GT CUP UPDATE: SNETTERTON
The last weekend of July saw the next round of the GT Cup series at Snetterton and with an eleven week gap since Nigel and Jamie were last out at Brands, they were eager to get back in the seat!
We arrived bright and early Saturday morning to prep the GT3 ready for free practice. Unfortunately the weather was against us and looked more like a tropical monsoon than the height of English summer, so the wet weather tyres were fitted and the car was ready to go.
Nigel set off in free practice first and after a solid five laps, pitted in for a practice driver change. Completed in forty seconds, we had time to spare before the car could head out in the obligatory pit-in time.
Jamie also set another solid set of lap times, getting round Snetterton faster each lap.
We had very little to do before qualifying, except replacing the wet weather wheel set with the slicks, as at the flick of a switch the sun was out and the track was drying up nicely.
Round thirteen, the pit stop race set off at 15.30 with Nigel in the seat first. His drive was faultless with lap times averaging in the low two minutes. The obligatory pit stop happened on lap 11, with Nigel handing over the wheel to Jamie. The only addition to the pit stop was the replacement of a missing front splitter that had vanished mid way round the lap!
Jamie was setting fast lap times all the way to the end of the race and finally finished 5th in class, which was a great result. The fastest lap time set by Jamie was a 2.00, but in comparison the Ferrari 458 GT3, which is in the GTO class and won the race, set a lap time eleven seconds faster!
Back at the track bright and early Sunday morning, very little prep was needed for round fourteen qualifying. A fresh set of slicks was fitted with the intention of having a competitive and successful race.
However… Mid way through qualifying Jamie reported of a juddering feeling and loud noise when in fourth gear only. We pulled him back into the pits and after draining the gearbox oil we could see that there were metallic particles in it and therefore meaning the early retirement for our car.
After a successful start of the weekend, this was a real shame and the whole team was completely gutted. There was nothing that could be done then and there so it meant we packed up early and got a chance to watch a couple of the races.
The gearbox is currently being rebuilt and will be ready in time for the next outing at Donington in September.
I would like to say a big thank you to Ollie, the RPM team, Nigel and Jamie for such a great weekend and will be looking forward to attending another race weekend soon. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the GT Cup, then I would strongly recommend it, as you will get to see some very fast, exotic cars, racing bumper to bumper!
Written by Marc Smiddy