Pullan & Short unlucky at Snetterton.
Simon Pullan and Rollcentre Racing team-mate Martin Short suffered a setback in their quest for the British GTO title at Snetterton last weekend when suspension failure forced their Xavex Texaco TVR Tuscan R into retirement on lap ten of the sixty-minute race.
Qualifying: 3rd in class, 8th overall: 1:08.246
Following a huge accident in treacherous conditions at Oulton Park two weeks ago, the Rollcentre TVR Tuscan R had to be re-built prior to round ten of the championship. Despite missing a mid-week test session at Thruxton in order to complete the work, a mammouth team effort saw the car back out in time for Saturday's thirty-minute qualifying session.
On a dry track, team-boss Martin Short posted a time good enough to secure a spot on row two of the GTO class grid.
With championship rivals Tim Sugden/Steve O'Rourke and Calum Lockie/Jamie Davies starting ahead of him on the grid, Pullan was able to overhaul both points contenders on the run down to the first corner. After passing Lockie's Ferrari along the home straight and then easing past EMKA Porsche driver O'Rourke into Riches, Pullan led the GTO class through Sear and along the Revett straight.
Despite being challenged under braking by Lockie, Lincolnshire-resident Pullan continued to lead until lap three. Passed on the third tour by fellow Tuscan R runners, Hartshorne/Johnson, the Rollcentre offering slotted into second place hotly pursued by Mullen/Simonsen and the Porsche 911 of Godfrey and David Jones.
Having built a five second safety cushion over the third and fourth placed pair, Pullan turned into the Russell Chicane on lap ten but an uncharacteristic right front suspension failure prevented the car from making a left turn.
Forced to cross the grass rather than continue through the corner, Pullan aborted the lap and recovered to the pits. Despite the best efforts of the Rollcentre Racing pit crew, the car could not be repaired in time for Short to contest the second stint.
With Tim Sugden taking second in GTO, Pullan and Short have been forced to relinquish their title lead for the first time thus far this season. The Rollcentre pairing are now ten points adrift of Sugden, with two races left to run. Calum Lockie/ Jamie Davies lay five points behind Pullan and Short thanks to their class win.
"We're obviously disappointed with the way things went this weekend after the hard work the team put in to get the car ready in time for the race," Pullan commented. "The suspension component that uncharacteristically failed was a new piece installed during the re-build.
"Although it's also disappointing to have lost the championship lead, we'll be back and hungrier than ever at Thruxton in two week's time."