Scott Racing – British GT Championship
Rounds Seven and Eight – Castle Combe
The Bar Goes Higher
as stiff as it is in the dailysportscar.com Cup, it’s sometimes
difficult to grasp that the Cup class of the British GT Championship
is only in its second year.
the competing teams has come on in leaps and bounds - two to three
seconds a lap since last year from some entries - and the pace in
the qualifying sessions for the Castle Combe double header was further
proof that the standards are rising ever further.
for the first race was set at a mark almost three seconds quicker
than in 2003, a massive margin in motorsport terms, particularly
in vehicles where there are strict controls on modifications.
The margin between
a time at the top of the sheets and one which will place a car in
the lower reaches of the top 10 is now very small, and at Castle
Combe, the Wood Scott Racing effort would see the tenths counting
against them, tenth and eighth in the two qualifying sessions.
still both adapting from a front wheel drive car (the infamous GulfAir
Golf) and I’d not raced here for many years until we ran in
the Golf last season,” commented Steve Wood. “It’s
a bit frustrating that just half a second can leave us that far
down the order but it’s an incentive to try harder.”
1 – Saturday
This was a tale of a starting stint from Stuart Scott spoilt by
a muffed start procedure: “I got a message to abort the start
(the race officials had set the lights incorrectly) but was totally
swamped as the rest of the field decided to go for it. Suffice to
say, I ended up running last.
the Safety Car came out early on (following a heavy shunt for the
#35 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari) and I ended up spending almost all
of the rest of my stint cruising round in the train behind it.”
opeing stint then. Stuart was an early stopper, handing the car
over to Steve as the pitstop window opened, but at least the Safety
car had done the team a favour: the field had bunched up and Steve
emerged from the stop directly behind a pair of Porsches, and with
the opportunity of battling for a podium position, but then………..
a call over the radio that there was fluid leaking from the rear
of the car. The instruments all looked fine but then suddenly the
temperature went through the roof. We think it was a piece of debris
through the cooling system. I shut the engine down immediately and
that was it, race over.
particularly frustrating as Stuart had been kind to the car in his
stint so I could really push – very disappointing.”
2 – Sunday
Sunday’s race gave the Wood Scott combo the opportunity to
put a pact with JWR team mates Graeme Langford and Pete Chambers
“We’d agreed that whichever car was in front at the
end of lap one we wouldn’t battle with each other, rather
we’d help each other on pace.”
Steve came around
at the end of lap 1 right behind the red JWR car and Plan A went
into operation. It worked fairly well, the race pace not quite what
Steve was looking for, but there was time to battle away with the
very rapid (and very yellow) ABG Motorsport Porsche, before it was
time to pit and hand over the car to Stuart.
Pete and Graeme’s car in the pits and I was holding my own
out there,” said Stuart later, “and then the rain came
right at the end of the race. The car was all but undriveable, it
was very, very slippy out there: a greasy track on slicks is a deeply
unpleasant experience, it won’t accelerate, brake or handle
properly. I was relieved when they red flagged the race with few
minutes still to go, but I was kicking myself for taking it so carefully
in the wet, it lost me a couple of places but at least the car came
home in one piece.”
The boys had promised themselves an opportunity to let their hair
down after the rigours of preparing for the season and had entered
the 911 (and Stuart’s trusty and much loved 944) in a track
day on the Monday following the race weekend. JWR’s Neil Barnett
fitted the necessary silencers to the 911 and a high old time was
had by all. The boys’ number one fan Lesley (Les) Hayes had
an opportunity to see what it looks like and feels like from the
passenger seat: her reaction?
that is fast!!”
is next, the prettiest track in British Motorsport – The boys
won’t be looking at the scenery though, they’ll be battling
hard to put the Porsche in amongst the front runners.