Spa Francorchamps Race Report
Anna and Rob’s away trip to Spa Francorchamps for the fifth round of the 2015 British GT season looked as though it was going to produce the best result to date when the pair posted a 4th fastest time in the first free practice session – a figure that must have come as a shock to others in the mainly Aston Martin-dominated class.
This was Anna’s second trip to the famous Belgian circuit, but for Rob it was return to the track where he landed a 4th in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in an MG Lola EX265 (Judd) LMP2 with the same RLR team back in 2011.
Anna said “We weren’t quite quick enough in qualifying though – we changed to a different setup which we haven’t nailed yet. With no testing before Spa we had to learn on the job.”
No less than 15 GT4 teams had signed up for the round and bright sunshine greeted the grid as the cars lined up for a 2 hour race at the splendid Ardennes circuit, with Anna taking to the wheel for the initial session of what proved to be an incident-filled race.
A mere six laps in and the Ginetta was collected by another car, bending the wishbone suspension arm and knocking the tracking out severely. Anna completed her stint with the car in this condition until the team called the car in for Rob to take over on a different set of the mandated Avon slicks which we hoped would disguise the problem somewhat on new rubber.
Rob brought the car home in 10th position, quite an achievement considering the collision could have ended their race. Anna received a heartfelt apology from the GT3 driver who collided with her at La Source hairpin.
After the race, Rob added “Anna got hit so the car was not in great shape when I got in it with the steering off by 45 degrees. However we plodded on! I think I was second quickest throughout my stint in a sick car, so that was satisfying even if the result wasn’t!”
Anna added “A lot of DNFs – damage and accidents for other cars, we did well finishing considering our problem. Good points in the bag for us. One of the other Ginetta’s spun at La Source on 1st lap in front of me which I avoided but that spread the cars out and I had a great race coming back up through the field until our unlucky contact.”
Anna continues, “It was great to have the students from Bolton University’s Motorsport Engineering degree course with us at such an iconic track, a superb experience for them. I’m look forward to Brands Hatch GP at the beginning of August. Thanks to The University of Bolton and Westons.
The Bolton CAPE team’s next challenge will be the equally hilly but somewhat closer to home Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on 1st and 2nd of August.