Triple Eight Racing had their strongest ever start to a Avon Tyres British GT Championship season last round at Oulton Park, and head into round 2 at Rockingham third place in the championship.
Both of their drivers, Joe Osborne and Lee Mowle, had two fantastic races in Cheshire, finishing third in race one, and fifth in race two in their #888 BMW Z4 GT3. However, Osborne feels that he would have easily finished second in the opening race if it weren’t for the GT4 traffic.
This weekend, the British GT championship moves to Rockingham, near Corby in Northamptonshire. The track is unique in Britain in that it is a stock-car style oval with an infield road course. Whilst the Oulton Park event consisted of two one-hour races, this weekend will see one endurance race at two hours long.
“Rockingham is my personal favourite track we visit for two reasons, mainly because I go really fast there, secondly because I really like Corby,” explains Osbourne. “We had a really good test there a fortnight ago and made some good changes, which worked well on the track; hopefully come qualifying we can be near the front. Lee’s pace is really strong at the moment and I am pretty optimistic that we are in the best shape possible for Rockingham. In the race we expect the other BMW teams to be quick and to join us in taking the fight to the series-leading Astons. The FF Corse Ferrari can’t be discounted either, following its victory at the track last year and it’s pace in the first round too.”
Previously, the circuit’s rough surface has been an issue for the tyres, and in a two-hour race, tyre management will be even more important. This year, there is a new tyre produced by title sponsors Avon Tyres, and so Triple Eight Racing had a test session at Rockingham a couple of weeks ago, in order to help them understand the tyre wear issue better.
“I prefer the two-hour races, it gives me more seat time and a chance to get stuck in to the race,” says Mowle. “Testing went very well recently, and we must now convert that into a good qualifying and race result. Previously Rockingham hasn’t been a kind circuit to me, but that has to change at some point. Joe and I are arguably stronger in the endurance races than we are in the sprints too, so hopefully we can get a good result this weekend.”
Rockingham is the first of five British GT rounds this year to be broadcast on live TV in the UK, on Motors TV. The race will start on Sunday May 3 at 13:25.