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BGTC: Silverstone: Ryan Hooker event summary

SILVERSTONE DOWNPOURS DON'T DAMPEN HOOKER'S SPIRITS Ryan Hooker (Upminster) had a packed schedule at Silverstone last weekend. The famous circuit played host to the British round of the 1000km LMES series - a six hour ...

SILVERSTONE DOWNPOURS DON'T DAMPEN HOOKER'S SPIRITS
Ryan Hooker (Upminster) had a packed schedule at Silverstone last weekend.

The famous circuit played host to the British round of the 1000km LMES series - a six hour spectacular of the world's most desirable GT and prototype cars and it marked Ryan's debut in the series. Ryan took part, alongside Ricky Cole and Calum Lockie, in the Graham Nash Motorsport Saleen SR7, in which he has already competed in a duo of FIA GT races with success this year.

And if this wasn't a challenge enough, Ryan was also on duty with his regular British GT Team, Emotional Engineering in the supporting British GT race which was also part of a packed race card in the three day event.

Ryan's first race action of the weekend came on Saturday with the 'jewel' of the weekend's events, the 1000km LMES race. Starting at 4pm, the conditions could not have been worse as torrential rain fell causing formidable driving conditions. Ryan took over the wheel 45minutes into the race but in his following hour and a half stint was unable to have many 'real' laps as the race was disrupted by prolonged safety car periods as the conditions became increasingly difficult and many cars suffered accidents and incidents.

Towards the end of Ryan's first stint his visibility was compromised even further when the windscreen wipers failed! Returning to the pit to hand over to Calum Lockie, it was hoped a reset would solve the problem but sadly Lockie returned to the garage immediately as the wiper mystery required further investigation. After some thirty minutes, Lockie was able to return to the fray and whilst the rain subsided the visibility remained poor as standing water continued to create extreme spray for the drivers.

As darkness fell Ryan took over for the final stint with the expressed challenge of working the car into the classified positions after the earlier problem had seen them slip down the order. Despite suffering understeer, Ryan was quick to get back into momentum and much to the delight of all a classified finish of 8th in class was some reward for the team's tremendous effort.

Sunday's two hour British GT race wasn't to fair much better with the weather. Ryan was partnered in the Vauxhall Monaro by Adam Wiseberg as regular partner, Matt Griffin continues to recover from a serious accident at work. It was to everyone's delight that Matt attended the race as a guest and is on the road to a full recovery.

Ryan started the race, masterfully avoiding a first corner melee which saw one of the Porsches split its fuel tank and deposit large amounts of fuel on the track which meant the deployment of the safety car as marshals quickly dusted the effected areas.

Back under green flag conditions, Ryan was able to make up a number of places before tyre wear issues stunted his progress somewhat. Drama was soon to strike though as the car's throttle stuck open on the approach to Becketts leaving Ryan no choice but go straight ahead. Back on the track and with the throttle still open, Ryan was forced to use the ignition on/off switch to control power and get the car safely back to the garage.

The Emotional Engineering team worked rapidly, losing just five laps before sending Wiseberg out to finish the race in now wet conditions. The team finished 9th in class, frustratingly one place from a point.

"What a weekend!" Ryan commented afterwards. "I seemed to have faced a lot of challenges this weekend both technical and certainly weather wise. In that respect it has been a great learning experience and sometimes the fight to finish is more consuming than when you are, say winning! We did get two finishes this weekend and both races could have been better but I can't deny I have had some experiences to remember!"

-www.ryanhooker-racing.co.uk

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