Ginetta racer David Pittard enjoyed a podium result and fastest lap on his debut in the USA, as he joined Ramon Alcaraz for round three of the FARA series, which took place at the Sunset 300, Miami Homestead.
Having taken five wins, 12 podiums and the most fastest laps of the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCupp, the vice-champion has taken a break from full-time competition in 2015, however with his previous Ginetta success and hard-working ethos, David was offered a seat with experienced gentleman driver Alcaraz to take on the into the night race behind the wheel of a Ginetta G55 GT4 car.
David’s first experience of the track came in practice where, on old tyres he racked up 10 laps, tuning the set up to suit Ramon and himself, before taking new tyres into qualifying. After three flying laps, David put the car into P4 in the MP-1A class which included two GT3 cars!
“The track was relatively simple to pick up, meaning I could start to match the times of the more experienced drivers in the team like, former BTCC and current Brazilian Stockcar driver Nono Figueiredo. Turns 3-4 using the NASCAR banking were a great adrenaline buzz! I got 10 laps in, on very old tyres and 3 flying laps on new tyres to qualify the car 2nd which was a good place to start the long race from!”
Alcaraz was nominated to start the race, but as the cars completed their warm up laps, the rain began to fall! The decision was made to stay out on slicks due to the high ambient temperature and high track temperature. Alcaraz drove a great first stint to lap competitively and safety in P3, in the increasingly wet circuit on slicks, before handing over to David after 1.5 hrs. The stop was used to swap to the wet Hankook tyres, and send David out in conditions “just like home,” however this was short lived.
“After 3 laps, the race was red flagged due to the thunder storm approaching and the marshals on circuit. So I had to wait a further 30mins before getting back out on circuit in anger. Once we took the restart I was pumped and ready to make my mark, I must have passes 15 cars on the first lap alone which was my first competitive laps in the dark and in the wet!”
In the wet and greasy conditions, David and the Ginetta USA G55 lapped consistently as the fastest car on circuit and setting the fastest lap in class, to haul the #255 car towards the top 2, and after a mistake from the car ahead, David capitalized on the mistake to take P2 in class. From then on David lapped safely, upto a quick splash and dash fuel stop with 20mins remaining before bringing the #255 car across the line in flying formation with Ginetta USA team principal Adolpho Rossi in their #40 Ginetta G40!
“Having spent 2.5 hours in the car, it was a tough stint, which was great fun! Being the fastest car on circuit meant I got great experience managing traffic and the tyres over a long stint, bringing home a great result which was set up nicely by Ramon after his great drive in difficult conditions.
Even though I’ve been out of the car full time this year I’ve kept my training up and felt good after the stint! It was also the best way to send out my intent by setting the fastest lap and to do it consistently. I really enjoyed myself and think I made a great impression! A huge thank you to Adolpho Rossi of Ginetta USA and Ramon Alcaraz for the amazing opportunity, I hope to be back in the FARA series again soon!"