Team LNT once again proved their might in British GT as Mike Simpson and Steve Tandy secured a sixth place finish at Spa Francorchamps, in spite of qualifying issues which had put the team on the back foot before they had even turned a wheel in competition.
Looking strong throughout both test sessions, Team LNT was on course for a strong qualifying with Simpson powering the #32 car into fifth in the Pro Class. Hopes of a top-five grid slot were dealt a blow however, when the car’s radiator was punctured whilst returning to the pits between sessions. Although the mechanics repaired the fault, Tandy could only set one timed lap before taking the flag, putting the car a very unrepresentative 13th on the grid.
The #44 car fared marginally better, with Parfitt starting P11 and putting in a storming opening stint to propel his Ginetta G55 GT3 car into seventh by lap 12 and the appearance of the first safety car of the race.
On the restart, Parfitt saw an opportunity to snatch sixth from Attard at Pouhon, but the pair made contact, damaging the front corner of the #44 car and forcing it to return to the pits for a considerable period of time.
Sweeping into action, the factory mechanics rallied to fit a new water coolant system and replace the front bodywork. Parfitt then rejoined to complete his required number of laps before handing over to teammate Oliphant, who was seven laps down on the leader.
Meanwhile in the #32 car, Tandy had moved into 12thoverall by the time he handed over to Simpson for the second half of the race. On a charge, the Ginetta Factory Driver was up two places within the first half of his stint, but not satisfied with a top 10 finish, he charged on to claim sixth by the end of the race.
Mike Simpson, #32 said; “After a disappoint qualifying which put us out of position, Team LNT battled the gruelling heat at Spa Francorchamps to recover from 15thposition at the end of the opening lap into a great points scoring position. The boys at Team LNT showed fantastic teamwork throughout and my hat goes off to Steve Tandy who brought us through the pack in his opening stint, giving me the chance to close in on the leaders from P12.”
Steve Tandy, #32 commented; “I am incredibly pleased that we have returned back to fine form. The team did a great job under pressure during qualifying and gave us a great car for the race. Of course a fantastic drive by Mike Simpson, as always, to bring home another strong finish for the team.”
Tom Oliphant, #44 added; “Positives have to be taken from this weekend, it was tough to get on the pace of the drivers who had been testing for the Blancpain Spa 24H a few weeks previous but the team, Rick and I put a lot of hard work in to get competitive. The result is of course disappointing, however there are great positives to take from our pace and our racing. We will keep fighting and a result will come our way!”