Scott Racing – British GT Championship
Rounds Three and Four – Mondello Park
is a tight, twisty and very technical circuit that needs practice
to extract a fast lap time. The new
format for the 2004 British GT Championship isn’t entirely
helpful in that regard, but Stuart Scott and Steve Wood were out
on track bright and early for the Saturday morning practice session,
learning the circuit and getting the feel of the #77 Porsche’s
new weapon in the armoury, a state of the art Porsche sequential
“It makes a real difference, “said Stuart, “a
world away from the sequential shift we had last year in the Golf.”
The weekend’s action goes at a fast and furious pace and
all too soon after the morning’s extended practice session
it was time for qualifying.
With two quick-fire 15 minute sessions on the 3.5km circuit to
decide the grid for the two races, it was Stuart first to get the
car on the grid for the Saturday race.
27 cars out on the circuit and a 15 minute session combined to
give precious little opportunity to find a clear lap, but Stuart
was pushing hard and tenth slot in class on a circuit not at all
well suited to the Porsche was enough to put a smile on his face.
“I’m under no illusions: I’m still learning
this car and I’m happy enough with that, particularly at
a circuit which I’ve not raced at before and with the new ‘box.”
For the second
session it was Steve’s turn and he too was
pleased with his run. #77 would sit in ninth position on the Cup
class grid for Sunday’s Race Two
1 – Saturday
Stuart Scott takes up the story:
“I got a good start but a couple of others got a better
one and ploughed by me. I was settling down to a comfortable race
rhythm and shaping up to have a go at the guys ahead when the Safety
Car came out - for the Jensen Motorsport Corvette fire, at the
start of the pit straight. I’d been having a good old dice
with a gaggle of cars, including the Glenvarigill and DRM 360s,
the new Monaro and one of the Elises, but by the time the Safety
Car was withdrawn, it was really a case of bringing it to the pit
stop safely and in good shape, for Steve to have a crack.”
Stuart pitted at the 22 minute mark for a slick JWR pit stop,
and then it was Game On once again.
With Steve Wood now at the wheel the chase was on, but the Porsche
was dogged with a problem that would remain a factor throughout
“I had loads of understeer in the slower corners and it
was a big handicap. We don’t run with adjustable dampers
on the car and so we’re playing around with the rollbars
to find the best set-up. It’s not ideal, particularly at
a circuit like this which really suits the little Lotuses.
“The other thing about Mondello is that it’s a real
tyre circuit and the surface is very abrasive: if you aren’t
careful you can waste your rubber in no time at all.”
But there was no shortage of racing action for the #77 car.
“I got punted out of the way by Jonathan Rowlands at one
point and had a great scrap with Paul Mace in the ABG Porsche,” said
Steve with a broad grin.
All too soon though there was a second safety car after a nasty
accident at the quick left hander (the accident ended the race
for the Eclipse TVR and the #67 DRM Ferrari). Steve pulled up behind
the Noble, Morgan Aero 8 and his team-mate Graeme Langford in the
second JWR Cup class car, circulating in close company with the
Emotional engineering Vauxhall Monaro.
the Safety Car pulled in there was a fair amount of confusion
and one or
two of the guys got the jump on me. I had
a good tussle with the Monaro though, and a great dice with Graeme.
I eventually got past him in the middle part of my stint but he
stuck with me. We both got past the Vauxhall into Tarzan and then
Graeme managed to sneak by me as well. I got him next time around
into Turn One and held it from there to the finish though, a great
As the flag dropped the WSR car powered home seventh in class,
a solid finish on a circuit which was always less likely to suit
2 – Sunday
A solid run to a points finish was what was required but a lunge
from a Ferrari 360 at the first corner left Steve Wood languishing
at the back of the field.
“I got punted!” was
the blunt reaction, and the sizeable chunk of Ferrari front bodywork
missing from the Glenvarigill 360
seemed to adequately identify the culprit.
With the understeer
problem still very much in evidence - and now something awry
at the rear of the Porsche as a result of the ‘nerf’ -
it would be a steady run for a finish, instead of a charge to the
front of the field for Steve and Stuart. “It was soul destroying
really, I felt I would be able to get in amongst them and we ended
up with a car unable to deliver after the first corner.”
Despite that setback, the boys brought it home, albeit a distant
ninth in class.
“That was pretty frustrating really, “ said Stuart
afterwards. “On the upside though we brought the car home
in both races and in one piece. Track time is vitally important
to us in this car and we’ve come away having learnt more
about the car and the things we need to do to get the best from
it. Snetterton will be a far more Porsche-friendly circuit and
I’d expect us to be challenging hard there.”
be there to see them try.
Rounds 5 and 6 are indeed at Snetterton, on June 5/6.