Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman came within a second of taking a second win of the season in the second of the two Avon Tyres British GT Championship races at Spa-Francorchamps.
While it was Fisken who chased down Matt Griffin to finish just 0.888 seconds behind the Ferrari driver, the podium spot was carved out by Bridgman's tremendous opening stint in the 60 minute race. He had started from twelfth, after the team struggled with tyre wear in qualifying, but had battled to third when he handed the no.2 Trackspeed Porsche over to Fisken in the mid-race pitstop window.
Rejoining in fourth Fisken quickly took second place, and started to chip away at Griffin's seven second advantage at the front. Though he caught the Irishman in the closing lap around the 7km track.
“We knew the car had great pace,” said Bridgman, “and I was delighted to really get stuck in against a strong pro driver line-up for the first time this year. Gregor continued the good work after that to close down the Ferrari and with one more lap he might have got him. It's the sort of result that proves we've turned our season around. Hopefully there's more to come at Rockingham.”
Just as in qualifying, tyre wear had blunted the pair's race one effort, Bridgman coaxing the car to the finish on heavily worn tyres, losing two place in the final laps, but still finishing in seventh.
Fisken said; “we've learned from our mistake in qualifying and won't be going down that set-up route again. I can't speak highly enough of Tim who somehow got the car to the finish of race one on tyres which were practically down to the canvas. Without the problems a podium looked likely but in the circumstances seventh feels like a miracle!”
“It's been a good weekend even if on paper it looks like a mixed bag,” said team manager Keith Cheetham. “Ferrari are usually fast here which is why we went so aggressive in qualifying. On raw pace though the Porsche was good which was down to the drivers as much as anything else. Gregor drove well all weekend and was really close to nicking race two at the end, while Tim worked wonders to bring the car home at all in race one.”
The sister Porsche, crewed by David Ashburn and Richard Westbrook won the first race – becoming their first repeat winners of 2011, before retiring from the lead of race two.
Fisken and Bridgman now sit fifth in the championship points for the series' premier GT3 class, but now have to wait until September and the Rockingham roval to return to action.