Nicholas Mee Racing: Victory at Brands Hatch

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Following Dan de Zille’s pole position and emphatic victory in round 8 of the 2011 Aston Martin GT4 Challenge held on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on Saturday, Nicholas Mee Racing is now tied on points at the top of the Challenge table before the final round at Dijon.

Friday’s practice session was held in very wet conditions and de Zille, NMR’s sole driver for this race, and the team chose not to risk too much with better weather forecast for the following day’s qualifying and race.

Dan de Zille was an early pacesetter in Saturday’s qualifying session, but a number of other competitors then eclipsed his lap time as track conditions steadily improved. With just three minutes of the session remaining, de Zille returned to the circuit and, under some pressure, put in a stunning lap of 49.89 secs to take pole position from the Generation AMR pairing of Richard Abra and Mark Poole. This proved to be the only sub 50-second GT4 lap of the weekend.

The biggest Challenge crowd of the year so far were then treated to a thrilling display as de Zille started from pole and maintained his lead before being passed by Abra on lap 3. However, de Zille stuck to his task and maintained close contact with the leading car while building up a comfortable margin over Tom Black and Alan Bonner’s Vantage Racing car in third.

During the mandatory pit stop window Abra handed over to Poole, who was forced to retire with a break failure at Druids on his first lap and was unable to rejoin the race. By this time de Zille had built up enough of a lead that he was able to refuel, take on fresh rubber and rejoin the race ahead of series leader Vantage Racing now in second.

With both car and driver performing faultlessly, De Zille maintained his strong pace to reach the chequered flag two laps ahead of Black/Bonner, and so NMR and Vantage Racing are now tied on 52 points for the series lead.

After the race de Zille commented, “It was an amazing weekend but not quite as easy as it looked! As expected, it was a hard race physically, but as it marks my first ever solo victory it was probably the most satisfying of my career.”

NMR’s Team Principal Nicholas Mee added, “Hearty congratulations to Dan who drove superbly throughout, with congratulations and thanks also to Team Manager Giles Dawson and the industrious NMR pit crew. With points now level for overall victory in this year’s Challenge, we are anticipating an exciting finale at Dijon on 10-11th September.”
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