Coming from a race winning start to the season at the opening round of the 2016 Britcar Endurance Championship in Silverstone, with new driver pairing Stephen Fresle and Jacob Mathiassen, Century Motorsport were understandably confident coming to Snetterton for round two of the season, the first four hour race distance of the year.
Fresle and Mathiassen would continue their race winning combination for the weekend, while Russian driver; Ruben Anakhasyan was joined by his long time driver coach and experienced endurance racer Ollie Hancock for Sunday’s race.
How the weekend went for car #88:
Ruben’s weekend started on Saturday, as he opted to enter the Britcar Production races to gain some valuable extra track time in preparation for Sunday’s long distance race. Anakhasyan was feeling confident coming to Snetterton, a circuit he both likes and has been kind to him in the past.
What would ultimately set the tone for the weekend; Ruben secured himself a class pole position start for both of the day’s 50-minute races. Using this to good effect, he went on to win his class in race one, but more significantly, in race two he won both his class and the race outright to complete a dominate day much to the delight of his Century Motorsport team.
With his driver coach Ollie Hancock now joining him behind the wheel for Sunday’s action, their day got off to a less than fortunate start when a Safety Car in qualifying hindered their chances of getting a stronger starting position for the race.
Taking to the wheel to get the day’s single 240-minute race underway, Ruben chipped away at those in front during the early stages of the race, before handing the car over to Hancock just as the Safety Car was deployed early in the second hour. A storming drive from the occasional Historic Formula 1 driver put the #88 Ginetta into the class lead before Anakhasyan was back in the car inside hour three. With temperatures exceeding 50 degrees inside the car, this added a sizeable challenge to what was already a competitive race.
Maintaining their healthy class lead, Ruben completed his stint inside the final hour, before handing the car back over to Ollie who finished the race to secure their class victory with a margin of one lap over their nearest rivals.
How the weekend went for car #43:
Having got their new partnership off to the best possible start in Silverstone, race winners Stephen Fresle and Jacob Mathiassen were aiming to pull off a repeat performance over the longer four-hour test at Snetterton. Putting themselves in a good position to challenge, the pair would start the race from third in class, easily within sight of the race lead.
Getting their race off to a good start, initially it was the #43 Century Ginetta that lead the way for the team with Jacob starting the race. However falling victim to an ill-timed Safety Car period, Mathiassen’s good work would be eradicated when Fresle took over the car for his first stint. Making up the lost ground, Fresle was now back in front, but another Safety Car period played into the hands of Century Teammates Ollie Hancock and Ruben Anakhasyan who were now able to close in on the class leaders. Slipping to second during the pitstops, Jacob completed his last stint before Fresle took over the #43 Ginetta inside the final hour, maintaining a very comfortable second in class to the end.
Ruben Anakhasyan – #88 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“I’m absolutely delighted, what a fantastic race meeting. The whole weekend couldn’t be better. Snetterton seems to be my lucky circuit! Both of the races on Saturday went without mistakes and it increased my confidence for Sunday. It was incredibly hot in the car during the race on Sunday, which made it a tough job. Big credit to Century Motorsport, they did a great job as usual. The car hadn’t a single issue over the weekend, perfect engineering and pitstops. Huge gratitude to Ollie Hancock, my coach for almost three years and co-driver in this weekend’s four-hour race. Vastly experienced in motorsport, he made the car setup on Friday very friendly for my driving style and guided me through Saturday’s races. He drove lovely on Sunday and made our win very solid. I’m even happier that our teammates Steve and Jacob joined us on podium with the confident second place.”
Ollie Hancock – #88 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“What a weekend really! I have been coaching Ruben for three years now from zero race experience to finally a race win! He has always shown serious speed on his day but the ingredients to win all came together and rewarded him for his efforts. Even more impressive, he did not put a foot wrong all weekend, zero offs, no spins, no flat spotted tyres, confident car handling feedback and proved he is capable of doing a great job. Century Motorsport as per usual, gave us one of the best race cars I have driven, completely reliable, and they nailed the pits stops – a perfect weekend!”
Stephen Fresle – #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“Needless to say, we are ‘lovin it’! Summer certainly arrived this weekend and gave the whole weekend a great feeling. It was a great weekend for the team, in his first visit to Snetterton, Jacob was amazingly quick and did a fantastic job all weekend. Without doubt it was hotter in the car than Dubai and after the first stint I was happy to get a drink and some fresh air. The boys in the garage worked hard all weekend and as usual provided us with the car to do the job, but more than that they analysed their side of the pit stops, worked and practiced on delivering the quickest stops possible, and the proof is in the result. It’s an unbelievable start to the season and now I cannot wait for Donington.”
Jacob Mathiassen – #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“It was our main goal to get as many points as possible and keep our lead in the championship – and we succeeded. I had no experience with Snetterton and with very limited time on the track during the practice on Friday, it was challenging but we kept a good and fast pace. On Sunday we were ready for the race! Only a short time in the car during my first stint, the temperature rose which became a challenge during the rest of the race. Steve was fast and stable in the car and the whole Century team did an amazing job. I’m really happy with our result from this weekend and I’m really looking forward to the next race in Donington.”
Nathan Freke – Team Principal, Century Motorsport:
“What can I say really other than what an amazing weekend. Ruben did a sterling job throughout, from qualifying on Saturday through to his class wins in the races. Then with the help of Ollie Hancock on Sunday, the guys went and won their class there also which was mega. The icing on the cake was to see Stephen and Jacob continue to race so well together and make it a Century 1-2. This was a real team victory, everyone played their part in making it all happen, as the pitstops are crucial over such a long race, so well done to all the boys who left no stone unturned throughout the weekend. Hopefully we can keep the momentum up at Donington.”
Round 3 – Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derby, UK, Saturday 4th June 2016.