Ecurie Ecosse stormed to the top of the British GT Championship standings with a commanding victory for Marco Attard and Alexander Sims in Belgium.
The win, coming in the weekend’s second race after a solid fourth placed finish in Saturday’s opening race, has given Attard a 23.5 point lead over Beechdean AMR‘s Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam, with Sims sitting in second place despite missing the previous round due to racing in the Nurburgring 24 Hours.
The pair were the cream of the crop in Friday’s qualifying sessions, with Attard outqualifying his Am rivals by 0.2 seconds, while Sims claimed the team’s fifth pole position in eight attempts for the second race of the weekend.
Unfortunately typical Spa weather hampered the first of Saturday’s races for the Barwell Motorsport-run BMW Z4 GT3, heading out on wet tyres after drizzle falling in the pits half an hour before the flag dropped. However, as soon as the cars started on their formation lap, Attard was on the radio asking for slicks, resulting in his pole position going out the window and having to start from the pit lane.
Strong driving from both Attard and Sims meant their damage limitation exercise brought the car home in fourth, with Sims claiming an impressive seven positions in his stint.
Race two saw a much better result for the team, despite an early battle between Sims and the gruntier Nissan of Wolfgang Riep. Sims stayed behind Riep for the remainder of his stint, leaving Attard to chase down the less experienced Olympic gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy, who had taken over from Riep. The move had to wait until just three laps from the end thanks to a late Safety Car, but Attard proved his pace, beating Hoy home by 3.5 seconds.
“I couldn’t have been any happier after qualifying on pole for both races, but the manner in which we battled back to finish fourth and then take a well-deserved victory was fantastic,” said Attard, who also netted the Blancpain Gentleman Driver’s Trophy for the first time. “Establishing a healthy championship lead just topped off the weekend perfectly. As always I’d like to thank Barwell Motorsport and Alexander for their super efforts.”
“Once again both the team and drivers focused all of their energy into operating at the highest level,” added Barwell Motorsport Team Principal, Mark Lemmer. “That’s been reflected in the results at Spa. There’s not long to go now but rest assured we will continue to push until the very end.”