Estoril: TMC qualifying report

The pressure continues! Tomorrow will see TMC's two Ferrari 360 N/GT race cars fight for the penultimate time in the 2003 FIA GT Championship. Lying second in the Teams' Classification with 62 points, some 17 points behind the leaders, there is...

The pressure continues! Tomorrow will see TMC's two Ferrari 360 N/GT race cars fight for the penultimate time in the 2003 FIA GT Championship. Lying second in the Teams' Classification with 62 points, some 17 points behind the leaders, there is still every opportunity to secure victory for the Brackley-based operation. With 2002 British GTO Champion and 2003 GTS-Class Le Mans winner Jamie Davies also second behind the leading pair in the Drivers' Championship, the pressure on TMC to perform this weekend is as high as ever. However, every member of the operation is no stranger to this scenario and all are working hard to ensure that TMC maintains the competitiveness the team has demonstrated so consistently throughout this season.

Yesterday's practice sessions saw the team taking advantage of their experience of the 4.2Km-long Estoril track from last year (having secured a third place in the 2002 FIA GT race when Veloqx Motorsport appeared as a 'guest' entry). The early pace was set by Jamie Davies in car 88 with a time during the morning session of 1.41.651, half a second quicker than their closest competitor. Qualifying today saw the team continue to work on refining both cars' set-ups and resulted in grid positions of second (car 88) and fourth (car 89). Davies set the quickest time in 1.41.326 and Kelvin Burt achieved a 1.41.475. Davies' team mate, Darren Turner, will start the race in car 88 tomorrow and Tim Mullen in 89. As expected, the team's ability to complete the three hour race with either a one or two-stop refueling and driver change strategy remains a closely-guarded secret.

Jamie Davies: "I'm pleased with my performance today. I like this circuit and it suits the car. Unlike most this year to date, we know Estoril quite well having tested and raced here before. We are feeling comfortable for tomorrow's race - the car feels great and we have some good Dunlop tyres. A win tomorrow is very important for us to maintain my Championship hopes and so Darren and I have one simple objective."

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Jamie Davies , Kelvin Burt , Tim Mullen