The Avon Tyres British GT Championship weekend at Spa-Francorchamps brought mixed results for the Trackspeed team.
Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen scored their second win of the season in the first of the two hour long races at the Belgian circuit, Keen taking the lead in the closing minutes. The move completed the work started by Minshaw in changing conditions on Saturday morning. The borderline conditions prompted most drivers, Minshaw included, to swap from wet to slick tyres before the start of the race.
Though he awaited the start of the race from the head of the cue in pitlane Minshaw still started the race further back that he had of done if he had remained on the wet tyres. However, as the track dried consistently through the race the stop for slicks proved to be the correct choice Minshaw steaming up the order to take second place behind Ahmad Al Harthy’s Aston Martin.
He closed down the gap to the leader during the latter part of his stint, but it was left to Keen to complete the task, chasing down and passing Michael Caine to take the victory in the #63 Porsche.
Their teammates in the #12 car endured another DNF after contact, Jody Firth pulling in with front end damage during the first half of the race.
Firth and co-driver Warren Hughes’ fortunes would swing for the better in the second race of the weekend, later on Saturday, Firth capping off a late charge to take fourth place in the final minutes of a race that was brought under the control of the safety car.
The second neutral period ended with only seven minutes of the remaining and with Firth in tenth place. Over the three laps of racing that finished off the weekend Firth leapt the orders, taking three places on the first lap back to green, another spot on the following before moving to fourth on the final lap, an opportunistic move in the final corners taking him past Triple Eight’s Lee Mowle and into fourth place for the duo’s first points of a troubled 2014 campaign.
“It was a fabulous scrap to the flag of which I thoroughly enjoyed!” said Firth. “Finishing fourth is the first time we have been able to show what we are capable of. Terrible bad luck so far has dented what could have been a promising season.”
In contrast the race one winner’s race came to an end shortly after the mid-race stop for Minshaw to take over behind the wheel as contact on track led to broken suspension.