Alasdair McCaig will start the final round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship just half a point off behind after fine second place from he and stand-in co-driver Ollie Hancock in the longest round of the season at Silverstone.
It was McCaig who started the Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4, but got off to a troubled start, losing time on the first lap, crossing the line 15th amongst the 30 car field gathered for the race. Though the rest of his hour long stint in the car, however, his only progress on the leaderboard was positive, breaking into the top ten when cars ahead started to make their first pitstops, and eventually climbing to third before he made his first stop, Ollie taking over the car.
The team’s tactics of running a long opening stint, helped by the BMW itself, paid off. Hancock returned to the track in eighth place before starting to make his own progress towards the front of the race, passing both Mike Simpson and David Jones before a penalty for RJN Motorsport’s Jann Mardenborough saw Hancock inherit a place in the top five.
Again the Barwell Motorsport run team opted for a longer stint than the teams that were emerging as rivals for the race win, Hancock running another near hour long stint that ended with the newly repainted – now white and blue – car running in the lead. As the different strategies employed by the teams started to unwind McCaig completed his driving for the day with a relatively short 20 minute stint before Hancock took the car back for the final run to flag.
Once the final mandatory pitstops of the race were made Hancock was 18 seconds off the lead held by the United Autosports McLaren, but over subsequent laps during the final half hour of the race the gap began to fall as Hancock, on his debut in a GT3 car, took as much as a second out of the lead.
As the gap began to narrow, Hancock had the gap down to just 12 seconds an overheating diff on the BMW began to send worrying smoke signals to Hancock McCaig and the rest of team.
Rather than risk second place in pursuit of an unlikely win as the time ebbed away Hancock backed off, to bring the car home 20 seconds behind the winners.