Anna and Rob pilot the BoltonCAPE Ginetta G55 to P4 in the second free practice session on Saturday, but even more impressive is their P2 in the Sunday morning warm up. Their combined qualifying times translate into P8 for both Rob (Pro driver) and Anna (classified as Am driver) in the afternoon qualifying sessions out of a grid of 34 cars. Brilliant sunshine and 28 degrees greets the impressive grid for the first of two hour-long races and team Bolton CAPE are to start from the 4th row in GT4 class.
A shortage of pit lane space at Snetterton means the cars have to park diagonally, which can mean a pretty frantic pitstop if a number of teams choose to come in together during the 10 minute window. Even the GT3 cars, employing centre-lock wheels, are required to spend at least 45 seconds off-circuit but exiting their allocated space requires each car to be pushed backwards by the mechanics. A power failure in the #48 Ginetta of Fulvio Mussi and Jamie Stanley leads to their retirement on lap 14. Later in the race both Stratton Motorsport UltraTek Evoras retire on the same lap and the #32 Ginetta of Mike Simpson suffers an impressive coolant failure with just a couple of laps left to go. Anna starts race 1 maintaining her position at the start with a clean race handed the car over to Rob with half an hour to go. The BoltonCAPE #41 Ginetta crosses the line a respectable 7th, with Anna’s fastest lap a mere 1.2 seconds adrift from team mate Rob Garofall’s 2:01.817.
Rob is to start race 2. Two formation laps are required for the second race of the day with the track already damp from worsening drizzle, giving the drivers their only chance to gauge the state of the tarmac before lights out. It’s unlikely anyone could have predicted just how wet it was going to get as the race progressed. Shean Hollamby starts the sole GT4 Porsche from the pit lane but its Rob Garofall who took takes wheel of the #41 Ginetta for the first stint for the first time this season. There’s drama already on the first lap with two GT3 championship contenders colliding, both suffering damage and leaving them to limp back to the pits. 20 minutes in The Bolton University car is into a thrilling battle with both the #77 and #53 Evoras, making for some great television. Will Moore’s #61 Aston is into the tyres at Coram just after half way through so any cars that hadn’t already pitted then comes in.
Anna takes over from Rob for the remaining session in worsening weather. With just over a quarter of the hour-long event remaining the race steward quite rightly brings proceedings to a halt with a red flag, by which time the rain has reached “torrential” with considerable levels of standing water, especially at Murrays. Graham Johnson the Optimum Motorsport Ginetta, recovering from a big spin at Riches which moves Anna up to 5th position but as the race was red flagged on that same lap Anna has to settle for P6 in GT4 class, equalling their best of the season set at Brands Hatch.
Anna comments, “Thanks to the team and students we had another strong finish. The weather was tricky in race 2, it was challenging to keep the car in a straight line down the back straights, aqua planning constantly but great fun. It was the right call to stop the race early but a shame for us as we took 5th position the lap of the red flag. This was my first proper wet race this year and I really enjoyed it. Happy with another P6 but now for a podium at Donington and end the year on a high”.
Rob comments, “the tyres were mega and we got the set up right! Its was great fun” The next and final outing will be at Donington on 12/13th September and Team
BoltonCAPE will be expecting to continue their move up the results sheet.