Why pink flag confusion will not overshadow British GT's very good opener - Motor Informed
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Why pink flag confusion will not overshadow British GT’s very good opener

Martin Plowman summarised occasions pretty properly after team-mate Kelvin Fletcher had clinched a outstanding maiden British GT victory for his or her Paddock Motorsport outfit in a madcap second race at Oulton Park from 14th on the grid.

“I believe like lots of people we have been a bit confused,” he advised Autosport. “I didn’t know what was occurring half the time.”

The race end result stays provisional following a protest by RAM Racing into the applying of race one’s success seconds to the post-race order, citing the shortage of a selected regulation to cowl the eventuality of a pink flag in the course of the pitstop cycle. The protest was rejected, however the team has lodged its intention to appeal to the National Court.

It actually was an unprecedented state of affairs, and contributed to what British GT returnee Benji Hetherington rightly described as “some of the weird races” he’d ever encountered, with a proliferation of post-race penalties – together with 14 seconds added to the race time of each GT4 Silver crew – muddling the order.

“Clearly, the circumstances have been out of everybody’s management,” remarked Valluga Racing Porsche boss Hetherington, who was labeled fifth in GT4. “I believe to be truthful, British GT dealt with it very well.”

Naturally, not everyone agreed, however most believed it was the one factor British GT may do underneath the circumstances. However is it what the weekend can be remembered for? In fact not.

It’s the exceptional race one scrap for victory between Adam Carroll and Jules Gounon that may stay lengthy within the reminiscence, a battle that showcased the perfect of British GT and left Oulton Park enthralled. The respect between the 2 combatants after working nostril to tail for lap after lap, with AMG manufacturing unit driver Gounon inching alongside and crossing the road forward to begin the ultimate tour, was apparent for all to see. The pair embraced one another in parc ferme after two inch-perfect drives.

Balfe congratulates team-mate Carroll after his successful defence against Jules Gounon in race one

Balfe congratulates team-mate Carroll after his profitable defence in opposition to Jules Gounon in race one

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“He mentioned he completely cherished that, it was top-of-the-line races he’d ever had,” relayed Carroll. “You’ll be able to’t get nearer than that.”

A watching Shaun Balfe, Carroll’s team-mate and boss, was stuffed with reward for each drivers.

“I had little doubt that if Adam couldn’t preserve Jules behind, there was in all probability a really small variety of drivers that might,” he mentioned. “The respect importantly that Jules gave Adam, understanding that Adam was simply fast sufficient – there was sufficient respect to present the spectators and British GT in spherical one what it actually wants, which is a few good shut racing that is thrilling to look at. It’s what we wish to be a part of.”

The energy in depth this 12 months is in plentiful provide and, with 18 GT3 vehicles on the grid, it was an actual scrap even to make it into the factors on Monday

Was it one of the best defensive drive of Carroll’s esteemed profession, Autosport questioned? “For a win, in all probability sure,” replied the 2008-09 A1GP champion. “However typically you’re making an attempt that arduous for fifth and no person sees it!” See it we actually did.

Gounon received’t contest each spherical this 12 months, however the 2017 Spa 24 Hours winner already has loads of new admirers within the paddock after taking Oulton by storm. His outstanding 1m32.384s pole lap was 4 tenths faster than anyone, and Carroll alone may halt his irrepressible race one cost.

“I had a mega race with ‘hen nugget’, it was good,” mentioned Fox Motorsport’s Jamie Stanley, who completed third with Nick Halstead. “Had I not come throughout the GT4 automobile, I in all probability may have stored Gounon there for a bit longer. We have been a bit unfortunate there, however truthful play to him, he took his second, he pounced.”

Gounon’s co-driver Ian Loggie was stuffed with marvel too. “I do know folks speak about him as top-of-the-line GT drivers on the planet however, once you see a show like that, it’s simply mind-blowing actually,” he mentioned. “It’s a privilege to look at it. Already the quantity I’ve discovered that now I’d take as learn, it’s simply unimaginable.”

Loggie (right) was full of praise for co-driver Gounon, who stole the show at Oulton Park

Loggie (proper) was stuffed with reward for co-driver Gounon, who stole the present at Oulton Park

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

If Gounon stole the present, he was solely the tip of the iceberg. The energy in depth this 12 months is in plentiful provide and, with 18 GT3 vehicles on the grid, it was an actual scrap even to make it into the factors on Monday – with well-fancied Barwell Lamborghini pairing Sandy Mitchell and Adam Balon lacking out in race two after a 10s cease/go penalty for Mitchell spinning Marcus Clutton.

“It’s in all probability our worst weekend I believe for seven years, so it will possibly solely go a method from right here,” remarked Barwell boss Mark Lemmer.

A number of groups consider the brand new DHF Pirelli tyre has given an edge to the front-engined Mercedes, with one disgruntled paddock determine claiming that the Steadiness of Efficiency was amiss. “You may as properly give them the trophy to struggle over it now,” he mentioned.

However Carroll’s stern defence and the chaos of race two confirmed that nothing can ever be taken as learn in British GT. McLaren actually wasn’t anticipated to shine at Oulton, but a podium for Fox in race one – as a number of groups made errors with pitstop timing – and victory in race two for Paddock bodes properly for his or her seasons.

“We’re nonetheless studying this new tyre, we’re studying each time we exit,” mentioned Plowman. “I believe, as soon as we nail the set-up and know get this tyre within the window, then we’ll be a constant contender.”

Even when the result of that second race couldn’t please everyone, there’s rather a lot to love about British GT proper now.

Fox Motorsport took a race one podium on its return to GT3, while Paddock Motorsport took race two at a venue where McLaren wasn't expected to shine

Fox Motorsport took a race one podium on its return to GT3, whereas Paddock Motorsport took race two at a venue the place McLaren wasn’t anticipated to shine

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

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