetterton on June 21-22 when they and the rest of the British GT field have a pair of 60 minutes races on the schedule.