BMW British GT squad Triple Eight Race Engineering head into this weekend’s British GT Round at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps aiming to claim another big points haul across the two 60-minute races.
Last time out at Snetterton Joe Osborne and Lee Mowle in the #88 BMW achieved their best result yet this season, with the duo taking third place in race one and fifth place in race two, with race one’s result the best yet for the pairing.
Looking ahead to Spa, however, Osborne, who tested at Spa earlier this week, said: “It’s mega fast, it’s like Donington Park on steroids. It’s a proper circuit that you have to respect. I think it’ll bite some drivers pretty hard. I can see a lot of red flags across the Friday sessions.”
Mowle, however, has never driven a GT3 car at Spa before, but is never the less looking forward to driving the track. “It’s a stunning circuit, Eau Rouge is immense. I did Spa last year in a (Ginetta) G40 with Optimum. It gave me an appreciation of where you need to be quick and if you can’t keep the momentum up on a 140 bhp G40, you’ve got no hope of making a GT3 quick.
“It’s a massive step up to go there in a GT3 car and I’m going to use a simulator next week to help me acclimatise. I think simulators are great to get a feel for a track and learn whether it’s a lift or a dab of the brakes for example; it’s very useful.”
The duo’s podium in race one was perhaps a bitter one for team mates Luke Hines and Derek Johnston, who were excluded from the race after Johnston made contact with AF Corse’s Pasin Lathouras. Race two made the weekend even worse, with Hines being ‘gored’ by the PGF Kinfaun-AMR of John Gaw, with the crash causing a red flag and a retirement for the duo, who now sit ninth in the standings, 66.5 points behind championship leaders Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam.
“At Snetterton we paid a double price really,” said Johnston. “I wasn’t happy. There’s so much effort you have to put into this championship, physically, mentally and financially, to win; it hurts to get a penalty that harsh. It’s been a difficult few weeks, but I’m determined to get on the podium at Spa and show what we can do.
“Can we win the championship? Mathematically we can, and it depends what happens to the other guys. If we’re top five in every race till the end of the year, we could do it. As far as I’m concerned I want podiums at every round, and if we do that, the championship will look after itself.”