David Pittard secured another visit to the podium during the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge’s latest stop at Spa-Francorchamps, the youngster exiting the iconic Belgian venue with a smile on his face as he maintains a top-three spot in the title chase.
“Going to Spa on limited testing was always going to be a challenge,” reflected Pittard. “The track is very fast, with quick sweeping corners requiring you to carry a lot of momentum. The elevation changes as it follows the valley is just fantastic – It’s really very special to race at this track.”
The SV21 driver avoided being involved in a chaotic start to race one, when Luke Davenport sent the field scattering , Pittard dodging the melee before unfortunately retiring following an excursion at the circuit’s daunting Eau Rouge corner.
“The plan for race 1 was to sit back for the first half, wait for it to kick off, then make my moves towards the 2nd half of the race,” reflected Pittard. “I was losing all my lap time through Eau Rouge, so looked to try and recover some time there. Disappointingly, I made a mistake which I couldn’t catch and had a very fast off over the crest of the corner.
“Race two started well, I got a good start and immediately there was a very close battle going on for 2nd place with 5 cars involved,” added Pittard. “I was moving up, when I was caught out by Davenport when he locked up all 4 wheels trying to avoid contact, we touched which damaged the nose of the car, causing it to raise up on the straights.”
The front-end damage seriously impaired the SV21 driver’s vision for the remainder of the race, leaving it doubly difficult to defend from the swarming pack behind him, Pittard eventually hanging on to fifth place at the flag.
“I fought tooth and nail to just hold onto 5th, which I did by only 1 hundredth of a second at the line! I was pleased to have held on in the bad situation, but disappointed that it happened in the first place.”
The third and final race was where Pittard really showed his colours, and his reward was a third place finish and the opportunity to stand on the podium at the famous Belgian circuit, explaining: “It was vitally important that we had a good result in race three, both for my title challenge and for the team that worked so hard for me over the weekend.
“I got a good start off the line and slotted into 4th up Eau Rouge before making a move into 3rd. I quickly caught and passed Basey-Fisher for 2nd, but was then passed by a charging Giddings. I managed to break away from 4th place but didn’t quite have the pace to catch the leaders. I brought the car home 3rd for a great result which was topped off by being able to stand on the podium at such an iconic track.”
The weekend leaves Pittard now lying third in the championship standings, 59 points behind current leader Bailey as the series next heads to Brands Hatch’s GP circuit on August 9-10, with Pittard still not counting himself out of contention as he bids for more victories to round out the season.
“The rest of the season will be tough, but I won’t give up on taking as many race wins for the Nationwide Driver Supply Ginetta as possible.”