Marco Attard and Ecurie Ecosse Powered by Black Bull moved a step closer to this seasons British GT title after their BMW Z4 finished P4 at last weekend’s round at Brands Hatch.
Attard, who co-drives alongside Alexander Sims, looked to go into the weekend on the back foot, with championship rivals Oman Racing looking to have the better car in the form of their Aston Martin Vantage, with Michael Caine and Ahmed Al Harthy qualifying the Motorbase Performance ran car P5, whilst Attard and Sims could only manage P8 on the grid, with a 20 second success penalty during the duos pit stop for winning at Spa also set to hamper them.
At the start of the two hour race, however, Attard hit back, with the 53-year-old picking up two places from the off, one of which was the Beechdean Aston of championship rival Andrew Howard. With the Scotsman running in sixth all looked to be in control, with the position soon becoming P5 after an off for one of the Astons.
In an effort to maintain to position he put the hammer down, trying to breach his rivals in order to retain position after their penalty. This, however, was in vain, as two safety cars in quick succession cancelled out his efforts.
A lap latter and Attard pitted, handing over to Sims, with the car dropping down to P12 after the penalty, albeit with cars ahead still to stop. A few laps latter and Sims was on fire, with the factory BMW driver moving up to P7, passing Ryan Ratcliffe’s Triple 8 BMW and Alex MacDowall’s PGF Aston, with a host of other cars also making their mandatory pit stops.
Ten laps later he was on the tale of former BTCC ace Tom Onslow-Cole, who was himself stuck behind Matt Griffin’s AF Corse Ferrari, a car which he soon got stuck behind himself after passing Onslow-Cole. However, after many laps holding off, Griffin ran wide at Dingle Dell, making the move easy for Sims at the next corner.
The action then calmed down, with Sims taking the flag in P4, behind race winners Trackspeed and the two Oman Racing Aston Martin’s, a result that means Attard can take the title if he finishes in the top six at Donington Park, regardless of Caine’s and Al Harthy’s position in the race.
After the race Attard said: “The highs and lows of motor racing, eh?! After a tough time in Saturday’s qualifying session, Sunday could not have played out better. My stint was tough with all the GT4 traffic while trying to keep up with the leaders.
“Alexander drove an incredible race and again proved what a great asset he is to the team, who as usual did a fantastic job. It was the 100% effort from everyone that secured us this fourth place. A wonderful weekend and, needless to say, I’m really looking forward to Donington.”
“What an eventful weekend,” said Sims. “It was a classic example of why you should never give up. Our pace wasn’t quite as good as we wanted but my God we fought hard! Marco put in a strong first stint to bring us up the order and give me as good a chance as possible.
“The Safety Car coming out just before the pit window made things really difficult as we had the extra success penalty to serve at the pit-stop. I pushed as much as I could and had some great battles on my way to fourth by the end of the race.
“I’m so proud of everyone at Ecurie Ecosse and Barwell for their attitude throughout what could have been a difficult weekend. The bonus of enjoying some great racing with Alex MacDowall and Matt Griffin was the icing on the cake for me.”