Century Motorsport are showing no signs that 2016 is their debut in the grueling Dubai 24 Hours so far. Topping the time sheets in two of the four pre-event practice sessions put the team in good shape for this afternoon’s qualifying.
Leading the way for the team was University of Bolton, Mugari Automotive & Vålerbanen supported #229 team of Anna Walewska, Nathan Freke, Tom Oliphant and Aleksander Schjerpen. Despite Oliphant being the only member of the crew with previous competitive experience at Dubai, the quartet of drivers quickly started to work well together with their efforts being reflected on the timesheets.
The #230 Alcon Brakes, AVS – Adaptive Vehicle Solutions, Wild Water, Euro Marketing and Gravity Road supported Ginetta G55 of Ollie Jackson, Jake Rattenbury, Ruben Anakhasyan and David Pattison was also putting on an impressive display, as Ollie lead the way in terms of experience within the team.
Qualifying was very close, with pole position becoming a shootout in the end between Nathan Freke and main rivals Optimum Motorsport. In the end, Freke’s best was good enough to place the #229 Ginetta second in class SP3.
Ollie Jackson recorded the fastest time of the session for the #230 car as the crew continue to improve their partnership starting the race from seventh.
Anna Walewska – #229 Century Motorsport G55 GT4:
“Thrilled with our pace, P1 in free practice which we dominated all day. P2 in qualifying, all our drivers pace is strong so fingers crossed for the race. I am delighted to share this experience, my first Dubai 24hr, with the students from the University of Bolton who are with us working on the car with Century Motorsport.”
Nathan Freke – #229 Century Motorsport G55 GT4:
“Really happy with the car and the way it’s run so far. I didn’t get the best out of qualifying due to a bit of traffic in the final sector. Perhaps a new set of tyres and a clear lap and pole could have been possible. Still, second is a great result and other than pride, qualifying is quite insignificant considering the length of the race. We just need to keep our nose clean and keep out of the garage for the race. We’ve got a strong team in both cars and we will be giving it our best shot!”
Tom Oliphant – #229 Century Motorsport G55 GT4:
“Today was a great success, our overall team pace is very strong, everyone has got to grips with the track very well. Qualifying was a good result but I think both me and Nathan came away disappointed not to have put it on pole with traffic causing a lot of time loss on our fast laps. I’m really looking forward to the race, we have a really strong chance of fighting for the top step, we just need to keep the car out of the pits!”
Aleksander Schjerpen – #229 Century Motorsport G55 GT4:
“It’s been a great day really, we have been amongst the fastest the whole day, and the car feels fantastic to drive! The Century team is doing an awesome job as always bringing their A-game, and we are all really looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
Jake Rattenbury – #230 Century Motorsport G55 GT4:
“Great day in the car! So impressed with the great car that Century have put together! Its brilliant!! Super impressed with my teammates! Think we have an awesome team and I’m confident we can have a great race ahead of us. I’m looking forward to the start of the race and showing everyone what we can do!”
Ollie Jackson – #230 Century Motorsport G55 GT4:
“A little bit disappointed with qualifying but we’re in a great place for the race. The car is running really well and we have a strong driver line up that should be challenging for a podium.”