Round 1 - Silverstone
It was a very wet session with all drivers conscious of making sure they completed their mandatory three laps in the thirty minutes allocated. Vantage racing’s Tom Black in the number 24 machine set the early pace in the very difficult conditions. As the tyres came up to temperature and driver confidence increased the times began to fall seeing a number of different changes for the top spot but as the cars started to pit for driver changes it was still Tom Black with the provisional pole position. Pierre Mantello handed over the driving duties to Olivier Bouche in the number 22 car who instantly made an impression setting some fantastic lap times and taking the provisional pole.
Aston Martin chairman David Richards driving the Aston Martin Racing number 1 machine handed over to Phil Dryburgh who instantly showed his pace moving the car into second position. Paul Bartley in the Stratton Motors number 47 entry was putting in some impressive times and was fighting for the front row as well. Bouche then pitted to put on some new wet tyres just to make sure he held onto his pole position. Stuart Hall then put a solid lap together to take second place in the Stratton Motors number 91 car, which he shares with Chris Kemp. Third was the Aston Martin Racing entry of David Richards and Phil Dryburgh. Olivier Bouche and Pierre Mantello took a fantastic pole position and their first of the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Great Britain.
Race Report Part 1
Olivier Bouche started the race in the Stratton Motors with Immun`ge and Osato number 22 car, he lead the pack round on the green flag lap, doing a fantastic job in holding perfect pace as the 18 cars approached the line, the lights went out and Olivier led the field into turn one. Second was Paul Bartley in the Stratton Motors number 47 car; third was Chris Kemp in the Stratton Motors number 91 machine and the Aston Martin Racing number 1 entry of Phil Dryburgh was fourth. Phil managed to pass Chris Kemp on the second lap moving up to third, then Bolaji Odunsi in the Track-Club.com number 20 machine also managed to find a way passed the 91 car later on the same lap, moving Chris Kemp in the 91 car down to fifth. Phil Dryburgh continued his very fast race pace and managed to pass Paul Bartley on lap 3 moving car number 1 up to second position, he now set about trying to catch Olivier Bouche who had already created a very impressive 11 second lead over the rest of the pack.
The first of the 2 mandatory stops in this race was taken by Chris Kemp in car number 91 on lap 14, at this stage Olivier Bouche in car 22 had a 23 second lead over Phil Dryburgh in car number 1 and Paul Bartley in car 47 was in third position.
Kenneth Greenberg in the Stratton Motors number 62 entry was the next to pit followed by Sid Sadique in the number 88 machine.
On Lap 18 the leader pitted for the first of their mandatory pit stops handing the lead to Phil Dryburgh, in the Aston Martin Racing number 1 car. Next to pit was Paul Bartley in car 47 moving Bolaji Odunsi in car 20 up to second position and Tom Black in the Vantage Racing number 24 car up to third, Tom had fought his way through the field putting together some fantastic laps.
The 88 Racing entry of Sid Sadique had to pit again for a tyre change on lap 22 after running wide on the exit curbs at Luffield and having heavy contact with Olivier Bouche in car number 22. Olivier showed his excellent car control and managed to save his car from having a big accident. On lap 30 Chris Kemp in car 91 pitted for the first of the second round of pit stops handing over the driving duties to Stuart Hall.. Phil Dryburgh was still leading in car number 1 with Tom Black in car 24 now in second, third was the Mardis Gras number 5 car with Desmond Smail at the wheel.
Next to pit for a driver change was Paul Bartley in car 47 handing over to Stuart Patterson. Two laps later Sid Sadique pitted to hand over to Paul Whight who would take the number 88 car to the finish. Other cars then pitted for their driver changes including car 7 the MB Racing entry, with Paul Cripps handing over to Mike Brown and car number 5 with Desmond Smail handing over to Julian Reddyhough. Adrian Johnson also pitted in car 14 but as he was driving on his own he carried on with the driving duties.
On lap 41 Phil Dryburgh pitted from the lead in car number 1 and then on the very next lap pitted again handing over to David Richards completing both of the teams mandatory pit stops for this race. Tom Black, who was driving on his own for this race, completed his second mandatory pit stop in car number 24, he was followed on the next lap by Olivier Bouche the then leader pitting to hand over to Pierre Mantello in the number 22 car. The race was now starting to take shape as most of the pit stops had now been completed leaving Pierre Mantello in car 22 leading with David Richards in car number 1 second and Tom Black in car 24 third. The last to pit for their driver change was the Ultimate Speed number 56 entry with Tim Eakin handing over to Richard Taffinder.
Race Report Part 2
On lap 51 Tom Black found a way passed the Aston Martin Racing entry of David Richards moving his Vantage Racing machine up to second, he then set about trying to catch Pierre Mantello, but with a lead of 43 seconds it was going to be hard for Tom to make up that much time with only about 20 minutes of the race left to run. Stuart Hall in car 91 the Stratton Motors entry was putting together some fantastic lap times and on lap 59 set the fastest lap of the race. Stuart was fighting his way through the field and had now got back up to seventh place.
With ten laps to go Pierre Mantello was leading in car 22, Tom Black was second in car 24 and was still reducing the gap to the leader, but there just wasn’t going to be enough time left for Tom to catch him. In third position was David Richards in car number 1, but on lap 65 David had a spin at Brooklands, in the now very greasy conditions, meaning that Stuart Patterson in car 47 inherited third place.
The checkered flag came out on lap 75 for Pierre Mantello and Olivier Bouche, in the Stratton Motors with Immun`age and Osato number 22 car, to claim an amazing victory. Tom Black in the Vantage Racing number 24 car had managed to race from tenth on the grid all the way up to second with an absolutely stunning drive. Third completing the podium spots with a very professional drive were the Stratton Motors number 47 entry of Paul Bartley, Stuart Patterson and Mark Walker. Fourth was the Aston Martin Racing entry of David Richards and Phil Dryburgh who had both driven brilliantly and fifth was the hard charging number 91 Stratton Motors entry of Chris Kemp and Stuart Hall.
It had been a very exciting race with all cars finishing in very difficult conditions, Pierre and Olivier both drove faultlessly to claim their first victory in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Great Britain. The series now moves on to Oulton Park on the 12th May for another fantastic race in the beautiful Cheshire countryside.
- 22 Pierre Mantello/Olivier Bouche - Stratton Motors with Immun`age Osato - 75 Laps
- 24 Tom Black - Vantage racing - 75 Laps
- 47 Stuart Patterson/Paul Bartley/Mark Walker - Stratton Motorsport - 75 Laps
- 1 David Richards/Phil Dryburgh - Aston Martin Racing - 75 Laps
- 91 Chris Kemp/Stuart Hall - Stratton Motors - 74 Laps
- 62 Kenneth Greenberg/Andreas Kramer - Stratton Motors - 74 Laps
- 56 Richard Taffinder/Tim Eakin - Ultimate Speed - 73 Laps
- 20 Bolaji Odunsi - TrackClub.com - 73 laps
- 7 Mike Brown/Paul Cripps - MB Racing - 73 Laps
- 14 Adrian Johnson - Adrian Johnson Racing - 73 Laps
- 5 Desmond Smail/Julian Reddyhough - Mardi Gras - 71 Laps
- 88 Sid Sadique/Paul Whight - 88 Racing - 71 Laps