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Silverstone 500

The Silverstone 500 with an enormous 51 car grid for the weekend and a 3 hour race with predicted rain meant that pretty much anything could happen.

For Saturday's qualification I went out first, the car felt alright, not perfect for a quali session, more 3 hour race ready but I managed to get P3, Matt Nicoll-Jones got P5 and combined this placed us in P3 for the race.

Sunday race day was raining heavily for the start and this season all British GT cars are using Pirelli tyres, which I had never driven the car on before, so not only was it very wet but we are going into a complete unknown with these tyres too.

The race started behind the safety car and I did 2 laps before I came in for the first of the 3 mandatory driver changes, clearly tactics could play a huge role with the weather making the track very slippery and with not much visability.

Matt took over and after only 3 laps of his stint the wipers got stuck due to the windscreen strip sticker coming away and becoming entangled, this burnt the motor out leaving us with absolutely no windscreen wipers at all so Matt did a great job to get the car up to P42 overall before it was time for me to do the next stint.
While the safety car was out again we did our next stop.

It started raining more heavily and for the 4 laps behind the safety car it was very hard indeed to see anything without any wipers, when the safety car went in and the race back on it was like hitting a brick wall on the straight, I was completely blind and looking for the edge of the track to know I was still on the black stuff, so I was super slow and early on the brakes as keeping the car on the track was so difficult in these conditions.
A few more laps and the rain started to clear up and word came through from the pit that we were doing really well as all the cars in front of us still had 1 more pit stop than us to make, by the time I came in I had done an 85 minute stint which I had hoped to have gone better, I wasn't too pleased with my stint, but it is very tricky to keep a race car going at 120mph and stay on the track at all.

My final couple of laps held a question mark over to stay on wet tyres or change to slicks, I found it difficult to read the track as with no wipers the windscreen was so dirty it was impossible to tell, let alone by now very used wet tyres and it being so slippery out there, we decided when i pitted to stick with wets as although the rain has eased somewhat, it was still falling from the sky a bit, which worked to our advantage with only 20 mins to go we were in P1 with a 30 second lead but the track dried up too much for wets and we had no choice but to pit for slicks, it turned out the front right wet tyre wouldn't have lasted another 2 laps so ultimately we had to settle for P4
The team at Academy Motorsport did a fantastic job all round, with the car & strategy and had all given 110%, shame the British weather beat us!