Sportscar ace, Jamie Derbyshire, made it win number six as he and driving partner, Shaun Balfe, took victory in front of 9000 people in round nine of the British GT Championship at Thruxton in Hampshire this afternoon. (August 17)
A blinding drive from both Jamie and driving partner Shaun Balfe, beating the international teams of Ferrari and TVR in the process, saw the pair move back into second place in the points standings, just two points behind their rivals.
"This was a brilliant result for us today." Said Jamie, "We needed to get as many points back over our rivals as possible and we achieved exactly the right result. It was an incredibly hard race though and Shaun drove a blinding second stint to bring the car home ahead of the Ferrari and works TVR." He added.
The Spirit Volkswagen backed racer started from the front row of the grid after a great qualifying performance by team-mate Balfe. Jamie dropped down to third in the early laps after being passed by the works TVR 400R.
More drama was to follow for Jamie a handful of laps later when he came into the chicane and locked the rear wheels. Unfortunately the car spun -- Jamie's first ever spin in his 13 years of Motorsport -- and he rejoined back down in ninth.
A storming drive after the spin saw him gain three valuable positions before the safety car was scrambled due to one of Jamie's championship rivals ending their race in the tyre wall. The caution period fell perfect for the Balfe Motorsport team and Jamie immediately dived into the pits to hand over to his team-mate.
"I came into the chicane with just slightly too little engine speed and as I changed down into second gear I locked the rear wheels and the car just rotated. I just worked on keeping my head down after that and knew I had to pick off as many cars as I could before handing over to Shaun." Said Jamie.
A great pit-stop by the team saw Balfe back out in third place, which soon changed over to second when the car in front pitted a lap later. The lead was handed to the pair several laps later when the leading Ferrari came in to hand over and suffered a bad stop during a wheel change.
Some very fast laps from Balfe saw the team have a comfortable lead of almost 20 seconds with 15 of the 75 minute race left to go. However, a second safety car period was called which wiped out any lead the Mosler MT900R held over its rivals.
Balfe got the drop on his rivals as the lights went green again and it was a straight battle to the flag between the Balfe car the extremely quick Ferrari and the works TVR.
With just 5 minutes to go the Ferrari had narrowed the gap to the Mosler to three seconds. A nail-biting finish to the race saw the Balfe car cross the line with just two seconds in hand.
"Shaun drove a fantastic race, especially in the closing stages." Said Jamie. "The first safety car period fell perfectly for us. I had managed to get back three places and where we were on the track at the time meant we got even more back during the stop."
"I couldn't believe it when the second car came out though!" He added, "Shaun did really well to get away from the chasing pair when the track went green again and the last five minutes seemed to go on forever!"
The result has put the pair back into a commanding position as they now prepare for the longest race in the championships history, a 1000km race at the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, a circuit that Jamie can't wait to race on again.
"I really like Spa and the Mosler should be a great car to drive around there, we should be able to really utilise all the horsepower on the long sections of the circuit and we will definitely be going out to try and carry on the winning streak." He added.
Jamie will be in action at Spa Francorchamps in two weeks time. (August 29/30/31).