The driving combination of Stephen Jelley, Benji Hetherington and Ollie Hancock gave Fortec Motorsports a creditable sixteenth place finish in their first venture into the 60 car Blancpain Endurance Series field.
Jelley started the team’s Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 from 21st and fell back on a combative first lap, losing out as others pushed and fought in a packed midfield around the Silverstone Grand Prix track. The opening lap was further complicated at Stowe when another competitor spun at Stowe in front of Jelley, forcing him into evasive action costing further positions.
“I had an unfortunate start but managed to pick my way through the field again and gain some places back,” explained Jelley. “The car was great and really well prepared – the team have done a great job working on the car and I think Fortec have a great future in GT racing.”
After the opening lap the rest of the three hour race became a fight back up the order. Through the remainder of Jelley’s opening stint then Hetherington’s turn through the middle portion of the race the team picked up places with Hancock taking over for the final third of the race in the midst of a battle for 14th, 15th and 16th overall. Though he lost out in terms of that fight – against more experienced GT drivers and teams – Hancock held on to 16th overall and 12th in class.
“I wasn’t getting on with the understeer but I soon found a set-up on the car which worked well for me and allowed me to find some time and gain pace,” said Hancock. “I’m massively happy with my performance, this is my third GT race and it was a lot of fun.”