Bridgman’s Silverstone charge tempered by tyre issue

British GT, Round 7: Silverstone 

But fourth place helps Trackspeed retain Teams’ titleTim Bridgman might have just missed out on a fourth Avon Tyres British GT Championship podium finish of 2011 at Silverstone last weekend but the result still helped his Trackspeed squad retain the Teams’ title as this year’s campaign came to an end.Fourth place nevertheless represented an excellent result for the #2 Porsche crew after the combination of a pit-stop time handicap and high tyre wear threatened to drop Bridgman and co-driver Gregor Fisken out of contention altogether.Promising free practice times on worn tyres suggested Bridgman would once again be a threat for pole position, but with the track’s evolution throughout the event not suiting the Porsche’s set-up, he was frustrated to qualify a still healthy fifth overall.Fisken’s solid first stint initially helped the car rise to fourth before early signs of tyre wear began to slow his progress. A further 15 seconds were then lost in the pits when Bridgman took over mid-way through the two-hour race once a success penalty for the pair’s runner-up spot at Donington Park was applied.Having rejoined ninth, Bridgman set about making up for lost time and was soon passing rivals left,right and centre as he charged back through the field. With no less than five places gained in quick succession, it wasn’t long before he was chasing down the third-placed Ferrari, only to discover the first signs of tyre wear again coming to the fore.That left the 26-year-old little choice but to back off slightly in an effort to preserve his advantage over those behind, cruising home to record a comfortable fourth place finish and help secure Trackspeed a second consecutive crown.    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.”