Sorry for the delay getting the Silverstone BDC post up, I’ve had to wait for the photos, and I didn’t think the post would be complete without them. Also the results remained provisional until the Tuesday after the meeting, so it all became clear after that.
Saturday morning was fine and bright and the paddock was full of optimism before qualifying, with most drivers wanting to prove that they weren’t the cause of the poor driving standards at Brands Hatch. We had a tough qualifying session, we couldn’t get the speed out of the new Dunlops that we had previously with the Toyo’s. I’ve been told they will get better after the first session, but I’ve yet to see it.
We were 9 tenths slower than earlier in the year, but this could have been down to temperature or setup. We qualified 15 out of 17, with only 2 slow Astons behind us. We were very disappointed to be this far back and things could only get better during the race.
Our qualifying session was early in the day and during the rest of the qualifying it rained, it rained a lot. With a big sense of déjà vu most of the intermarque competitors spent the morning looking at the sky. It was very wet in the morning, but during lunch and the first race of the afternoon it was drying up. The circuit looked dry enough for dry tyres, but with the area surrounded by menacing black skies it was a tough choice. We went to the assembly area on wet tyres, a choice only 2 other teams made, the Snowdon DB4 and the Scragg V8.
As we left the assembly area onto a now dry track the heavens opened, big time!
With the change of conditions it necessitated 2 green flag laps for the drivers to familiarise themselves with the track. This also allowed time for the quicker teams to change to wets without loosing a lap.
So from our grid position of 15th we took the start of the race 7th, behind some of the brave drivers sticking with dry tyres and the 2 Astons on wets. By the end of the 1st lap we had moved up to 3rd position overall. After the second lap I felt the race should have been red flagged already, the car was aquaplaning down the straights and we even had a trip across the grass, luckily there was no damage. It felt like we were doing 30mph but we started lapping back markers on the 3rd lap so I can’t of been going as slow as some.
Eventually the race was red flagged and we parked up on the grid. The heated windscreen was switched on, which meant the engine wouldn’t restart if it was switched off. The heater draws to much current from the battery for the starter motor to spin, so I made the choice to leave the engine running for the duration of the red flag. To be honest, I thought the red flag wouldn’t last too long before the race was abandoned. The rain wasn’t letting up so I assumed the race would be called off soon.
Luckily Silverstone being a Grand Prix circuit the drainage is very good and after the initial deluge the rivers running across the track went away and the race was restarted under safety car. After the pit stops and the safety car period the race hotted up, and for several laps there was an epic battle for the lead, we even held the lead at a couple stages. Once the more powerful cars got to grips with the conditions they started to get faster and pull away. We started to loose positions.
Eventually the race ended with a breath of relief. Another wet race this season and the car in one piece. But post race the results looked wrong, so a trip to the stewards was made.
When the red flag came out the time keepers reset the clocks, but the marshals didn’t grid the cars, so we had lapped cars in amongst the lead cars and they were now scored as the same lap. This was an error, the officials should have either left the clocks running, with the lapped cars staying laps down, or they should have re gridded the cars after the clocks were reset.
Since neither of these were done the results needed to be calculated adding the first half of the race to the second. Using this method we were 4th overall and 1st in class. Importantly we beat Tim and Steve, which really helped our championship effort. Porsche also moved back in front of Ferrari by 0.95 points. So there is everything play for at Snetterton and 3 championships to be won class B, Individual overall and teams.