After a frantic round at Croft we reconvened at Silverstone on the International Circuit. 2.25 miles of fast straights juxtapositioned by tight sections meant some careful set up to satisfy both requirements. Unusually testing was on the Wednesday before and we had plenty of time to think about how best to proceed with car set up.
Mission accomplished we arrived at Silverstone on Saturday morning with a packed schedule in prospect. David and I had decided to compete in the GT and Production Trophy race as well so we had a total of 4 hours 40 minutes track time to look forward to.
First up was David for the 20 minute Dunlop Endurance Championship warm up session. He pounded round on old tyres setting great times and preparing himself for the coming onslaught! Only 40 minutes later it was qualifying for the GT and Production race. David went first allowing me good time to go for pole. This was duly achieved with a 1 minute 5.17 second lap. We were going to be putting in some laps at that rate.
With only a 15 minute break until the Dunlop Endurance qualifying the team did a great job of turning the car around and being ready to go. David went first again with the same tactic in mind. This time there was competition from the Audi GT3 car so I was going to have to dig deep. The car was feeling good and pushing hard I posted a 1 min 4.8 sec lap for pole. It was still quite early and temperatures were quite low. I wondered where the lap times would go as the temperature increased through the day.
Frantic reprep done we lined up on the grid and set off for the warm up lap. The lights went out and I blasted the superb Ferrari 458 GT3 into the lead and set off pushing as hard as I could. All went well and I handed over to David just over half way through the 50 minute race. David shot out of the pits and got his head down. Lap after lap he pushed and dealt with traffic and things were getting tight. Another Ferrari was catching him but was the gap shrinking fast enough for them to take it? Concentrating hard David brought us home in P1 by the amazing margin of 0.384 secs!! A great drive under considerable pressure.
Now we had a longer break till the main event; the 2.5 hour Dunlop Endurance race. I took the start again. Due to circumstances we had to start on new tyres so I was going to be at a slight disadvantage to the Audi initially. This was all taken into account and with superior grip at that point the Audi swept into the lead. However, once we had scrubbed the tyres in and brought them up to temperature the grip was amazing. I pushed hard and reeled the Audi in, outbraking it into Vale Corner. I got my head down and pushed hard for the first hour pulling out a good lead. Before I knew it the team called me in to hand over to David. Again the stop went well and David set off with new tyres for his 1 hour stint. And what a stint!! Great lap times and being hit from behind and spun out but rejoining without delay all contributed to another excellent drive.
Back into the pits for the final stop and I jumped in staying on David’s tyres. And he had looked after them well!! I shot out of the pits and it was hammer time. I had 30 minutes to chase down 2 cars ahead of me but it was a tall order as they were a lap and more ahead. With the increased ambient temperature the car was absolutely fantastic and I could push really hard lapping consistently in the 1.04s. I was really enjoying it but time was running out. In the end we came in P4 overall and P2 in class missing second overall by about 13 seconds. As usual when chasing we needed another 3 or 4 laps!!
So, another great week end with 2 poles, 2 fastest laps, an overall win with P1 in class and a P2 in class. And to cap it all I was awarded the Sunoco Race Fuels Driver of the Week End award. Fantastic!
Many thanks to all involved and next stop the Oulton Park Gold Cup in Julian Thomas' superb E type. Can't wait.