Challenging race earns Griffin and Giddings key points

Monday, May 02, 2016

Wisbech racing driver Jake Giddings considered himself and JWB Motorsport team-mate Kieran Griffin fortunate to have scored points in the latest round of the British GT Championship season at Rockingham on Sunday, 1st May, after a bruising 120-minute race at the Northamptonshire venue.

Despite piloting a damaged Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4, which sustained a significant impact from a GT3 racer during the opening hour of round two when Griffin was at the wheel, 21-year-old Jake did manage to bring the No.47 car home to a ninth place finish in GT4. Post-race, though, two rival entries were excluded meaning the result became a season-best seventh position.

“It was hard work in the race”, he explained, “The car was bent after we got hit by a GT3 on the straight, Kieran got bumped into the wall and it knocked all the tracking out and all of the camber at the back. To go left was a nightmare, we had no grip at all and 90% of Rockingham is left handers!

“We just had to hold on really, we had no pace so it was just a case of doing the best we could. In the end we got some points and we managed to get the car to the finish – everything that could go wrong, though, pretty much did go wrong.”

Lapping fourth fastest in GT4 during the opening free practice session on Saturday and then sixth quickest in practice two, during qualifying later in the day the JWB duo ended up with the ninth best time overall on combined times.

In the ‘Am’ session, Griffin produced a time of 1m26.764 seconds (80.49mph) to end his run 13th fastest before Jake took over the car for the ‘Pro’ session where he was an excellent third quickest and the best of the Aston Martin drivers with a lap of 1m22.653 seconds (84.49mph) – helping to elevate the No.47 car onto the fifth row of the GT4 grid.

Griffin took the opening stint of Sunday afternoon’s race but the start didn’t work out as planned and he slipped to 13th position in GT4 on the first tour. Getting within touching distance of the Ginetta ahead by lap eight, the gap then fluctuated but Griffin was able to climb into the top 12 before being edged back again to 13th place.

Midway through his stint, though, the JWB driver was the victim of contact from one of the GT3 cars which resulted in damage and badly compromised performance. He remained on track until the opening of the pit-window at the 50-minute mark and after Jake got into the Aston, he joined the race with 66 minutes left on the clock.

Holding 12th position in GT4, Jake pushed on to try and regain as much ground as possible but it proved hard work with the car struggling in left-hand corners. Even so, he still produced some good lap times to keep the JWB car in the hunt for points.

Within 10 minutes of Jake being on track, the Safety Car was deployed due to an incident for the GT4 leader and racing resumed again with 50 minutes to go. Holding an improved 11th in class, he was able to break into the GT4 top 10 soon after but the Safety Car was then deployed once more, for just a single lap, with around 18 minutes to go.

In truth, 10th position looked to be all that would be possible for the No.47 Aston Martin and even with the JWB car receiving an unfortunate stop-go penalty, Jake was still able to bring the car home in ninth place – matching the round one result from Brands Hatch a fortnight ago. Moved up into seventh post-race, the duo ended the weekend an improved third in the Pro-Am championship.

Cheshire’s Oulton Park will be the venue for the third event of the British GT Championship season over Spring Bank Holiday weekend, 28th/29th/30th May. Before then, this coming weekend, Jake will be back in race action with a one-off appearance in the Renault UK Clio Cup at Thruxton in Hampshire with his father Neil’s Finesse Motorsport squad.

Source material - Jake Giddings
Photo credits - Jacob Ebrey

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