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Aug 19, 2014 - 02:29 PM
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Grant Endures Challenging Oulton Outing
Posted by: newsla on Aug 19, 2014 - 02:25 PM
Sports Cars
Grant Endures Challenging Oulton Outing


George Grant’s MaX5 Racing Championship season resumed with a tricky fifth-round appearance at Oulton Park last weekend (August 16) as his efforts continued to raise awareness for official Armed Forces charity Mission Motorsport.

 

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Making his debut at the parkland venue, Grant struggled with Oulton Park’s Island Circuit layout despite further tweaks to the Mk3 MX-5.

After introducing significant upgrades at Brands Hatch enabled George to register arguably his best meeting of 2014, the GGR Motorsport driver’s confidence of maintaining this upward trend was understandably sky-high heading north, despite the challenges of learning a new circuit.

“Oulton is probably the most demanding circuit I’ve raced on,” admitted Grant . “It’s basically a quick version of Cadwell Park; very technical and difficult to get into the groove, but enjoyable nonetheless. A few tips from former McLaren designer and old friend Steve Nichols didn’t hurt either!”

However, Grant’s aim of repeating his Kent performance turned sour after suffering bad luck during qualifying. A red flag period on Saturday morning – when the tyres were at their optimum – denied George a chance to improve on 17th.

His misfortune continued during race one when he was forced to take avoiding action after Simon Fleet went off, confining him to 12 lonely laps of playing catch-up. Regardless, Grant remained buoyant after a first appearance in the Cheshire countryside.

“My understanding of minor details is growing with every weekend,” he added. “However, I’m still struggling with the tyres. They peak after five or six laps, and it’s incredibly tricky to manage them thereafter until they return to their best. It appears that the rubber we’re using isn’t as effective as our rivals’, so we need to examine how best to exploit its potential.”

Tyre problems characterised the GGR driver’s struggles at Oulton Park, although Saturday’s second contest went far smoother. Grant’s confidence returned after further set-up adjustments, enabling him to shave 1.5secs off his fastest race one time, despite suffering further hiccups.

“It felt like a completely different car when we softened the suspension before race two,” beamed Grant. “After a great start, it was fantastic to be scrapping in the midfield! I’m also delighted with my improvements behind the wheel – to be only 1.5secs from the top-10 is hugely encouraging, even though I suffered minor issues with traction.”

Beside these glitches, Grant’s admiration and respect for Mission Motorsport’s crew of mechanics – most of whom bore the brunt of frontline injuries – continues to soar.

“They’re just getting better and better; I’m constantly in awe of them,” explained George. “You have to remember that it’s a learning curve for everyone, not only the drivers. I honestly believe that they are as good a crew as any in the paddock, despite what they’ve gone through.”

George’s aim of cracking the top-10 will continue when the championship heads to Snetterton for round six on August 30/31, a circuit he has recent experience of from pre-season testing.


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