Fresh from their second consecutive podium finish at the championship’s longest round in Snetterton, series leaders Stephen Fresle and Jacob Mathiassen were understandably confident coming to Donington Park for round three of the series.
Having finished second to their teammates Ruben Anakhasyan and Ollie Hancock at the previous round, the #43 duo were hoping to repeat their opening round victory on Saturday in the championship’s second longest race of the season.
Despite enjoying completely trouble free running to date, Saturday morning would throw a slight curve ball, when a gearbox issue during the opening sessions caused some concern. Unable to select neutral, both Jacob and Stephen worked around the issue to complete their morning practice and qualifying, and to good effect, with Jacob’s time securing a pole position start for the race.
Hoping their issues had been resolved; Jacob got the three-hour race started for the crew. Holding a solid second position behind the #54 class leading Aston Martin, Mathiassen handed the car over to Fresle for his stint just past the one-hour mark. However those gearbox gremlins would raise their head again early in his opening stint. Despite working with the pitwall to try and resolve the issue on track, stuck in third gear, Stephen was forced to make an unscheduled pitstop. Returning to the track in full working order thanks to a new fuse and relay, Fresle was now a lap down but set off on a charge to close the gap to the front.
By the end of his stint, Stephen had caught and passed the class leading Aston Martin to move into the lead as he handed the car back over to Jacob for the final part of the race. A drama-free final stint allowed Mathiassen to take the car across the line securing their second victory of the season and crucially, extending their advantage at the top of the points table.
Stephen Fresle – #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“Well we’re still ‘lovin it!’ so far this season! As usual, we had a well-prepared car and a winning strategy. The gearbox problem set us back a bit, but Jacob’s first stint where he stayed on the tail of the #54 Aston Martin set us up to be able to deal with the problem and make up the lost time. Jacob drove fantastically again and the team dealt with the problem efficiently meaning it was the usual great team effort that delivered the right result.”
Jacob Mathiassen – #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“It has been yet another great weekend for us. The team did an amazing job and gave us a very fast car. Stephen did a great job in the race as well, which all together gave us another win. Jody Fannin and I had a very intense battle for first place, and we both pushed our limits which made it all the more enjoyable.”
Nathan Freke – Team Principal, Century Motorsport:
“Stephen and Jacob seem to have become the magic combination this year in every round so far. Two wins are brilliant for both us as a team and the guys themselves. Obviously today wasn’t without it’s issues, but we overcame those quite quickly and the guys knuckled down to secure another top result, I couldn’t be happier with everyone’s performance this weekend.”
Round 4 – Thruxton, Andover, UK, Saturday 3rd July 2016.