Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse GT4 young guns target Spa success

BLACK BULL ECURIE ECOSSE young guns Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty head to one of the most iconic circuit in the world, Spa-Francorchamps, for the next round of the British GT Championship (July 8/9).

And fresh from qualifying their McLaren 570S GT4 on pole position for the last round at Silverstone, the duo are hopeful of turning that pace into their first podium.

“Hopefully we can take our qualifying pace from Silverstone to Spa,” 16-year-old Mitchell, from Forfar, said. “We know we have the pace in both the drivers and the car, and if we can put our laps together and have a smooth race with no issues, then I think we’ll be on for a good result.”Mitchell, like Haggerty, tested at the home of the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix earlier this year, and believes the circuit will suit their Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren.

“There’s a good long, uphill straight after the demanding Eau Rouge sequence,” Mitchell, who is expected to start the two-hour race before handing over to Haggerty, continued, “so we know the car will be good there. Plus we now have the handling working well, and we’re improving the car all the time.

“The whole package is better than when we started the season, so I think Spa should be a good round for us.”

It was a sentiment supported by Haggerty. The 19-year-old from Johnstone warmed up for Spa by debuting the new McLaren 570S Sprint car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, setting the fastest Supercar Shootout two-wheel-drive time up the famous 1.16-mile Hill. He stopped the clock in 62.18secs, crossing the line at 100.4mph.“Like Sandy, I feel it’s important we build on the qualifying performance we delivered at Silverstone,” Haggerty explained.“I think the car will be fast at Spa; it’s definitely a strong track for us and I’m confident we’ll be up at the front pushing for a podium. I’m looking forward to going back there.”

Team boss Hugh McCaig is hoping the electrical gremlins, which again hampered the young Scots’ chances of a debut podium at Silverstone, won’t rear their heads again.“The two young guys have been fantastic all season, and it’s frustrating they haven’t managed to score the podium their joint performances have merited,” McCaig said.“But what’s important, in what is a development year for the McLaren 570S GT4, is that we’ve seen the car has the pace to lead races. That, allied to the talent shown by both Sandy and Ciaran, makes me feel confident that their first podium, and hopefully win, is just round the corner.”

QUOTES:Sandy Mitchell — Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4 driver“We did a pre-season test at Spa, and it went pretty well. I got some pretty good mileage in, and hopefully we can take our qualifying pace from Silverstone to Spa.“We know we have the pace in both the drivers and the car, and if we can put our laps together and have a smooth race with no issues, then I think we’ll be on for a good result.“I think, from the time we’ve had on the track in Belgium, the car will suit the demands of Spa. There’s a good long, uphill straight, so we know the car will be good there. Plus we now have the handling working well, and we’re improving the car all the time.“The development of the car is continuing apace, and both Ciaran and I are improving all the time, so the whole package is better than when we started the season. I think Spa should be a good round for us.”

Ciaran Haggerty — Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4 driver“I’ve only tested at Spa earlier in the season before, but it’s a circuit I really enjoy; it’s a proper driver’s circuit, and I’m looking forward to going back there.“I think the car will be fast there; it’s definitely a strong track for us and I’m confident we’ll be up at the front pushing for a podium.”

Euan Shand — CEO of sponsors, Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky:“We know the team has been working tirelessly since the last round at Silverstone, and they head to the iconic circuit at Spa in confident mood. With their high rate of development and performance, I think we’re in for a brilliant weekend. We wish Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse all the best.”