Mike Simpson and Steve Tandy took a satisfying seventh place in the British GT season finale at Donington Park today (13 September) after powering through the pack from very last in class.
Rick Parfitt Jnr was on fine form in qualifying, powering the #44 Ginetta to sixth in the Am class before handing over to Tom Oliphant to set the Pro class time. Combined the pair ended up qualifying in ninth for the two hour race on Sunday afternoon.
Things didn’t quite go to plan for the #32 car, as Steve Tandy momentarily lost control of his Ginetta, and ended up making contact with the wall before setting his required pair of qualifying laps. Filled with gravel when it arrived back at the garage, Team LNT made the decision to start at the back of the GT3 grid rather than risk further damage.
The opening half of the race saw plenty of action for the cars ahead, and a number of incidents promoted both cars further up the order, with Parfitt handing the #44 car over to Oliphant in a comfortable ninth with Tandy just a little further back in 11th.
After just a few laps in the car, Simpson had already powered into ninth as the finale reached its halfway mark. Two more places were collected by the Ginetta factory driver during the first 30 minutes of his stint.
Simpson said; “From starting 15thoverall and last of the GT3’s, we always knew we would have work to do. Steve was great in the opening hour of the race, handing the car to me just outside the top 10. From then on it was about maintaining a consistent lap time and getting around the GT4 cars without too much trouble.”
The #44 car was dealt an unfortunate blow as problems with the gear shift forced Oliphant to make a second pit stop for repairs. Although the mechanics fixed the problem, the team made the decision to retire the car with 10 minutes left on the clock.