GT

BGTC: Balfe Motorsport Castle Combe qualifying notes

Balfe Motorsport pairing, Shaun Balfe and Jamie Derbyshire, will line up third on the grid for round six of the British GT Championship at Castle Combe race circuit in Wiltshire tomorrow, after an exhaust failure caused a small fire four laps into...

Balfe Motorsport pairing, Shaun Balfe and Jamie Derbyshire, will line up third on the grid for round six of the British GT Championship at Castle Combe race circuit in Wiltshire tomorrow, after an exhaust failure caused a small fire four laps into qualifying.

Shaun Balfe immediately set the pace for the weekend by taking provisional pole position with a lap of 1m 06.026s on his third flying tour. However, two laps later and the exhaust on the Mosler MT900R broke, forcing Shaun to pull to the side of the track.

All should have been fine as the car was in perfect condition other than the damaged exhaust. However, freshly cut grass had worked its way into the engine bay as Balfe had pulled off the circuit and began to catch fire. The resulting smoke and fire meant the track marshals needed to extinguish the rear of the car, ending the teams session on the spot.

"I was looking forward to going for pole position." Said Balfe afterwards, "We had the time in the car today. My first quick lap was set fairly comfortably and I was getting set for another try when I heard the engine note change. I thought it might be an engine problem that's why I switched it off so quickly."

Balfe's lap was quick enough to keep him at the top of the standings for most of the session before the other Mosler MT900R of Rollcentre Racing took the top spot followed by one of the 'works' TVR 400R's, fresh from the Le Mans 24 Hours last weekend.

"There is no real damage done and the team will have the problem with the exhaust fixed this evening. We are still at the right end of the grid as the race will definitely be hard work tomorrow." Added Balfe. "We will be going out tomorrow to try and make a return to the top step of the podium."

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About this article
Series GT
Drivers Shaun Balfe , Jamie Derbyshire