Balfe's second round proves full of eastern promise. County race ace, Shaun Balfe scored his second race victory after he and driving partner, Northampton's Jamie Derbyshire, came from the back of the grid to win round two of the British GT ...
Balfe's second round proves full of eastern promise.
County race ace, Shaun Balfe scored his second race victory after he and driving partner, Northampton's Jamie Derbyshire, came from the back of the grid to win round two of the British GT Championship at Snetterton in Norfolk this weekend (April 19/20).
The Newark Glass Group backed pair looked like snatching pole position on Saturday but a component failure, found in the post qualifying session check up meant that the team had to start at the rear of the GT field.
A stunning opening stint by Jamie, which saw him receive the Driver of the Day award, saw the Balfe team's Mosler MT900R up to third by the end of lap five. Slick pit-work by the Balfe team meant that Shaun joined the field following the fuel and driver changeover with a lead of over a minute on their nearest rivals. A determined Balfe was easily able to match the pace of the chasing car of Martin Short to take the chequered flag by 45 seconds.
"This is the best possible way to start our season with two race wins from two races." Said a very happy Balfe afterwards. "We knew that starting from the back of the grid was not going to be easy but Jamie drove a fantastic opening half to the race and left me with very little to do other than bring it home! The team got our strategy absolutely spot on and it meant we were able get the jump on our rivals." He added.
Back to back victories gives the pair a great boost as they gear up for the next round at Knockhill near Edinburgh early next month. The twisty Scottish circuit will see the team face their third different race format in as many events, with two 40-minute sprint races instead of the longer distance runs of the opening rounds.
The different race formats have been put into place to put a bigger emphasis on teamwork in 2003 and the Balfe squad are relishing the challenges ahead of them over the next few races.
"The whole team are working really well together and we have proved to the rest of the GT field that we are serious about challenging for the title. Obviously we are not expecting to win every race and we saw in qualifying that there are a handful of teams that have the pace to win races this season so we are not taking anything for granted." Said Shaun.
"The shorter races in Scotland will be a welcome relief after the hour-long sessions this weekend!" Joked Shaun. "Most of the racing that myself and Jamie have done in the past has been over shorter distances. We know that it will also be close as the pace will be extremely fast over the two races."
"There is still a long way to go in the season and we know that it is going to be a hard year, but we are pleased that things have started in the best possible way. It is now just down to us to keep the momentum going tot eh next round and for the rest of he season." He adds.