Ecurie Ecosse enjoy British GT Easter podium at Oulton Park

Ecurie Ecosse Powered By Black Bull drivers Marco Attard and Alexander Sims ended their bank holiday weekend on a high with a podium in the British GT Championship season opener at Oulton Park (4-6 April).The legendary Scottish squad and its Barwell pit crew demonstrated impressive teamwork over the course of the weekend by recovering from an early incident in race one to bring their battle scarred BMW Z4 GT3 home sixth, before fighting back from seventh to third in the second of Monday’s two encounters. Following Saturday’s somewhat low-key qualifying session, Attard started race one from 12th on the grid in what turned out to be an incident-packed hour.Indeed, after an early Safety Car period, the reigning champion made his way through the pack and was up to ninth behind Alistair MacKinnon’s Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 when the RAM Racing driver and TF Sport Aston Martin of Derek Johnston made contact at The Avenue.Attard braked hard in avoidance but was hit from behind by unsighted Barwell Motorsport team-mate Jon Minshaw, slewing the #1 BMW sideways into the barriers and then back across the track into the stranded Aston.Fortunately the damage was mainly cosmetic, allowing Attard to limp to the pits just before the Safety Car was deployed. Quick work from the mechanics had Sims back out in no time and the BMW factory driver duly fought his way up through the field en route to sixth overall after edging out Mike Simpson’s Ginetta GT3 by just 0.251sec.Despite there being only three hours between races, Barwell Motorsport’s fine work had the BMW back in shape for the afternoon’s second one-hour race where Sims lined up fourth on the grid.After a tricky start, the black and blue machine dropped as low as seventh before making its mandatory pit-stop and driver change after 30 minutes.Attard jumped into the driver’s seat for the second half of the race and was able to make progress despite the narrow Oulton Park layout. And after a stint-long battle with the Ginetta of Steve Tandy, he eventually came home third to salvage solid points from a challenging weekend.Although not the ideal start they might have been hoping for, third and sixth sees Attard, Sims and Ecurie Ecosse head to Rockingham in four weeks’ time (May 2/3) fifth in the Drivers’ championship and fourth in the Teams’ standings.Marco Attard: “That was a very good way to end the weekend. It was a tough race for us; I think Alexander struggled a bit at the start and I just couldn’t get past the Ginetta with this circuit being so narrow. But the team did a great job to get the car back together after the first race, so it’s all good!”Alexander Sims: “It was great fun to fight our way back after our shunt in the first race. We lost a few places at the start, but Marco did a great job to pull it back so we’re really happy considering qualifying wasn’t as good as we’d hoped. If we get things together on our side we should be fighting for a decent result at Rockingham.”Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal: “This was a tough start to the season! We certainly had our share of bad luck, but Marco drove well in both races and Alexander made up good ground in race one. We have our first podium of the season, scored a very useful points haul and can now look forward to challenging for a victory at the tracks that suit the BMW Z4 better.”

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