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Wood Scott Racing – British GT Championship
Rounds Fifteen and Sixteen – Brands Hatch

The very last meeting of the season, and a time to reflect before the weekend’s action.

“It’s been a disappointing year,“ mused Stuart Scott, “and seems over too soon. We’ve only had eight meetings, and all the developments on the car are just coming in now.”

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“Very competitive – everybody’s been on top of their game,” was Steve Wood’s summary.

Saturday morning’s free practice session saw the team set sixth fastest time in the Cup class on the damp, but drying track. “There was some funny drive coming out of right-handers, which could be the differential, so we’re checking it out,” said Steve.

What Neil Barnett and the crew did find was a kink in the anti-roll bar drop link mounting.

Stuart took the first timed qualifying session, and achieved tenth in class for the first race, 22nd overall, with a time of 52.277, before the session was red-flagged two minutes early, Mark Sumpter’s N-GT Porsche having slid into the gravel - after ‘Jono’ Coleman’s TVR had deposited the contents of its sump all along the Top Straight and around Paddock Hill Bend.

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The second session started late due the clearing-up required, and Steve was first out of the traps, eager to explore the condition of the track with a clear road ahead. A best of 50.544 was the result, placing them eighth on the grid in the Cup class for race two. “We changed some of the set-up for qualifying, but we’ll change it back for the race,” explained Steve.

Round 15, late on Saturday afternoon, saw Stuart drop to the back of the field in the early laps, but, with Dominic Lesniewski’s Cup class Porsche beached in the gravel at Paddock Hill, the Safety Car was deployed just before the half way mark of the one-hour race, and Stuart took the opportunity to pit from what was now seventh in class. This position was maintained through the SC period, and once the track went green again, Steve continued a lonely race, being two laps down on the Cup class car in front (Biliamoria’s Porsche), and keeping a watchful eye on the 35-second gap back to Rob Croydon in the DRM Ferrari 360.

And so it finished, seventh in class, and 15th overall. “I had nobody to race with,” complained Steve.

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The weather forecasters had got it spot-on, and Round 16, early on Sunday afternoon, was started in steady rain. The team had decided on intermediate tyres, and Steve was taking no prisoners, passing the heavily-fancied Damax Ferrari, and holding off the GKR Lotus Elise, the acknowledged Rainmeister. Having built a comfortable gap, Steve began to assess the weather conditions, and was even contemplating a change to slicks, when simultaneously the rain started again, and the SC was deployed, so that the errant Holden Monaro could be recovered from the Druids gravel. So, from sixth place in class, and with just a third of the race run, Steve pitted for full wets. Too early for a driver change, but while the field was under caution, he rejoined in the same sixth position: good pit-stop, good move.

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Hector Lester’s Ferrari was now in sight, but the driver change needed to be effected, and with 33 minutes to go, Steve pitted to hand over to Stuart, dropping them to ninth in class. Once the pit stop window closed, Stuart found himself eighth, but the Safety Car got its second outing of the race, with just 15 minutes left to run, which curtailed any immediate progress. The SC had actually picked up Stuart, and, having been waved past, and when the pack were let loose once more, Beighton’s Marcos now seemed a realistic target. Time was running out, however, with just an eight minute dash to the finish, and when the chequered flag fell, the orange Mantis was just a second ahead.

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“It was treacherous, you couldn’t see a thing,” said Steve, before he dashed off to the imminent birth of his second child. “I got some laps in on the wets to give Stuart a good position, and he did a great job,” adding, “don’t forget to thank CBT for their sponsorship,” as he hurriedly left.

Bahrain is the next stop for the Cambridge Business Travel / ART Porsche, where Stuart will be joined by Clio racer (and former) VW colleague Nick Adcock. Before that, Stuart Scott will be racing at Spa, in a Porsche Open event.
Steve Wood (the other one!)

 

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