Donington: Graham Nash Motorsport race notes

British independent racing team Graham Nash Motorsport (GNM) is celebrating after its sole starter ? the No7 Saleen S7-R of Erdos and Newton - clinched an impressive fourth place overall on home soil at the fifth round of the FIA GT Championship...

British independent racing team Graham Nash Motorsport (GNM) is celebrating after its sole starter ? the No7 Saleen S7-R of Erdos and Newton - clinched an impressive fourth place overall on home soil at the fifth round of the FIA GT Championship at Donington Park, with fast-paced Brazilian Thomas Erdos charging-up the field for a barnstorming finale.

This is a major advance for Erdos and Newton, as Donington is the first time that their competitive edge in terms of raw speed - qualifying in the top five in three out of the first five rounds ? has translated itself into Championship points.

Said team manager, Gordon Davies: "This is our best result of the season! Tommy went out at a blistering pace from fifth on the grid, and was soon up to third. Sadly, when he started to lose ground - with the temperature soaring in one of the tyres to 110 degrees C - we had no choice but to bring him in for an unscheduled stop on lap 10. When Tommy took the No7 car back out he had dropped down to 25th place and our hopes of coming into the points seemed to have vanished.

"However, we took the opportunity to fuel the car at the stop and Tommy was able to run strongly through the normal pit stop window and lap after lap he was eating into the opposition's lead, running several seconds faster than most of the cars ahead - this was no surprise as earlier he had posted the second best time in warm-up. After the driver change Mike also put in a sterling effort; taking over for the middle session he was able to keep the TransVu Saleen in contention running about a couple of seconds off the leader's pace. Tommy returned to the cockpit for a dramatic push in the final third of the race using his pace to work his way up the field overtaking the Roos/Wallinder Chrysler Viper and the Ortelli/Leib Porsche and holding-off the challenge of Verdon-Roe in Creation Autosportif's Lister Storm for a comfortable 4th place."

Commented Davies: "We were agonisingly close to a podium finish but just ran out of time, if we hadn't had to contend with the early pitstop there is little doubt that Tommy and Mike would have been competing for a top three place. With this result and our recent run at Le Mans we are looking forward to a strong showing at Spa in four week's time."

GNM's No8 car of Amorim, Chaves and Ramos was withdrawn minutes before the start of Sunday's race with a down on power engine in the final warm-up session - thought to have resulted from valves damaged in Saturday's qualifying.

-gnm-

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Series Blancpain Sprint