Century Motorsport have been one of the teams to beat so far this season in the Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship, particularly in their class thanks to some stellar performances by the rapid duo of Stephen Fresle and Jacob Mathiassen.
Coming off the back of their second win of the season at Donington Park last time out, the championship moved to the ultra fast Thruxton Motorsport Centre for one of the fastest rounds of the championship.
Of added significance, this weekend the team would welcome guests from Julia’s House, the Dorset & Wiltshire Children’s Hospice for a ‘Dad’s and Lad’s’ day out. Offering Respite and palliative care for children in Dorset and South Wiltshire, the day out would offer them the chance to get up close and personal with the team and enjoy the surroundings of Thruxton.
Having never raced at a circuit he regards as one of his local venues, Fresle opted to take part in Saturday’s GT & Production race to give him some valuable extra mileage ahead of Sunday’s main championship two hour encounter. Using the single 50-minute race to good effect starting from third in class on the grid, Stephen put in a superb performance, quickly dispatching the Aston Martin before reeling in and passing the then class leading TVR to win his class and finish the race fourth overall – setting him up very well for Sunday’s main event.
Joined by Danish co-driver Jacob Mathiassen for Sunday’s race, the pair were both feeling confident around the high-speed venue, setting down an important marker right from the off with the fastest time in their class during Sunday’s opening practice session. With tyre degradation starting to become an issue around the notably abrasive circuit, the pair were able to carry their rapid pace into qualifying, a superb lap from Mathiassen placing them in a Class 3 pole position for Sunday afternoon’s 120-minute shoot out.
Starting the race from the outside of row three, it was very clear to see that the young Dane is really getting to grips with both endurance racing and race starts, as he read the pack very well and quickly opened up a sizeable class lead during the early laps. Pitting the car just past the half way point, Fresle took over, now however back in second, largely down to the extra time spent in the pitlane as a result of their success penalty from their Donington Park victory. Eager to return to the lead, Stephen got his head down and with a sequence of flying laps, the Julia’s House Ginetta G55 was now back in the Class 3 lead.
From there it was a master class in precision endurance driving from Fresle, looking after his Ginetta to ensure he made it to the end, which even included catching and passing the GT3 Ferrari 458 for position towards the end to finish the race after two hours as Class 3 winners and fourth overall.
Stephen Fresle – #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“Thruxton was always going to be quite a big unknown for us with regards to the car, the tyres and the fact that myself or Jacob had never driven around there. However the team gave us some brilliant data to work off and the setup and strategy were brilliant as usual. The race was great, Jacob easily had his best start to date and from there it was all very slick to secure another win. This weekend was quite special for us as we hosted a ‘Dad’s and Lad’s’ day for Julia’s House Children’s Hospice, so to win in front of those guys was brilliant.”
Jacob Mathiassen – #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“From the start I had heard a lot about the fast Thruxton circuit and after racing there myself, I can relate to what people have told me about it. It is a very fast circuit and I understand why many find it scary to race there, but actually I really enjoyed every lap and especially the fast corners. It was amazing to feel the downforce of the car. The result of the race was once again perfect for us. We got pole position and in my stint I made a good gap ahead of the Aston Martin while I still tried to save the tyres. Stephen did an amazing job in his stint in the second half of the race and the team as well did a fantastic job. I’m really happy with the good points we got for our overall championship lead.”
Nathan Freke – Team Principal, Century Motorsport:
“We seem to be on a roll with our Britcar department at the moment and it’s certainly one I hope doesn’t end! It was another flawless performance from everyone in the team this weekend, Stephen and Jacob really are becoming the ultimate driver pairing. On behalf of Century Motorsport I’d like to say how happy we were to have several guests from Julia’s House with us this weekend, and I really hope they enjoyed their day out, the result was exactly what we could have wished for, for them.”
Round 5 – Croft, Darlington, UK, Saturday 23rd July 2016.