Following on from a disappointing and rare non-finish at the last round of the Britcar Endurance Championship in Silverstone, Century Motorsport’s Stephen Fresle and his young Danish co-driver Jacob Mathiassen were more fired up than ever to get their championship challenge back on track coming into the penultimate round of the year in Oulton Park.
Friday’s pre-event testing was greeted with varied weather conditions between sunshine and showers, making the Cheshire circuit a challenge at best during the day. Despite one or two minor offs, the team worked through a development programme to achieve a good balance for Saturday’s two-hour-30-minute race.
Approaching qualifying on Saturday morning, the heavens opened, necessitating some quick setup adjustments to suit the tricky conditions. Mathiassen set off for qualifying with the untested setup, but very quickly it was clear he had the right package for the conditions and as has been the case on so many occasions this season, produced the goods with a superb lap time to secure pole position in class, over a second clear of their nearest rivals.
Getting underway at 4pm on Saturday afternoon, it was drama right from the off with Jacob taking to the grass at the first corner to avoid the aftermath of contact between the front-running Audi and BMW. Despite avoiding the drama, Mathiassen had now lost ground to their class rival the #54 Aston Martin.
From there the remainder of Jacob’s opening stint was drama free and he dived into the pits at the one hour mark from fourth overall and in a healthy class lead. Keen to maintain their advantage, Stephen Fresle took to the track for his first stint in the race. Despite the rain stopping, a dry line failed to appear and the circuit remained treacherously slippery throughout his stint. Never the less, Fresle put in a superb performance and with just 18 minutes to go, pitted for their second mandatory pitstop. A splash of fuel, fresh Dunlop wet tyres and the flying Dane in the car it was plain sailing to the end to secure another class victory and fifth overall. Crucially, the overall championship leading Audi R8 was a non-finisher, which further boosted their chances of closing in on the overall title lead.
Stephen Fresle – #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“As usual the team gave us a well prepared car and were able to adapt to the ever changing conditions this weekend. A massive thank you to the mechanics who cleaned out the gravel on Friday while we bedded in to the conditions and prepared the car on Friday and performed faultless pitstops on Saturday. We have closed the gap in the overall championship to six points and extended our class lead to 17 points with just one race to go at Brands Hatch. So overall a very good weekend.”
Jacob Mathiassen – #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“After a very frustrating last race at Silverstone we were back with more motivation than ever. Oulton Park is a very challenging track and with the rain, you need to be 100% focused all the time! The qualifying was absolutely my best this year! The lap was just spot on and we ended up P4 overall and pole position in class three – that was a great feeling. The race was very good for us. We knew that we needed to be consistent and stable without any mistakes – and that worked out for us. Now we are back in the game for the overall championship! It’s just so cool to be in a team like Century Motorsport with such a team spirit! We are very happy and looking forward to Brands Hatch.”
Nathan Freke – Team Principal, Century Motorsport:
“Stephen and Jacob did a brilliant job again this weekend and are clearly back on form after a slight dip in Croft and Silverstone. Jacob’s lap on Saturday morning shows just how good he is and in the race the two guys put in a textbook performance to secure the perfect result. Well done to the guys in the garage who worked hard with the ever-changing conditions. Now it’s down to the final round in Brands Hatch which should be exciting.”