ANOTHER TOP FIVE FOR PEARCE IN FRANCE
Patrick Pearce kept his challenge for the British GT Championship title on track by bringing his LNT TVR T400R home in fifth place after a challenging race at Magny-Cours in France.
For this round only, the British GT stars were racing within the high profile and fiercely competitive FIA GT Championship. Pearce and his co-driver Warren Hughes were more interested in taking points from their title rivals than comparing themselves to the international superstars, however.
"It's always good to have a chance to see how you match up to the factory teams with their factory drivers and tyres, and the FIA series is the best place to do that," said Patrick. "But technically they weren't competing in the same race as us so we weren't worrying about them too much."
Pearce was third fastest of the British GT contenders in qualifying, and for most of the race Patrick and Warren were able to hold this position, which translated into a top six placing in the FIA GT2 class. Then a right rear puncture sent Hughes off the road and cost the pairing a full lap to the leaders. They rejoined seventh among the British runners, and only had time to recover to fifth position by the end of the race. Still a fine result amid tough competition, but a slight disappointment for Pearce after consecutive second places in the British race at Donington Park and then the Spa 1000kms race in recent weeks. Even without the puncture, the car hadn't been quite competitive to challenge for victory on this occasion, reckoned Pearce.
"We had a good car for qualifying but we seemed to lose the balance a little between qualifying and the race," he said. "Even if we hadn't, I think we might have still been second to the Ferrari today.
"It wasn't too bad, all in all. Certainly not a big disaster. We got some points on the board and that's the most important thing."
Pearce and LNT will now swap the ultra-modern and super-smooth French Grand Prix venue at Magny-Cours for the idiosyncratic undulations of Scotland's Knockhill track near Edinburgh, where the next round of the British GT series will be held in three weeks' time.