After The Silverstone Clouds!
Trackspeed Racing Kick off Both Their FIA GT and FIA GT3 Campaigns at A Dreary Silverstone.
The sun didn’t make much of an appearance for the opening rounds of the FIA GT and FIA GT3 at Silverstone at the weekend, but ever the optimists, Trackspeed Racing came away from both events spying a silver lining on the ever present grey clouds.
It was a weekend of new adventures for Trackspeed, making their debut in the FIA GT Championship in the GT2 class, with this being the first real outing for David Ashburn and Richard Williams in their new Porsche RSR booted by new tyre partners Pirelli, so a steep learning curve lay ahead.
With so many new factors for the team the dreary weather also played its part. After a topsy turvey qualifying session the team were pleased with Richard’s best lap putting them comfortably 6th in class and 17th overall for the opening round of the FIA GT Championship..
David started the race, which began in tricky conditions with a wet track and limited visibility. David put in a tough 35 minute session as he became increasingly familiar with the RSR before handing over to Richard for the remainder of the 2 Hour race. Whilst Richard knew no great strides would be potentially made in terms of position he did put in a heroic effort to lift the car 5 places to 26th but more importantly as the conditions improved and the race settled, he was able to prove the good pace of the car, indeed he was the only Porsche to get into the 1.59s in the race.
In the FIA GT3 European Championship, David and Richard had the advantage of already experiencing the Porsche GT3 Cup S having raced it in the opening rounds of the British GT Championship though there is still much to come from the car as they work on perfecting the set-up. Also out for Trackspeed Racing were Andrew Shelley & Phil Nuttall, sampling the Porsche GT3 Cup S for the first time in race conditions and the Yorkshire pairing were eager to get to grips with the challenge.
Race One of the weekend’s double header saw David start the #6 Trackspeed from 20th on the grid and Phil’s #7 from 42nd. David put in an exceptionally spirited drive, lifting the car to 9th position. Elsewhere on the track Phil was showing falling lap times.
After the pitstops, Richard continued to storm through the pack to run in the podium positions but a stop go penalty, due to their pit handover been deemed too quick, dropped him down the running. With little time left in the race he battled back to 10th place, 2nd Porsche home. Andrew Shelley brought the # 7 car home in 23rd, a superb 19 places ahead of their starting position.
Sadly Andrew and Phil’s outing in Race Two, in which they started from 38th, was to be short lived as Andrew had to take evasive action to try and avoid a start line melee but it would sadly see the end of his race.
Elsewhere, Richard was scything his way from his starting position of 9th to 2nd.
“I can’t describe just how much I am loving driving this car!” said Richard afterwards. “We were easily running in the pace of the top 5, with every driver driving to their maximum which made it exciting and challenging from a racer’s point of view.”
Richard handed over to David, who was again in eager mode. Frustratingly, it was a case of déjà vu as a stop go penalty was issued to #6 as the pitstop was deemed to quick once more. This saw David put down the order with little time to regain positions, seeing them finish in 14th.
Despite some frustrations and disappointments, the team come away from Silverstone after being thrown in the deep end, assured both the Porsche GT3 Cup S and RSRs have excellent potential they will be keen to deliver in the rest of the season.