Donington Park - 1st June 2013

After the miserable conditions that met the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge field at Oulton Park, hopes were high for a dry weekend at Round 3, Donington Park. While the Thursday test was damp, summer arrived just in time for Qualifying and the Race on Saturday.

For further information please contact:

Andrew Williamson
Customer Programmes Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 1295 273 355
Email: awilliamson@astonmartinracing.com


 

 

Race Report & Results

Qualifying got underway under sunny but windy conditions. Those who had perfected a wet setup on the Thursday test needed to quickly adjust to the dry track. Initially, the GT4 Challenge debutant, and BGC backed pairing of Charlie Mizon and Andy Bruce hit the front, clearly enjoying the grip offered by the dry track. However, the number 8 car was overhauled by the more experienced runners as qualifying progressed.

Just prior to the end of the session, Calum Lockie in the #27 put in a time of 1:12.209, which put himself and Kevin Norville clear by 1.568s. The fight from 2nd back was very close with Tim Eakin & Richard Taffinder taking second, ahead of Andrew Jarman & Olivier Bouche in 3rd just 0.161s back. Claire and Adrian Johnson took 4th place on the grid by just 0.038s from Tom Black & Chris Kemp in the Vantage Racing car. Oulton Park winners Mike Brown & Paul Cripps took 6th, only 2 tenths ahead of Charlie Mizon & Andy Bruce. Mark Walker & Paul Bartley set a time quick enough for 8th place, just in front of Bolaji Odunsi & Richard Hope, with Zak Mercer & David Tinn taking 10th.

The race got underway at 11.51am local time under a mostly cloudless sky. There was drama even before the lights went out as the #22 Stratton Motorsport car was unable to pull away from their 3rd place grid slot. The remainder of the field passed the stricken car, and even though the car did eventually get going, the issue meant that they had to start from the back of the grid. The field made it through Redgate, Craners and the Old Hairpin without further incident, however, that all changed at Schwantz corner. Kevin Norville in the pole-sitting #27 Track Club car carried tremendous speed through the fast left hander, however this pushed him wide on the exit. The car dipped the outside rear wheel on to the dirt, pitching the car in to a violent spin. Kevin was lucky to avoid the other cars around him and ended up hitting the barriers hard. Fortunately, while shaken, Kevin was not injured in the accident, and the car stood up very well to the impact.

After the opening lap exchanges had ceased, the #56 Hills Racing car had assumed the lead, however this has short lived as a high speed blow out on the left rear tyre left Tim Eakin limping back to pits. The safety car was deployed due to the debris on track, with the Johnson Racing #14 leading. The order behind Adrian Johnson was #24 Vantage Racing,#22 Stratton Motorsport, #8 Aston Martin Racing, #20 Track Club, #47 Stratton Motorsport, #7 MB Racing and #17 Stratton Motorsport.

The #56 car was able to re join following a quick wheel change and set about moving through the order. Their great run lasted until Redgate, following the Safety Car restart. The car suffered a massive lock up under braking for the first corner, spearing in to Bolaji, driving the #20 car, as well as collecting the #47 Stratton car in the process. While #47 was able to rej oin, #20 was too damaged at the rear to carry on and #56 suffered similarly terminal damage to their radiator.

Further incident was further up the road as Andrew Jarman in the #22 went for a gap inside Adrian Johnson in the #14 at Mcleans. The cars connected, launching the Adrian Johnson Racing car in to air as the tyres clashed. This put Adrian in to the gravel, but fortunately he was able to continue. It had certainly been an opening 20 laps that were full of incident. At this point the #8 Aston Martin Racing car was leading, having managed to avoid the accidents ahead of them.

 

Stratton Motorsport #22 held 2nd ahead of MB Racing in 3rd, #17 Stratton Motorsport 4th, Vantage Racing 5th, Adrian Johnson Racing 6th and #47 Stratton Motorsport in 7th. On lap 32 the #17 car suffered a spin at Craner Curves, but was able to continue.

On lap 35 the team manager of car #22 was summoned to Race Control. One of the marshals posts reported that #22 overtook under yellow flags at Coppice, meaning that the only course of action for the clerk of the course was to issue a drive through penalty. Fortunately for the Stratton Motorsport team, the lead that they had over the rest of the now depleted field was such that a drive through could be taken without any real impact to their race. By the time that the penalty had been served on lap 47, their lead was over 36s.

On lap 48, Claire Johnson in the #14 suffered a spin at McLeans and made contact with the tyre wall. While she was able re join, the car too badly damaged to continue in the race, a real shame after a strong weekend. As the race came to a close, the lead of the #22 Stratton car was never in doubt. However, the fight for 2nd was fierce. Tom Black was able to catch and pass the #7 MB Racing car to take 2nd place, but an over shoot and spin at the final chicane let the MB racing car back through to take , and hold 2nd position. At the flag is was the #22 Stratton Motorsport car with a comfortable win from #7 MB racing with #24 Vantage Racing in 3rd. The BGC pairing of Charlie & Andy just missed out on a podium place in 4th place with Mark Walker & Paul Bartley in 5th. Zak Mercer & David Tinn completed the GT4 finishers in 6th after a frantic day of racing.

The next round of the GT4 Challenge of Great Britain takes place at Brands Hatch on July 6 & 7. Anyone interested in hospitality passes to attend as a spectator/guest or competing in the race on an ‘arrive and drive’ basis with Stratton Motorsport should go to www.astonmartin.com/gt4challenge for further information.

Race Classification

Pos   

No.  

Team

Drivers

Laps  

Time

1

22

Stratton Motorsport

Olivier Bouche & Andrew Jarman

73

1:40:08.820

2

7

MB Racing

Mike Brown & Paul Cripps

72

1:40:14.793

3

24

Vantage Racing

Tom Black & Chris Kemp

72

1:40:24.669

4

8

Aston Martin Racing

Charlie Mizon & Andy Bruce

71

1:40:08.864

5

47

Stratton Motorsport

Paul Bartley & Mark Walker

68

1:40:50.514

6

17

Stratton Motorsport

Zak Mercer & David Tinn

67

1:41:18.556

DNF

14

Adrian Johnson Racing

Claire Johnson & Adrian Johnson

44

1:10:40.653

DNF

20

Track-Club.com

Paul Bartley & Mark Walker

9

16:11.573

DNF

56

Hills Racing

Richard Taffinder & Tim Eakin

8

18:58.035

DNF

27

Track-Club.com

Kevin Norville & Calum Lockie

0

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Image Gallery

For high resolution imagery please contact:

Andrew Williamson
Tel: +44 (0) 1295 273 355
Email: awilliamson@astonmartinracing.com