Century Motorsport made their way to Snetterton Circuit for the penultimate weekend of the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship, hoping for a strong result at the Norfolk circuit.
Regular driver Aleksander Schjerpen had been joined by British GT debutant Fredrik Blomstedt for the remainder of the championship, and the pair were keen to get off to a flying start.
A steady pair of free practice sessions at an extremely hot Snetterton set the pair up for a strong attack during the afternoon’s qualifying. Aleksander Schjerpen’s best time from qualifying one would set the teams starting position for Sunday’s race one with Fredrick Blomstedt’s best lap in qualifying two determining the grid order for race two. Both drivers managed to qualify their Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 seventh in their respective sessions, placing them in a very strong position going into race day.
With rain predicted at some point in the afternoon at the Norfolk venue on Sunday, race one was possibly going to be the only dry running of the day. Aleksander Schjerpen was on start duty for the opening race and after a consistent opening few laps, the Norwegian driver was able to promote himself to sixth place, finding a way past the AMD Porsche of Coomes.
Schjerpen continued to close the gap to the pack in front before handing over to Fredrik Blomstedt as the pit window opened. A slick pitstop from the Century Motorsport team allowed Blomstedt to comfortably settle into third place for his first few British GT race laps.
Showing no signs of being new to the Ginetta G55 this weekend, Fredrik quickly closed in on fellow Swedish driver, Denis Strandberg before making his way past to take second place. The pair continued to lap together and in the closing stages, Strandberg managed to find a way past Blomstedt who crossed the line just 0.3 seconds behind in third place, scoring a much deserved podium for the team.
As scheduled the rain started to fall just before the final race of the day. Fredrik Blomstedt was this time behind the wheel for the race start. Having no wet weather running in the car under his belt, the opening few laps of the race were going to be tricky.
After two safety car laps the race got underway with everyone finding their feet in the conditions at the first corner, unfortunately for Fredrik, he slipped back to tenth. As the conditions worsened, Blomstedt immediately became acclimatised to the car and started carving his way back through the field, pitting just after the half way mark from fifth place.
Another textbook driver change allowed Aleksander Schjerpen to start his attack during the final stages of the race from third with just under 30 minutes remaining. Schjerpen started closing on the two Ginetta G55’s ahead taking several seconds a lap out of the gap. A few moments after Aleksander made his way into second place, the race director declared an end to the race on safety grounds due to the torrential rain that was flooding the track. Aleksander, Fredrik and the team claimed their second podium finish of the weekend, a fantastic result for everyone’s efforts.
Aleksander Schjerpen - #43 Ginetta G55 GT4: “We started off not really on the pace, struggling a little bit but we both qualified seventh for race one and race two. Race one got away really good with a decent start and I managed to make up a few places. We did a really good pitstop, the guys in the pits did a really good job setting up the car. Fredrik then got out and done the rest of the job and got us home in P3. Race two we started off with wet tyres and it started to rain very heavily in my stint. The car once again was brilliant to drive; it was so great I could push when I wanted. We ended up P2 which was just great; finally we get that podium we all deserve.”
Fredrik Blomstedt - #43 Ginetta G55 GT4: “It was my first time with the whole team and the car. In the beginning we just tried to learn the circuit and get together with the team. I think the team did a great job and together we picked up a great pace. The weekend couldn’t have gone better. I am very happy and excited for Donington as I have been there before and I know the car and team now.”
Nathan Freke - Team Principal, Century Motorsport: “We had a new driver this weekend with Fredrik and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but obviously we were hoping for a decent result. He got acclimatised to the team very quickly and did a fantastic job in qualifying, as did Aleksander. The first race was a completely text book start from Aleksander and Fredrik did a fantastic job to bring it home third. In the second race, Fredrik had a great stint and handed over a good car to Aleksander who got second. Mega, mega happy, Fredrik has integrated really well into the team and gelled well with Aleksander and everything had just come together for us. We had a couple of disappointing rounds before this so to finally get the reward we have all worked so hard for has been great.”