Gregor Fisken helped Trackspeed retain the 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Teams’ title at Silverstone on Saturday where a battling performance in the season finale saw him just miss out on another podium finish.
An impressive year for the Scot and co-driver Tim Bridgman ensured the pair entered last weekend’s season finale also still mathematically capable of winning the hotly-contested championship crown, albeit heavily reliant on results going their way elsewhere.
But while they were ultimately not forthcoming, Fisken nevertheless felt delighted to record another solid result, especially at a circuit not entirely suited to the characteristics of his Trackspeed-prepared Porsche 997 GT3 R.
Indeed, Silverstone’s high-speed nature suggested Fisken would be hard pressed to add a fourth podium finish to his 2011 collection, let alone replicate the victory he and Bridgman shared at Brands Hatch back in June. Fifth in qualifying offered cause for optimism however and when Fisken thrust the #2 Porsche up to fourth in the opening laps, a solid result looked likely.
High tyre wear proved a factor for both drivers as they battled to compensate for the Porsche’s top speed deficit, but with no further issues to contend with throughout the two hours, Bridgman was eventually able to come home a comfortable fourth.
Gregor Fisken: “That was probably the toughest race of the season for us. In dry conditions we knew the Porsche would struggle to match the Ferraris over an entire stint at Silverstone so we had no choice but to drive the wheels off it. That pushed up the tyre wear which really showed towards the end of my stint. Tim drove brilliantly to keep us in podium contention over the second half but ultimately there was nothing either of us could do. It was probably the best we could have achieved in the circumstances.
“While we would have liked to sign off with a podium, it was encouraging to add another strong performance to what’s been a great season overall. Trackspeed have consistently prepared a car capable of challenging at the front, as demonstrated by their richly deserved Teams' title, so a big thank you to Keith Cheetham and his squad. Tim has also been mega. The Porsche is not an easy car to drive but he always seems to extract the maximum available performance, especially in wet or damp conditions. The victory and two further podiums, as well as strong results elsewhere, ensured we were contenders throughout what has been a very competitive 2011 British GT Championship.”
Tim Bridgman: “Obviously you always want to win but we probably achieved our maximum this weekend to round out a very promising first season with Gregor and Trackspeed. The car had good pace so I was a little disappointed not to be further up the grid after qualifying. We knew tyre wear would be an issue this weekend which is ultimately what cost us a podium. The Porsche has a lot of mechanical grip which sees the tyres over-worked on fast circuits. Once up to fourth I felt the grip beginning to go away so just settled for nursing the car to the finish.
“Rarely has the Porsche not been competitive this year and in damp conditions myself and Gregor have probably been the fastest pairing. I’d like to thank and congratulate everyone at Trackspeed for a great season, as well as Gregor who has been brilliant to race with. We seem to complement each other well and, without a few pieces of bad luck here and there, would certainly have added to our tally of one win and two further podiums.”
The 911 isn’t Porsche’s only iconic sportscar though as Gregor – owner of London’s leading historic automobile specialists Fiskens – proved by displaying the company's very own 1958 356 Speedster, alongside one of only ten competition Ferrari 275 GTB/Cs from the 1965 season, outside the entrance to SRO's hospitality suite in the Silverstone paddock.
While the Speedster helped launch the competition careers of Hollywood legends Steve McQueen and James Dean, this particular 356 is believed to be the most authentic racing example in existence having spent the late 1950s and early ‘60s racking up victories across California.
Cars like the Speedster and Ferrari are prime examples of the fine automobiles usually found at Fiskens’ Kensington mews.