Optimum Motorsport seize championship lead after Brands Hatch victory

by Nathan Hine
Flick Haigh & Jonny Adam; Optimum Motorsport Brands Hatch GP Podium

It was a weekend to remember for Optimum Motorsport in the 2018 British GT Championship at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit. After scoring pole position, Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam dominated the eighth round of the championship on their way to victory, which gave them the lead of the championship, heading to the season finale at Donington Park in just five weeks time.

The pace of the number #75 Aston Martin V12 Vantage was immediately obvious, which allowed Haigh and Adam to record their third pole position of the season.

Haigh made a fabulous start from pole position, establishing  a 5-second margin over the rest of the field by lap six. She was able to extend this to 17-seconds by lap 18, only for her hard work to be negated when the Safety Car was deployed soon after.

Another Safety Car followed, but Haigh regained the advantage at the front to ensure that Adam emerged second overall after the mandatory driver change. This was despite their success penalty following their third-place finish at the last round at Spa Francorchamps.

But Adam wasn’t satisfied with second position, and a small mistake from Jonny Cocker in the number #69 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 entry allowed him the opportunity to pounce to claim their second win of the season.

The win has moved them to the top of the championship standings on 139.5 points, some 17.5 points clear of the nearest rivals with just the two-hour race at Donington Park on 22-23 September remaining.

After the race, Team Principal of Optimum Motorsport, Shaun Goff, said: “It was a little surreal getting the first win so early on in the season and it just fantastic to get chalk up another, that’s now three podiums in a row and we find ourselves in a strong position to take the title fight right to the end. I’m also aware that leaders of the championship in previous years have not always left Donington with the result they wanted.
 
“Flick’s stint was critical in this result to ensure that we were in the race after the success penalty for the win after the driver change. The Safety Car certainly made life more difficult for us but on this occasion the team, drivers and everyone involved performed exceptionally well and we find ourselves at the top. If we repeat this level of performance, I’m confident that we will be in a championship winning position.”

Flick Haigh put in an exceptional performance, and after the race she added: “It’s a really good result. We’ve had our ups and downs as everyone does in the championship, but when it all comes together, there is no better day. I can’t thank the team and Jonny enough for all of the work they have put in. Everyone gives their maximum and we all got the reward for it.
 
“The pace was excellent from the car and I just kept on pushing – doing the times and doing it again – and then I looked in the mirror and I had a good gap. We then had the Safety Car, these things happen, you just have to deal with the situation at the time. I had time to think behind the Safety Car, reminding myself to just do the same as before to try and overcome the ten second success penalty and we did it.”

Meanwhile Jonny Adam was similarly happy, saying: “Flick only had four or five flying laps to pull the gap and that was so important to get ahead of the Beechdean AMR, so it was a great result and we’re leading the championship.
 
“I was running P2 after a great run from Flick and just trying to be sensible to ensure we got the points needed for the championship, but you always want to win. It wasn’t a risk though because as soon as he made that tiny error, that was enough for me to take the opportunity and go for it.”

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