Racing – 2005 British GT Championship
Round Two – Croft
Round two –
or three? Or round two part two? With the GT2 cars having raced
at Magny-Cours a week earlier, the GT3s had Croft to themselves
on May 7-8. Twenty of them chose to take this opportunity to go
for an overall win, and eleven of them were Porsches.
So there were
plenty of rivals for Stuart Scott and Steve Wood to face up to,
in a pair of one hour races, the first on Saturday afternoon. Stuart
was down to start this one, having qualified in the first of two
sessions earlier in the day. The weather was dry and blustery –
but it turned wet and blustery before the end of the 60 minutes.
Steve Wood likes tricky conditions….
Stuart got away
well and finished the first lap in a strong 13th. That became 14th
a lap later, as Phil Burton slipped by in his Ferrari. That set
up an interesting dice throughout the stint, Stuart hanging on well
to two Ferrari 360s: Hector Lester was just ahead of he and Burton.
was to stay as close to them as possible,” said Stuart later.
The only change
was that Burton passed Lester: otherwise the three of them circulated
in close company – and were nicely poised when a Safety Car
period interrupted the racing, to retrieve another Ferrari.
The timing was
perfect – Stuart ducking into the pitlane after 17 laps, from
12th, for a quick change to Steve Wood. The Safety Car didn’t
pick up the leader, so Steve found himself in a group of six cars
that by rights should have been waved past rather smartly. One of
them was… and then there was a pause. Eventually though the
Clerk of the Course gave the instruction for the remaining five
to pass the SC and catch up to the tail of the field. Now Steve
was in his rightful place – eleventh – in the race and
on the track.
And the rain
started to fall – plus a sprinkling of hail. Perfect! Within
a lap the Wood-Scott Racing Porsche was ninth, then eighth –
with more places about to be gained.
two of them at Tower on the first lap, then a Ferrari at the Jim
Clark Esses and another at Sunny In.”
But four laps
to go and Steve was still eighth – having been passed by Ian
a run at me into Sunny, and caught me off guard a little bit.”
The pair of
them then picked off a Porsche on lap 35, another on lap 36, and
completing lap 37, Steve was on the tail of the lone Morgan. He
grabbed that place, the Porsche driver much happier than the Morgan
one, on slicks in the wet – and in the charge to the line,
Steve was the second fastest man on the track, over two seconds
faster than Flux up ahead. They crossed the line exactly a tenth
of a second apart, the blue Wood-Scott Racing GT3 in an excellent
lap and I would have been higher up – I was targeting both
the Ferraris ahead.”
“I do like this circuit. I’ve only been here twice:
we won in the Golf in Britcar, and I won in the Porsche 944 in the
Mike Jordan couldn’t work out why Stuart should like a fast,
lively bumpy old track like Croft, but like it he does.
With Steve liking
tricky conditions, and with plenty of those on offer on Sunday,
could they match or beat Saturday’s fifth place?
of hail on Saturday was easily beaten by Sunday’s deluge of
the hard, white stuff – fortunately at lunchtime, well before
the start of the second GT race of the weekend.
Then it looked
as though it might dry out, then it rained again, so wets were the
obvious choice of tyre, weren’t they? No, Steve Wood set off
on intermediates, along with two or three others – one of
whom, Ian Flux, ‘chickened out’ after a very hairy first
lap, and came in for wets.
out though, and found it very difficult initially… well not
difficult exactly, because he loves these tricky conditions, but
it was very difficult to make any headway.
Until the track
started to become a little less wet. At one point he was the fastest
man on the track, down into the 1:33s while the leaders were in
the 1:35s – but he was in 12th place, with the pit stop looming.
The blue Porsche stayed on intermediates, but poor Stuart then found
the rain coming down again, and he began to slither around, eventually
coming home a frustrated fifteenth. Oh well – on another day,
intermediates could have been an inspired choice.
Steve Wood enjoyed
the race though – but then he would probably have enjoyed
it on slicks.
The next pair
of races is at Knockhill on May 21-22 – and the GT2s will
be joining the fray again.