Century Motorsport have started their 2017 season in winning fashion, taking two Class-G57 victories from the first three races in the all new Creventic 24H Proto Series at the Dubai Autodrome.
With Euan McKay returning to the cockpit of the team’s brand new G57-P2 Prototype following a successful debut at the end of 2016, the Scottish driver was joined by his rapid brother Daniel McKay, for the their first time to race together in the same car.
A compact racing programme of seven sessions that included day and night practice, qualifying and a trio of 180-minute races run over Tuesday and Wednesday got off to the best possible start, with the fastest time overall in Tuesday’s Free Practice One. From there, the Scottish duo would remain well inside the top five coming into race one where they would place their G57 on the outside of row two for the first three hour race of the week.
The exciting new series got underway with a rolling start just after 2pm local time on Tuesday afternoon and a solid opening stint for Euan promoted him to P2 overall at the end of the opening hour. Following the first round of pitstops inside the second hour, the pair had slipped back to seventh overall and fourth in class-G57 coming into the third and final hour. However some rapid laps and a clever strategy paid dividends as they rocketed up the order. Coming out of the final corner for the last time, Euan McKay crossed the finish line in a superb third overall and secured the very first class-G57 victory in the new for 2017 series.
Starting race two this time from the inside of row two, it looked like the McKay brothers where shaping themselves up for another run to the podium. However their luck would run out early on with alternator belt failure leaving them on the sidelines and unable to continue as the team set to work on the car in preparation for the third and final race of the weekend on Wednesday, this time running into darkness.
Forced to start from the back of the grid following their retirement from race two, Daniel McKay was ready to make up for lost ground right from the word go. After just one lap, the prototype rookie was already up to fifth overall from starting in 12th and his progress didn’t stop there. By the turn of the first hour, Daniel now had his G57 in second overall as the first round of pitstops began.
Now inside the second hour, Euan took to the track fully fueled and with a fresh set of Hankook tyres for his final stint of the weekend. Instantly lighting up the timing screens, Euan set the fastest lap of the race up to that point as he charged towards the lead of the race. Quickly moving into the top spot, McKay would build a leading margin of almost a minute going into the final hour as he handed both the car and race lead over to his brother to take it to the flag. However the final stint would be a challenging one for the team with the car developing an intermittent power steering fault. Despite his inexperience in the unique prototype sportscar and some challenging moments on track in the dying moments of the race, Daniel nursed the car home to third overall and their second class-G57 victory of the weekend.
Daniel McKay – #51 Century Motorsport Ginetta G57-P2:
“Having never seen the car, I never expected to do so well this week. However Century Motorsport worked tirelessly to help both Euan and I achieve the maximum possible result out of the three races. Due to the Creventic regulations, beating the P3 was going to be difficult, but to win two of the G57 races, and arguably be in with a shout on the second of the three is very impressive and highlights our skills, but more importantly the great work demonstrated by Century Motorsport.”
Euan McKay – #51 Century Motorsport Ginetta G57-P2:
“To come away with two wins out of the three races was pretty special, and much more than I think any of us were expecting. The results reflect the efforts from the team in preparation for the event, as even finishing the races was no easy task. I was thoroughly impressed with the way everyone at Century conducted themselves over the two hectic days of racing, and look forward to hopefully working with them again soon.”
Nathan Freke – Team Principal, Century Motorsport:
“I really couldn’t have wished for a better start to our all new prototype programme for 2017. We were up against some very experienced prototype teams here this week both with the G57 and with other prototype cars, so to come away with two overall podiums and two class victories is for me, the perfect result for us to build upon. Well done to Euan and Daniel, but I really have to give credit to the boys for race three. Euan’s pace was immense and Daniel’s final stint where he handled a number of issues like a seasoned professional definitely rewarded us with a hard earned podium. With a start like this I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve with our prototype programme in 2017.”