GT CUP UPDATE: THE FINALE
As Lydia and I set out for Oulton Park, which is incidentally my favourite track in the UK, it was with a consciousness that we had a tight deadline to meet to get up in time for the racing. Something the traffic on the M40, M42 and M6 did little to help. In the end we routed down the M54 and up the A41 which was a cracking bit of road but clogged up with every conceivable type of HGV or farm related vehicle! We did however make it in time for racing and were not disappointed with some close battling and in the case of the start of the very final race, things got a little too close on the run up to the first corner and four or five cars tangled with each other and the pit wall and Armco. A lengthy delay resulted in a shortened race of only fifteen minutes. Not great for Gary Marsh who was behind the wheel on this occasion and had an hour of time in the car before getting properly into action.
The last race of the day when restarted was fairly uneventful and Gary managed to pilot the GT3 round Oulton Park at a good lick and still keep out of trouble as the guys only needed to finish the last two races to retain overall 3rd in the championship. The car had sustained some minor cosmetic damage from an altercation on the first race of the day but Ollie and Stu got it tidied up in time for the final race. Although both Gary and Nigel really wanted to have to race hard to the finish, in many ways it was harder still having to cap their natural instinct to attack, go hard and drive for position, when the game plan was to keep out of trouble and ensure a safe finish. Both drivers agreed afterwards that in many ways it is harder to play safe than drive all out for the win!
After a quick debrief in Parc Ferme, the chaps retired to the organisers enclosure for the results and prize giving. It was a mixed weekend for them but securing the third place in their class on their first outing in the GT Cup was most definitely a point for celebration by Gary, Nigel and the whole team at RPM. Champagne was duly drunk by the drivers whilst Ollie and Stu finished packing up for the evening. All involved headed off to the “after party” in Manchester, kindly organised by Matt Spark (our man with the local knowledge). Patrick and Brad from Track Car Services, who have shared facilities with RPM Technik this season, joined us after their day at the Birkett Six Hour race at Silverstone. It was a good evening and one worthy of a blog in its own right!
Finally I think we should not forget that to achieve third place in a class of nine cars is a mega result. Especially when you consider it was done by a team who had never raced together, one of the drivers being a novice driver in their Rookie season and a workshop team that had all the experience in the workshop but little trackside race support experience. I think all involved are justifiably proud of their achievement. I know I am.
Written by Darren Anderson