Fortec Motorsports left Rockingham with another top five finish to add to their collection in the just their second weekend in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship.
However, while the new driver combination of Jason Minshaw and Benji Hetherington came away celebrating fourth place in the two hour race at Rockingham Motor Speedway teammates Oli Webb and Danny Candia were forced out of the race after contact with a competitor after Webb has scythed through the field in the first half of the race.
Webb, part of Fortec’s team in the in Formula Renault 3.5, started the #15 Mercedes SLS from thirteenth but, making his GT racing debut, Webb raced up the order, briefly taking the lead before pitting before exceeding the maximum driving time allowed.
“It was a great race for the first half, we started thirteenth after a tyre issue in quail stopped us from setting the time we should have – so to be in eighth by the end of the first lap was really good,” said Webb. “After I had battled to get to fourth I just concentrated on staying out of trouble but continued to push hard for the next hour and got into first just before I went into the pits. It was a great experience in my first ever GT race to be leading on merit and then to hand over the car in that position. It was unfortunate that my team-mate was hit but nonetheless it was still a great race.”
While Webb made good progress in the first half of the race in contrast Minshaw in the #14 started with problems, narrowly avoiding getting caught up in an accident as a car spun across the track, and pitting under an early safety car period. However, those proved the only problem as Minshaw, then Hetherington made steady progress up the order as other teams were struck by issues of their own.
The 21-year-old finished the race in fifth, but was promoted a further place by a penalty for one of the teams further up the on-track order. The result put Hetherington alone in in fourth place in the championship standings with the points for fourth added to the podium he scored in the first race of the season. Minshaw, confirmed as his co-driver for the rest of the season sits in a share of sixth in the points.