Team director Danny Buxton looks back at a Silverstone weekend where Scuderia Vittoria fielded an attack in two series, with their Ferrari 458 GT3 in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship and a pair of Ginetta G40 in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge.
After the torrential weather that we experienced during the last GT weekend at Snetterton, we were all delighted to see the stunning weather at Silverstone. I had my shorts at the ready!
The first session on Saturday morning was the Free Practice 1 for our beautiful Ferrari 458 GT3. John Dhillon was driving first, recording some really competitive lap times but we also worked on developing his different techniques, such as braking. We were delighted with John’s first run but bad news hit when Aaron got into the car – the power steering pump had failed, meaning the end of our session.
It was to be a busy time for our GT mechanics, to change the pump and get the car out and ready in time for FP2…
Our Ginetta GT5 Challenge boys were ready for their qualifying session. It turned out to be a fifth-row lockout for our boys – not the ideal starting point but definitely something to work with. I was fairly confident of two solid top 6 finishes for our chargers.
Second practice for the Ferrari and trouble hit again, another steering related problem that was linked to the initial issue. We pride ourselves in the knowledge that our car’s have never failed during a race weekend, so to drop two sessions was a disaster. Unfortunately, as the issue was going to take a considerable time to fix, we had no choice but to withdraw from the qualifying session, meaning we would start the 3 hour race from the back of the grid.
The Ginetta Challenge drivers had a fairly successful weekend, Diego Guggiari was looking good for a podium finish in race 2 but made a mistake at Abbey and recovered to 11th, and Ben Constanduros, our star presenter and commentator in WTCC had a fantastic 3rd race – he was 2nd by the end of lap 1 and finished 4th on the road. However, a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits meant he was demoted to 5th, still his best ever finish. As the Ginetta Challenge reaches it’s last round at Donington at the end of the month, when I look back at how both drivers have developed and advanced through the year, we can all be very proud.
The Ferrari lined up at the back of the grid for the start of the 3 hour race after our practice and qualifying woes, not a good sight! However with John Dhillon driving initially, he made light work of steaming past the GT4 cars and set about catching the leading GT3 drivers. All was not going to go according to plan unfortunately, after about 20 minutes the 458 starting dropping oil, a pipe attached to the steering components had worked itself loose and it meant the end of our race. Our first DNF. We were all totally gutted, and really felt for John and Aaron. John had been driving so well all weekend, making big progress every time he gets in the car. For Aaron and SV, it would have been great to start from the back and show that he is the fastest driver in British GT at the moment.
However, onwards and upwards to Donington Park on 28/29/30 September. The team will work incredibly hard between now and then to ensure we go out and have a fantastic finish to the BGT season.
Before then we have the 6th round of the Air Asia Clio Cup Championship at Rockingham in a few weeks, catch up on the SV blog for a full round up of the weekend’s action.
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Thanks for reading, remember it’s all about #winning! Be good ;)