Local race team, Tech 9 Motorsport, arrived back in the UK today celebrating their triumphant return from the Middle East where they had been competing in the inaugural Bahrain GT Festival.
Reigning British GT Champions for the past two years, Tech 9 surprised even themselves by overcoming a potentially disastrous start to the festival and beating off fierce competition from across the globe to secure a fantastic final podium finish of third place and the team's best ever international win.
Set in the middle of the desert, the festival brought together an exceptional grid of nearly 50 teams from Championships across Europe and beyond. The event consisted of three heats and a one-hour two driver final. Tech 9 entered two Porsches in both the GT2 and GT3 classes.
Only the second International event to be held at the Bahrain circuit, The impressive line-up of cars included Porsche, Ferrari 550 Maranello, Chrysler Viper GTR-S, Lamborghini Diablo GTR, Holden Monaro, Lotus Sport, Elise and Morgan Aero 8, to name a few.
The meeting started well for drivers Croydon and Sharpe, with the GT2 machine clocking the fastest speed trap figures with a stunning 175mph, and the engine logging an incredible 8760rpm in sixth gear. The weekend however was not without its dramas.
"We encountered our fair share of problems!" noted team boss Phil Hindley. "A fuel pump failure stopped us dead in our tracks during race one and although another six GT3RS models had entered the race, not a single team had a spare. The situation looked bleak and it looked like we could be out for the rest of the festival."
"UK freight companies could not get the parts over until Saturday, which was too late, but a courier rushed the parts to Heathrow where a friend duly stepped onto a plane with the part and arrived just in time for race three! We missed race two and had to start from the back of the grid for race three but driver, Rob Croydon commendably fought his way though to fifth position - an incredible drive!" smiled Phil.
The festival also saw the GT debut of Tech 9 Phil Keen who is making the step up from TVR Tuscans. Phil stepped up to the challenge magnificently and a race three GT3 class win set-up the perfect finale, but a spin by his teammate Dominic Lesniewski relegated the flying GT3 Cup machine to sixth place.
All the hard work was justly rewarded in the final heat with superb performances from Rob and Adam Sharpe in the Porsche GT3RS to claim a well- deserved third in class, 11th overall, despite a French GT3RS attacking the rear!
Phil reflects, "For us, the trip to Bahrain represented a step up in terms of class and machinery. Having been successful in the UK with our GT3 class machines, it was time to race at the highest level in GT2 and we have proven ourselves in this most competitive environment. This has been a fantastic end to the season and we are looking forward to next year."
Representing TechArt in the UK, Tech 9 Motorsport are the leading independent Porsche specialists in the Northwest.