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Jun 03, 2014 - 04:50 PM
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Difficult Race For Trackspeed At Silverstone - British GT
Posted by: newsla on Jun 03, 2014 - 04:47 PM
Sports Cars
Difficult Race For Trackspeed At Silverstone - British GT


Trackspeed Racing continued to experience mixed results, this time at the third round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Silverstone Circuit, the ‘Home of British Motorsport’, last weekend.

 

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Proving once more that the team has the know-how to be a Championship contender, it was still lacking the raw power needed to show the true potential of both Porsche entries. A strong start for #12 car of Jody Firth and Warren Hughes saw them qualifying P6 and finishing the 3-hour race P12. It was more disappointment for the #33 car of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen who, after a solid performance all weekend, were forced to retire from an almost certain fifth place finish due to mechanical failure.

Qualifying: P6 [Aggregated time]
Race: P12

After ending FP1 in P20 with a time of 2:06.074, #12 car of Firth and Hughes were hampered by a series of red and yellow flags during FP2. The duo finished P15 with a time of 2:05.875.

In Qualifying, a crowded pro field and a distinct lack of power, meant that Hughes was only able to place #12 in P19 on the time sheet with a lap of 2:03.930 (+2.572). Firth, with an ever increasing show of form, took the Trackspeed Porsche up to P11 before setting the car’s fastest lap with a blistering last sector in the final minutes of the session, propelling the pairing up to P6 with a combined time of 4:07.943 (+2.788).

Qualifying: P13 [Aggregated time]
Race: DNF

During FP1 the #33 car of Minshaw and Keen managed to stay at the top end of the timing sheets for most of the session, before being pushed back to P15 with a best time of 2:05.154. A series of red and yellow flags during FP2 prevented both drivers from improving on their times, ending the session P19 with a time of 2:07.317.
Keen was first behind the wheel for qualifying on Saturday afternoon. He set a fastest lap of 2:02.758 (+1.400) to place #33 in P11 before Minshaw took over the driving duties. At the start of the second session he was able to push up to P8 and the #33 car ended with a combined time of 4:08.713 (+3.558).

RACE

With a chain of unfortunate race results behind them, Firth was hoping for a clean start to the race on Sunday afternoon. Firth kept his head, and out of trouble, to move up into P5 at the end of lap one of the three hour enduro.

A battle with the #23 Audi resulted in Firth taking P4, before closing in on Marco Attard #79 to challenge for P3. During the lengthy safety car period the team opted to keep Firth out instead of pitting, resulting in the #12 leading the race.

After the first pit stop and driver change, Hughes found himself down in P16 but over the course of his stint managed to fight his way up to P8. Pit stops for other cars on the grid meant he was running in P5 at the halfway stage.

With just over an hour to go, Firth took over for his final stint. Now in P13, he managed to set the fastest lap time for the #12 car; 2:07.361. As the clock ticked down from 35 minutes, Hughes took over for the last time. He managed to move up to P12, but was unable to catch #888 of Joe Osbourne in front.

RACE

Minshaw was the first driver for the #33 car, before a 10-minutes safety car period. At the first, quick driver change Keen took to the track in P5 and was able to make a solid challenge stick to claim P4.

At half race distance, a lively three-way battle between Keen, Alexander Sims #79 and Jonny Adam #1 ensued before the second round of pit stops commenced. Minshaw exited the pit lane in P14, but a superb charge through the field saw him make his way up to P6 before Keen took over for the closing stint.

Now in P5, and with 35 minutes remaining, damage to the rear left wheel of the #33 car forced Keen to retire out on track, prematurely ending an otherwise superb race.


Phil Keen #33:
“I think it went alright. We’re still a long way away from where we need to be pace-wise, but there's not a lot we can do about it really. Unfortunately we had a breakage towards the end so we couldn’t finish. Otherwise I think we would have finished 5th.”

Jody Firth #12:
“I am disappointed in the overall result, but I am extremely pleased in my personal performance. Warren and I did two perfect stints and so it just shows you how uncompetitive the Porsche is. I think we were 3.3 seconds slower than the fastest lap and, without blowing either of our trumpets, we’re not three seconds slower than anybody! So it needs to be looked at hard, but at least the result gives us an argument point with the SRO. The team on our car has been faultless, all weekend, hats off to them and let’s see where we go from here.”

Warren Hughes #12:
“It was difficult. It’s the same story; we just feel like we’ve got nothing to fight with in terms of raw pace. The qualifying, obviously Jody’s pace brings us into play, but the inherent speed of the car for us just isn’t there. 75kg is a big penalty to have and the base car even without the additional weight penalty is not strong enough. Jon And Phil, with no weight penalty, qualified 1.4 seconds off pole so that’s an indication of how far off the car is. The competition has just taken a massive leap forward. Phil, in the Porsche, qualified near the top last year; this time he’s equaled the time he did last year but everyone else has just taken a huge step forward, so I think our balance of performance is well out of sync.”

Keith Cheetham - Team Manager
"With the Balance of Performance being what it is at the moment, the cars just haven’t got the pace of the BMW or Aston Martin. Even with all four drivers performing fantastically, we would have been lucky to get a 5th place this weekend."

Whilst the results were mixed, both cars were able to prove, yet again, that they have pace, and should be challenging for top positions. However, issues are still arising from the balance of performance as the drivers continue to struggle with the restrictions placed upon the car.


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