Century Motorsport’s 2019 British GT campaign got off to a promising start (mixed with some spells of bad luck) at Cheshire’s Oulton Park on Easter weekend. Since then, the team have ventured to Norfolk’s Snetterton Circuit for a couple of test days in preparation for the next round of the championship, which is next weekend (18th – 19th May).
Looking back to the season-opener, race one of two saw Ben Green and Dominic Paul bring the #3 BMW M6 GT3 home in fifth place, with Jack Mitchell and Adrian Willmott of car #9 finishing just behind in sixth place. In last year’s championship-leading BMW M4 GT4s: car #43 – Angus Fender and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke finished race one in 11th; car #42 – Jacob Mathiassen and Mark Kimber finished in 13th.
Bad luck for Century Motorsport in race two. GT4:#42 was forced to retire from the race after contact with another car, meanwhile a podium was on the cards for #43 until the car suffered with a boost issue, leaving Fender and Gordon-Colebrooke to fall to the back of the field. GT3: Mitchell and Willmott dropped down the order due to a prolonged pit stop to put out a brake fire, going on to finish in ninth place. Greenand Paul were the only Century Motorsport duo to not have bad luck in this race and they matched their result from race one – a solid fifth place finish.
After some successful testing at Snetterton, Century Motorsport look forward to next weekend, where all four cars will come back stronger.
“What a fantastic weekend! We have had very little testing time and to come out of the weekend with 2 solid 5th place finishes was a great start to our campaign. Ben and I worked really well together as a team and Century were – as usual – fantastic. The M6 is a great car to drive and I love the British GT atmosphere and the professionalism of the racing. Can’t wait for Snetterton!”
“Good start to the weekend with nice qualifying results for both drivers. Good races – first race with a potential for a podium – one small mistake cost it and then in the second race we had a great drive from ninth up to fifth which was the best we could have hoped for today really. It’s really encouraging to have good results like this on your debut with the car and for the team too and at the track that is probably the worst for the car. Really looking forward to Snetterton.”
“It’s a very, very long time ago since I did my last BGT race. Wow – how things have changed! The level of professionalism, the crowds and the competition have all moved on massively to create a fantastic show for spectators & competitors alike – full credit to BGT.
Nowhere was that professionalism more evident than at Century Motorsport. Running four cars and managing eight drivers seamlessly…some feat! And if that wasn’t enough, how about changing a gearbox in our car between races – impressive stuff!
Race day was a mixed bag but with a lot of promise. Oulton Park was never going to be our best circuit but although we didn’t quite get the results we wanted, we both showed we have the pace, which is encouraging for the rest of the season. Roll on Snetterton!”
“Difficult weekend with lots of up and downs. I feel we’ve made a big step in the right direction with the car and it showed as our pace was getting quicker and quicker throughout the weekend. We knew this was going to be our hardest circuit of the year due to the tight and twisty sections in sector 2 but I feel we put in some good times and battled against some strong competition.
Sadly the races didn’t go to plan and we had some strong chances to finish on the podium in race 2 but due to a brake fire it slowed our pit stop massively and dropped us down the order. Adrian’s pace against the other ‘am’ drivers looks really strong and he seems to be the most confident with the overtakes which will make a big difference throughout the season. A hard weekend with lots of positives – looking forward to getting back on track for round 2 where we can hopefully fight for a podium and possibly a race win.”
“Oulton Park represented a case of what could have been for Angus and myself. We showed good pace in the practice sessions to give ourselves cause for optimism going into qualifying. Unfortunately we weren’t quite able to deliver and ended up a couple of places below where wanted to be. In the races though we proved that we are a strong partnership and made ground in both races but luck went against us in the form of a slow moving GT3 car in the first race and loose turbo hose in the second which took away what could’ve been two top six finishes at least. It’s frustrating but that’s motorsport for you and I’m sure that luck will balance itself out later on in the season.
I have to give my thanks to every member of the Century Motorsport team who were all exceptional throughout the weekend and proved exactly why they won the championship last year. I’d been eagerly anticipating the first round of the British GT season for months and it certainly lived up to expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it, it was truly a fantastic event to be a part of and I can’t wait to do it all again at Snetterton!”
“So, my first ever race weekend in the British GT Championship. It was full of ups and downs. As far as my own personal performance is concerned, I am very content with how I drove the epic BMW M4 GT4 this weekend. Having struggled with the setup throughout the weekend, I was pleased with my drive in qualifying, achieving P9 in the Pro Qualifying session, just .4 of a second away from P2. Race 1 could’ve been so much better. Being held up badly by one of the GT3 Aston’s in the pit lane cost me 6-7 seconds and dropped me into traffic where I continued to lose time battling a slower GT4 car. If I hadn’t have been held up, I’m convinced I would’ve caught the group of 4 GT4 cars ahead and would’ve passed the majority of them due to the race pace we had, but P8 in GT4S was a solid start to our season.
Race 2 was a massive “what could’ve been”. I was running in P5 in GT4S throughout my stint and was set to gain 3 places in the pit-stops due to pit-stop penalties for the cars ahead, putting us P2. However, on my in-lap, the car developed an issue with the turbo that would set us off the lead lap and way down the order. It’s a huge shame for all of us in Century Motorsport but at a track where we were off the pace in qualifying, to nearly end up with a podium is still a huge testimony to the immense effort we all put in as a team. It was an emotional one, but we’ll come back stronger at Snetterton!”
“First race weekend of the season is over. Overall I think we have a really good package and the ingredients to be up front are definitely there. It’s a brand new car for Mark and I to learn. From my point of view, I’m not satisfied! I made a mistake during qualifying and one in race two and I need to learn from that! Next one is Snetterton, all focus on that! Apart from that I’m happy to be back with the team – everyone had made a really good job during the weekend and I’m quite impressed with Mark’s performance in the car.”
“My first race weekend in the car and British GT was difficult for me trying to get my head round all the different procedures as well as getting to grips with the car, we had a few problems on Friday but I’m really happy with the progress myself and Jacob made throughout the weekend. P7 was a solid result for our first race together with the team and the second race was looking even more promising until an unfortunate incident caused us to retire. Other than this, I’m happy with the progress made and considering this track may not suit our car as much as the others, it was a good result and there were lots of positives for me and the team to take away by the end of the weekend.”
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