Donington Park // 01.06.13
TXM Recruit sponsored Andrew Jarman claimed a hard fought victory in the third round of the GT4 Challenge at a sunny Donington Park from the back of the grid, after a dramatic start to the race which saw the Milton Keynes racer unable to get away on the rolling up lap.
Driving for Stratton Motorsport in only his third ever GT4 race, Jarman and team mate Olivier Bouche qualified third on the grid during a dry qualifying and it was Jarman’s turn this time round to take the start of the 100 minute race with team mate Bouche completing the final 50 minute stint.
There was drama straight away as Jarman’s GT4 stalled on the grid, and as the field left the grid, he was unable to retake his position [due to the regulations] and forced to start from the back of the field.
From this point, Jarman’s determination was clear as he made up 5 places in the first lap, by lap 5 he was already back into 3rd position, before the safety car was released on lap 6 following an incident on the opening laps which left debris strewn across McLeans corner.
On lap 9 the safety car lights went out and racing was back underway with Jarman holding 3rd. Closing down the lead two, by lap 13 Jarman was on the back of 2nd heading down the Craner Curves, through old hairpin and up towards McLean’s corner. Holding his line, the door was left open heading into the braking zone and side by side, Jarman took the inside of the corner, but as the 2nd place car turned in the two touched sending both into a spin.
Fortunately Jarman was able to continue but trailed the leader now by over 13 seconds, from this point the Stratton Motorsport driver set a series of impressive laps to close the gap, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 20 [1:14.022], by which point he was just 1.8 seconds behind the leader.
Lap 21 and heading out of Coppice corner, Jarman outdragged the lead No8 car of Bruce/Mizon to take the lead braking into Roberts Chicane. The next 10 laps saw Jarman stretch out his lead as he pitted on lap 36 for the mandatory driver change, as team mate Olivier Bouche exited the pits almost a full lap ahead of 2nd place.
Team mate Bouche then put in a stella performance, lapping over a second a lap faster than anyone on the track to increase their lead by a full lap. But there was a final twist in what had already been a dramatic race as Jarman/Bouche were given a drive through penalty when Jarman was deemed to have overtaken a backmarker under a yellow flag. Despite losing around 30 seconds as a result, the series leading pairing were able to maintain their lead and took the chequered flag after 100 minutes of action packed racing to take win number two of the season, much to the delighted of their Stratton Motorsport team, supporters and sponsors.
Talking after the race Jarman said:
“Wow what a hectic race, we had a problem at the start getting off the line, I selected 1st but couldn’t pull away and I knew once I dropped to the back of the field I had to start from the back”.
“I got a good start and picked up several places in the opening laps, then we had the safety car which closed up the field and I was able to catch the leaders. I got a good run out of Old Hairpin and the door was left open in McLeans for me to take 2nd, I kept the car down the inside of the corner under braking but unfortunately the door was closed as I was already on the inside and we touched. I managed to recover and just focused on putting in some strong laps to catch the leader and then got a run out of Coppice to take the lead”.
“It was then just a case of building a gap before changing over to Olivier [Bouche] at the pit stop and he did a fantastic job as always to extend our lead to the end. I’m delighted for everyone, the team has worked especially hard this weekend with the car and we have a lot of guest sponsors here today so it’s nice to reward their support with a victory”.
The next round of the GT4 Challenge will take place during the Aston Martin Centenary Festival on July 6/7th. Hospitality for this event with Andrew and his Stratton Motorsport team is available; please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.