Century Motorsport headed to Leicestershire’s 2.487-mile GP circuit, Donington Park, for rounds 17 – 19 of the GT Cup Championship hoping to come away with some more silverware. David Holloway invited teammate Piers Johnson to share his Ginetta G55 with him for Sunday’s 50-minute pit stop race while Holloway competed alone in Saturday’s shorter 25-minute races.
Saturday morning, on a slightly greasy track, the first qualifying session got underway. Holloway managed to post the third quickest time, giving him a decent start position for the first race of the weekend.
Just 10 minutes into the first race, the GTH leader came off track and a red flag was deployed whilst the car was being recovered and also to allow some time for the barriers to be repaired.
After a long wait on the grid of around 30 minutes, the race restarted, with 10 minutes on the clock. Holloway started from second place, behind the #72 Aston Martin. He kept right on the tail of the #72 car, pressuring him constantly, waiting for the right moment to make a move. Holloway found a way past and grabbed the lead at the end of the first lap.
Holloway controlled the next lap very well, with constant pressure from the #72 car however Holloway’s Ginetta developed issues with the brakes and he was unable to maintain the lead – the Aston Martin came past at the end of the second lap and Holloway dropped back to second pace. At the end of next lap, the #911 car from a different class came past Holloway and this then widened the gap between Holloway and his class leader. The #407 car then also made a move and came past both Holloway and the #911 car.
Still struggling with the brake issue, this left room for the #22 car to come up the inside of Holloway on the fourth lap and Holloway then fiercely battled for that third place spot for the remainder of the race, until lap 6, the penultimate lap, where he took a little detour, unfortunately making it impossible for him to then find enough time to fight back, settling with fourth position at the chequered flag.
Later that evening, race 2 got underway. A tight timetable between the two races meant that the brake problem wasn’t fully cured though slightly better, which meant progress was difficult and held Holloway back. The top four GTH positions did not change at all throughout the whole race. Holloway spent the entire race battling for third position and came so close on several occasions but with pressure behind him too, along with other class cars overtaking him, causing traffic and widening the gap, he remained in fourth until the finish.
Sunday morning, Holloway, along with his teammate Johnson, posted some super speedy times in the qualifying session and they ended up qualifying in second place, just two-tenths of a second away from the pole sitter.
The third and final race of the weekend got underway on Sunday afternoon. Holloway started the race and his entire stint was spent defending himself from the #22 car behind him who was constantly trying to find a way past. Holloway did an excellent job and did not let his competitor find a way past however time spent trying to defend his second place position, meant that he had widened the gap between him and the leader. Holloway dived into the pits during lap 15 to hand over to teammate Piers Johnson. By this time, the #72 car had built up a 26-second lead.
Johnson exited the pits in third place and by this point the second place car was well ahead. Johnson was trying to get some good lap times in to close the gap however this was made tough by a car from another class who was holding him up. The second place car ended up taking an unscheduled pit stop on lap 22, promoting Johnson to second place. Unfortunately, this place was later taken from him by the #407 Aston Martin and despite his best efforts to claim back his second position, Johnson settled with a third place finish.
The final round of the GT Cup Championship will be held at Silverstone GP circuit on 13th – 14th October.
“Fabulous weekend at Donington – our pace was really strong and without some challenges with our brakes, we could have had some more silverware. The century boys were legends – pulling all-nighters to get the car ready for the Sunday endurance and amongst some really fine talent we managed to secure 3rd place despite a 30-second penalty. A sign of what is possible from the number 15 car. Roll on Silverstone.”
“David had great pace all weekend, qualified and raced well, unfortunate to have a brake issue in the two sprint races, was looking good for a great result, but the team did a great job overnight to fix the brake issue and the car was very good on Sunday.
Really enjoyed the endurance race on Sunday, the car was lovely to drive and I was very pleased with my overtake around the outside at Melbourne on the ‘Neary’ car that was holding me up! A good result to finish 3rd, a very enjoyable weekend.”
Nathan Freke, Owner of Century Motorsport:
“This weekend we saw David drive the best races of the season. His pace was great, but more importantly he soaked up enormous pressure and showed some great race craft.
The brake issue was a real shame on Saturday as I’m sure that would have been his first outright win for him as a solo driver. Sunday was a great day for both David and Piers. Both drivers did a great job and were a pleasure to work with, as always.”