© Bute Motorsport Limited 2015
Perfect Paul caps dream weekend
at Brands Hatch
Sunday 21st May 2017
Dominic Paul capped a perfect weekend in the GT Cup at Brands Hatch with three wins from three races in his Group GTA Ginetta G55, at one stage running fourth overall.
“It’s beautiful on this circuit, I love it, it suits my driving,” he said. “The Ginetta is great out the back, I can throw it into the corners and balance it. It suits ‘on the limit’ driving, and I enjoy endurance stuff so I was able to bang in consistent laps. I was treating every lap like qualifying, I didn’t back off!”
Graham Davidson also carried on his incredible form, with his sixth win in the six races to open the 2017 season, but was troubled by late-race issues. “I’m exhausted,” he said. “That was the most difficult race yet, I can’t believe we’ve won.”
Davidson lead from pole and built an early advantage behind a close battle which had second to sixth covered by 2.1s on the track, including FF Corse team-mates James Little and Bonamy Grimes fighting for second place, before the pair made contact at Druids, causing both to retire.
A safety car was called to recover Little’s Ferrari from the barriers, and the race re-started with 32 minutes of the 50 remaining, as Gareth Downing passed Nigel Hudson for third place, setting after Gary Eastwood.
“Once I saw the safety car board come out I thought ‘that’s it,’” said Davidson. “I’d put my effort into building that lead and thought I couldn’t do it again before the pit stops. I got back to steady laps, the tyres started to get hot, I was feeling it and struggling but the guys said ‘keep going, you’re doing fine.’
“The pit stop felt like an eternity, but after the stop I realised I could do it – I asked the pit wall a few times what was happening and they told me to keep going. I felt a rumble as a wheel bearing had gone about five laps to go; it gave me a headache with the noise. Then the ABS sensor flashed it was failing on the last lap, so I stayed off the kerbs and made sure I got it back. I need to lie down!”
Hudson and Downing would stay out longest when the pit window opened, while Eastwood was given a one second stop-go penalty for a short stop and the Mick Mercer / Gary Smith Ginetta, second in GTA, was given a drive through for stopping outside the pit window.
In Group GTB James Webb had to recover from an early pit stop with a puncture, and John Saunders retired from the lead with 14 minutes remaining, handing the advantage to Neil Huggins who would be untroubled to the flag. “The opposition all fell by the wayside,” he said. “The team told me what was what and I had to keep my head and reel in the laps. It was controlled, not the fastest race I’d done but I brought it home.”
Jake Rattenbury, who’d made a second pit stop with a rear vibration, swiftly caught Andy Demetriou for Group GTC honours. “I had lots to concentrate on, including a suspected rear puncture. To catch and pass for the lead and win the race: I was really happy. It’s close in GTC but I’m happy with the way it has gone.”
There would also be last-lap heartbreak for Gareth Downing in the Lotus, as the car slowed and he was passed for second overall by Nigel Hudson at the flag.
RACE 3 RESULTS
1: Graham Davidson – McLaren MP4/12-C
2: Nigel Hudson / Adam Wilcox – Aston Martin GT3
3: Gareth Downing – Lotus Evora GTE
1: Jake Rattenbury – Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo
2: Chris Papageorgiou / Andy Demetriou – Porsche 991 GTC
3: Mike Sellar / Peter Smallwood – Porsche 991 GTC
1: Neil Huggins – Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo LP570-4
2: James Webb – BMW M3 E46 GTR
1: Dominic Paul – Ginetta G55 GT4
2: Mick Mercer / Gary Smith – Ginetta G55 GT4
3: Brent Millage – Ginetta G55 GT4