Hard work banishes their demons in British GT

Thursday, April 09, 2015

For one new driver pairing, last weekend's round of the 2015 British GT Championship was their first competitive step into the unknown and far beyond the comfort zone that both had been used to.  Madam Luck had also not been exactly too forthcoming with her magical touch when it came to their testing exploits up until now either.

So when the first free practice session arrived both Terry Langley and Mike Hart of Quantamatic Racing must have wondered whether or not this was to be their weekend either.

The trouble is things didn't exactly go according to plan for them early on in this event either when their best time was struck off for supposedly cutting the chicane and in the second free practice session Hart wasn't able to complete a single lap because of a red flag incident cutting the session short. Hardly the best of starts!

Come the two part qualifying process later on Saturday Langley felt baulked by the 15 other GT4's and was only able to clock a time for P7 and 2.1 seconds behind the leading Lotus. Hart then went on to set a similar gap time for a P10 starting position for Race 2 a few minutes later having had the same issues on such a tight circuit as Oulton Park is.

All were apparently struggling to get to the bottom of the performance characteristics of the new Avon spec tyres and in the cool, damp conditions at Oulton for Race 1 this was no exception. "Understeer followed by exit oversteer was an early issue" reported Langley "and with that it was hard to make any impression against those around you" but with consistency of performance later in the life of the tyre come the opportunities to pick off one or two places.

Sometimes you can make your own luck and with a swift call from Team Parker Racing during the second Safety Car period  the team managed to get the car in and out again before the Safety Car came past again gaining them precious time.

With Hart now at the wheel more positions were picked off leaving the car (once the then leading GT4 had been given a drive-through penalty) finding itself P2 in class but having a determined battle with the #407 Beechdean GT4 of Jamie Chadwick for that position. Into the final laps they went but Hart was to ultimately loose out to the younger driver leaving the #71 car in P3 in their first ever GT race.
Was that in the team script??

The race green flag laps aren't always notable for incident but for the #71 car it was. A software glitch with the gearbox left Hart fumbling for gears that didn't seem to be there so a necessary system reset forced Hart to stop on track before thankfully he got going again but that would pub him down to plumb last on the grid.

Like a red rag offered to a bull this incident lead to some more very determined driving from Hart who ultimately passed the car over at the pit stop having gained seven positions on track. With Langley now at the wheel it was 'game on' to catch and pass both the Academy and JWB Aston Martin GT4's before finally their team sister car - the Twisted Parker Racing Ginetta.

Crossing the line in 6th was later made to feel much better when the #407 Beechdean was later excluded elevating the #71 Quantamatic car to P5 in class.

These results have left the drivers third in the GT4 Drivers championship standings and first in the GT4 Silver Cup. That has all been down to dogged determination and some great team work and support around them which the drivers publicly recognise.

Hopefully, the results from Monday's races will finally put the run of bad karma behind them and allow them to race this highly competitive GT4 field on a level track!

Game on ……………..

Photo Credits - Jacob Ebrey
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes