Well… what a poor effort on my behalf! My last blog was back in ……. after I dominated the Silverstone round of the 2014 Ginetta GT4 Supercup taking maximum points and things were going perfectly!
They continued to go perfectly a few weeks later as I leapfrogged a former champion to the Ginetta GT4 Supercup Vice Champion honours after taking a triple podium at the final rounds at Brands Hatch! It was just what I needed, to end the year on a high as we entered the winter break to put something together for 2015!
However… that’s all easier said than done! After the season finished my two major sponsors, for reasons out of my control, had to end their support putting me back to square one funding wise. The winter was spent chasing that deficit and I’m pleased to say that I was able to fill the majority of it, however we had to win the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, anything else would have looked like a step back, therefore “the majority” wouldn’t have amounted to a championship challenge… so we took the decision to can the season before it started, as by scraping through we could have potentially done more damage than good to my reputation.
To even be still considering the Supercup by the time we got to the Ginetta Media day wouldn’t have been possible without the huge amount of commitment and support from Rob Boston and my Dad who worked so hard to help me put together a challenge in something this year.
Driving around Silverstone national at the Media Day was strange… as there were cars in front of me! Something I wasn’t use to after the race meeting as mentioned above… ;). But in all seriousness it was AWESOME to be back out in the car and be nice and fast!
So as I was saying, a full time drive was off the cards, so I thought I’d try my hand at the British University Karting Championship’s Graduate championship as if worse comes to worst I needed to do something competitive to get my fix! Starting 18th and 12th in the two heats I managed to win by four seconds and twelve seconds in the wet conditions on slicks! That put me on pole for the final and managed to convert that to another win by seven seconds and become the BUKC Grads champion 2015! A good day!
I managed to squeeze in a return to Silverstone as I was announced as a British Racing Drivers Club Rising Star again, however my visit was for different circumstances. I put myself forward to run for the BRDC team in the Silverstone Half Marathon, which I completed in 1:29:53 beating my PB, and target of 90mins! I also managed to beat fellow racing drivers BTCC star Sam Tordoff and Porsche Carrera Cup racer Tom Sharp and well as motorsport snapper Jakob Ebery to be first racing driver home!
So even though I wasn’t going to be racing I had still managed to get some track time in pre season! Over the winter I’ve been working with Rally driver convert Dan O’Brian in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge with Optimum Motorsport, and I’m going to be present in the TOCA paddock with Ginetta Junior driver Ben Green!
Both are new to circuit racing this year so I have been coaching them up to speed pre- season and will be supporting them through the year! Coaching is something that I love as it is an excuse to get to a race track and help others go fast and reach their potential! It’s definitely the next best thing to driving so probably why I love it so much! I’m looking forward to working with both drivers throughout the year!
As well as personal tuition I’ve been employed to work for Pure McLaren with their supercar experiences and famous Lotus dealer Bell & Colvill, run by BRDC members Bobby Bell and Martin Colvill, to coach on their track days at Goodwood! The most recent one took place this week which was a great day coaching in a number of Lotus models as well as giving passenger rides in a classic Elan +2 (to help me learn the circuit ready for the revival ;)) and in a big Morgan Plus 8!
However fear not as my coaching has managed to lead me to a competitive drive and currently I am the Endurance Racing Series Class 5 championship leader! With my connections with the Kartforce team and Newbridge Motorsport I was drafted in to help the Kartforce guys graduate to TeamBRIT (British Racing Injured Troops) and make their car racing debut! TeamBRIT is made up of four injured servicemen who’s goals are to race at the Le Mans 24hr! My connections started with them after I won the Henry Surtees Karting event and then coached them in karts in summer last year.
So to the race…. As the car was only recently delivered, the hand controls weren’t fitted for two of the four members, so it was a step into the unknown to make sure everything worked. During practice I was able to swiftly set up the car for the lads as to give them the maximum track time possible before qualifying and the race. Before qualifying I was able to sit down with Martyn and Danny to look through their onboard footage to guide them from the transition from karts to cars I then went onto qualify the car P2 in class before handing back over to the lads to again maximise their track time before the race.
I started the race and was having a great scrap for P2 when an oil pressure warning light came on. I immediately pitted to be safe, and it was confirmed that it was only brief oil starvation that caused the warning. So I then set about making back some of the time lost due to the unscheduled stop. I bought the car back in P3 and handed over to Martyn.
Martyn drove a solid stint and bought the car back in P2 before handing over to the rapid Danny who consistently lapped fast and bought the car back in P1! Martyn took the final stint and bought the car home to win our class and finish P6 overall! We were all over the moon! It was a dream result for Team BRIT’s debut race! I will go onto help the guys get faster by coaching them through this year so watch this space!
So now I hear you ask… what are you planning for the rest of the year?! Well… I will mostly be budget hunting as per but plan to do some GT3 testing in this half of the year before putting together some GT3 racing towards the end of the year ready for a full time GT3 drive in 2016. While I am happy to drive anything I am offered in the meantime so please get in contact if need be! I am also keen to explore the classic racing scene and have some options lined up there.
These are all plans and things only come together when you are sat on grid ready to race! So watch this space!
David “Spending too much time in the passenger seat” Pittard
PS … I won’t leave the blog this long next time!