Learning curve continues for MacMillan Racing youngsters in BGT

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Drivers Matty Graham and Jack Mitchell have endured a trying start to their 2016 British GT campaign - but are hoping that the pair of races at Oulton Park will finally allow them to challenge for a podium finish.

Caught up in a massive crash in the season-opener at Brands Hatch, their Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3 was destroyed - fortunately without any injuries - leading to a race against time to make the grid two weeks later in Rockingham.

Specialists at Aston Martin Racing - together with the Macmillan Racing team technicians - achieved the near-impossible, rebuilding the car into a brand-new chassis in just six days, ensuring the team would make the Rockingham race.

Power-steering failure in the first hour at Rockingham stymied efforts to work the car into the podium spots. Instead, the boys had an upper-body workout of epic proportions.

Cue more super-human effort - this time from both drivers - to ensure the team claimed their first-ever points, finishing 6th - exhausted but happy.

Both of the first two races were run over a two-hour format but the Oulton Park weekend will be different - a pair of one-hour races on Bank Holiday Monday.

The different dynamic brings with it more new challenges for both drivers but it’s perhaps closer to the sprint-style races that have formed their careers to date.

“Coming from a single-seater background, the shorter races this weekend will be a little more familiar,” reckons Matty Graham. “The longer format races mean you have a lot more time at the wheel - so you can plan your move and wait for the right opportunity. At Oulton, you’ll have to be on it right from the moment the lights change.

“That should be good for us, as we’ve been fast right from the start, previously.”

“Oulton Park is a little like Brands Hatch,” adds Jack Mitchell, “an old-style circuit. And like Brands, it’s fast and pretty unforgiving. There’s not a lot of run-off area, which means mistakes are punished.

“Oulton Park is one of my favourite tracks. I’ve raced there for the past three years and I know things can get pretty tight, so pit-stops will be critical - you can win or lose a race in the pits.”

“It feels like forever since we’ve been in the car,” laughs Matty. “I just can’t wait to get back out there.”

“It’s been a tough start to the season, no question,” Team Principal David Macmillan says. “The boys have driven superbly, the team have worked miracles and we know we have the speed to be regular podium finishers and even race winners.

“Perhaps Lady Luck will pull her socks up a little, over the Bank Holiday Weekend and give us a little good fortune, for a change…”

Source material - MacMillan PR
Photo credits - Jacob Ebrey
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