MEADOWS HAS TOUGH WEEKEND IN BRITISH GT AT BRANDS HATCH
Mike Meadows had a character building weekend in the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch after two promising races finished with two non finishes for the team. Meadows and Team mate James Sutton driving for CR Scuderia, were running in a race leading position during race one when an engine fire brought a premature end to their lead. A racing incident during race two also caused Meadows into early retirement from a podium position, meaning the team left Brands Hatch without the valuable points they had looked likely to score.
The 2.3 Mile Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit is a fast, flowing and demanding circuit for the drivers, however Meadows rose to the challenge during the first qualifying session of the weekend and posted a third fastest time for the first race. The James Sutton qualified the CR Scuderia car eighth for race two. As the lights for the first race of the weekend went green, the no.14 Ferrari F340 with Meadows behind the wheel made a strong start. From his third place on the grid, he was able to move forward in the first few laps and into second place, before chasing down the Viper for the lead.
When the pit window opened Meadows handed over to team mate James Sutton, who rejoined in the lead of the race after passing the Viper during the pit stops. However disaster struck only a few laps into Sutton's stint when smoke started pouring from the back of the Ferrari and he started to loose power, causing an end to their race.
Commenting after the race, Meadows said "I had a good stint today, the car was handling really well and I was able to stay close to the leading viper, especially round the corners where I was all over him. The change over in the pits went smoothly and James did well to get out in front, it's just a real shame that we didn't have reliability on our side, we looked well placed for our first win which we so desperately want."
Boosted from their strong run during the previous day's race, the Ferrari F430 of Meadows was fastest in the morning warm up, again showing the potential in the car. James Sutton took the start for the CR Scuderia team and after a clean get away, continued to make progress up the field. During the pit stop window Sutton handed over to Meadows, who rejoined the race in sixth position. An incident involving one of the Aston Martin's bought out the safety car and after a lengthy caution period the race got underway again, Meadows made a storming restart and charged passed another Aston Martin going into Graham Hill Bend, promoting him to third.
A puncture by the leading Viper then pushed Meadows further up the order and into second place, however a late overtaking manoeuvre from the Viper behind Meadows took them out of the race. The Viper went on to finish second but was handed a one minute time penalty for taking Meadows out of the race.
Meadows reflected their luckless weekend, "I feel really disappointed with the result today, we were running well again and after the restart I knew I had the pace in the car to challenge for the lead. I'm sure we could have come away from this weekend with at least one win if luck had been on our side, but that's racing. Now we need to focus on getting our elusive first win at the next round. We know that we have all of the ingredients to be a race winning team, so we will keep pushing."
There are only two rounds left on the 2008 British GT Championship; Silverstone on 17 August and the season finale at Donington Park on 12 October.