Balfe & Derbyshire dominate in Scotland County racer, Shaun Balfe stormed to back-to-back victories in rounds three and four of the British GT Championship at Knockhill in Scotland today. (May 11) The Newark Glass Group backed racer had set...
Balfe & Derbyshire dominate in Scotland
County racer, Shaun Balfe stormed to back-to-back victories in rounds three and four of the British GT Championship at Knockhill in Scotland today. (May 11)
The Newark Glass Group backed racer had set out with the sole aim of taking two more race wins over the course of the weekend and left the Fife venue claiming that it was 'Mission Accomplished' after he and driving partner, Jamie Derbyshire, dominated the weekend.
A front row grid position was going to be need with the two 40 minute sprint race format and a stunning lap in qualifying saw Balfe snatch his first pole position of the season.
A determined Balfe started round three in fine style, pulling out a healthy 6-second lead in just a handful of laps. However, the safety car was scrambled while another car was being removed from the barriers and the hard earned lead evaporated within the space of a few hundred metres as the field bunched up behind the Mosler MT900R of Shaun.
"When I saw the safety car take to the circuit in front of me I was gutted." Admitted Shaun afterwards, "I had pushed really hard from the moment the lights went green and I knew that with the short nature of the races this weekend that we would need every second available when it came to the pit-stop."
Two laps later and the green flag waved again and Shaun set about repeating the earlier task. A series of incredibly quick laps saw the Balfe car pull out a commanding lead before he handed over to Derbyshire.
Slick pit-work saw Jamie keep the lead and a fast and consistent drive saw him physically take the chequered flag for the first time this year, adding win number three to the Balfe team's tally.
The second race of the day played a little easier into the teams hands as the sister Rollcentre Racing run Mosler applied first lap pressure to Balfe. However, a trip into the gravel trap at the hairpin on lap two for the Rollcentre machine meant that Balfe suddenly had a comfortable 15-second lead.
Another series of fast laps saw the team able to stay clearly in front until the end of the pit-stop window, when Balfe came in and handed the car over once again.
A solid drive to the flag was all that was required of Derbyshire this time around, after his incredible drive from the back of the grid at the previous round and he delivered the team's fourth victory over 13 seconds clear at the flag.
"We came here with the sole aim to be the fastest car on the circuit every time we went out and we have achieved that all weekend." Said Shaun. "We were determined to take the battle to the rest of the grid here because we didn't think the track would suit the car, but the team has worked magnificently all weekend, giving Jamie and myself a car that we could get the job done with and we have come away with another two race wins."
The team now holds a 19-point lead at the head of the driver's standings and they are now fully focused on the next challenge ahead, a mammoth three-hour race on the ultra fast Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, in just two weeks time.
The event will be the longest in the championships history and will also be the first time that Balfe has competed on that particular layout since the British Grand Prix meeting in 1999, where he came within a handful of laps of winning the GT invitational class.
"I'm really looking forward to the long Silverstone event, it will be a real endurance event and should really suit the Mosler, which we know won't please our rivals. But, three hours is a very long time and we know that anything could happen. We will definitely be going there to continue our winning form though." He added.