Century Motorsport have been the dominant team in British GT4 so far this season with Declan Jones and Zoe Wenham behind the wheel of their Ginetta G50. With a double victory at Oulton Park followed up by a return to the podium in second place at Rockingham, the pair were enjoying a healthy lead in the championship approaching Silverstone for the first three hour race of the season.
The weekends free practice sessions provided an opportunity for Declan Jones to acclimatize himself to the unique characteristics of Silverstone’s GP circuit which so far he had never raced at. GT4 was going to be increasingly competitive as was starting to show in the free practice sessions with the guest appearance from the European GT4 Championship boosting the grid to almost 14 cars in total.
Glorious sunshine provided ideal qualifying conditions at the Northamtonshire venue on Saturday afternoon as Zoe went out first to complete her qualifying run. After six flying laps Zoe pitted to hand over to Declan Jones for his qualifying stint to see if he could move the pair any further up the order in what was looking like a highly competitive GT4 field with the European visitors. With a time of 2.16.419, this put the pair starting 39th on the grid for Sunday’s race just ahead of their closest championship rivals Rick Parfitt Jnr and Ryan Ratcliffe.
Declan Jones elected to start the race for Century Motorsport and build up a steady gap. However once again the team found themselves hampered by multiple safety car periods during the race splitting them up from their nearest rivals within GT4. Shortly after the second safety car period, Zoe who was now on her first stint quickly pulled her car off the track with a suspected fire breaking out. However further inspection found it was simply a gearbox breather pipe causing the smoke inside the car and eventually Zoe was allowed to return to the pits by the trackside marshals. After a sterling job by the Century Motorsport crew to resolve the issue Declan was back out in the car and keen to make up for the lost ground in the pits. After a superb stint Declan returned for the teams final pitstop to hand the car over to Zoe who brought the car to the flag in 34th position.
Speaking after the weekend, Declan Jones commented: “Overall it was a good weekend considering the issues we had. We were the fastest British GT4 car and considering I have never driven the full Silverstone GP track until Saturday morning I was more than happy with my pace. Zoe’s pace was also very good this weekend and we still retain our championship lead as we move on to Snetterton.”
Zoe Wenham described her weekend as character building: “Silverstone was a character building weekend overall. From the start the European cars really showed their pace and for us it was going to be a case of managing the gap to the leaders and come away with good points. Declan had a great first stint brining the car in for our first change in fourth. It went a little downhill from there when I had to stop the car on track due to smoke filling up the car. However a brilliant effort by the team got us back on track to pick up some valuable points to remain in the championship lead as we move to Snetterton.”
Century Motorsport Team Principal Nathan Freke added: “Despite finishing the race its been the most testing weekend for us so far this season. Both Declan and Zoe showed really good pace but having to stop on track and not being allowed to rejoin for so long really hurt us as we still had to try and repair the fault on the car. However once again the team proved how good they are to get the car back out on track to bring home some all-important points. We remain in the lead of the championship and will be back at Snetterton aiming to pickup where we left off on our podium run.”
Century Motorsport move to Snetterton for rounds five and six of the 2013 British GT4 Championship on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June.