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BGTC: Ryan Hooker Oulton Park race notes

Ryan Hooker: Another Point Made at Oulton Park Ryan Hooker (Essex) has returned from Rounds 9 & 10 of the British GT Championship with another point on the championship board. Held at Cheshire's Oulton Park circuit, the weekend was tempered by...

Ryan Hooker: Another Point Made at Oulton Park

Ryan Hooker (Essex) has returned from Rounds 9 & 10 of the British GT Championship with another point on the championship board. Held at Cheshire's Oulton Park circuit, the weekend was tempered by bad weather, with heavy downpours on the Saturday providing challenging conditions. But, once again the Team Jensen Corvette made it to the chequered flag in both races scoring a much deserved point in Round 9; the corner does appear to have been turned after a tumultuous start to the season though Ryan and the team realistically see this as the start of a long term development program.

Saturday afternoon's qualifying was held in wet conditions. "We went out on a full wet setting" reported Ryan, "this was my first proper time in the car in wet conditions. I felt there was good grip from the car from the word go which was good and every lap we seemed to find two seconds, then the session was red flagged due to an incident. This shortened our qualifying and we went back out for just five minutes. I kept finding two seconds, I managed ninth best time in our class (19th overall) - our best qualifying to date, we're not on the back row anymore!!"

Due to incidents and the weather playing havoc with the timetable the second qualifying session, competed in by Ryan's team-mate Andrew Ward, was also shortened from fifteen to ten minutes. Andrew, who has joined the team halfway through the season, is still finding full confidence with the challenging Corvette and qualified 12th in class (21st overall).

Ryan started Race 1, the track having dried but the ever ominous clouds looming overhead. The race started dramatically with a first corner incident taking out a number of the top runners from the NGT class. The safety car was deployed whilst the first corner was cleared, as the green flag dropped Ryan realised he was able to keep an NGT class car behind him and found himself as high as fourth in class and eighth overall, a hugely encouraging moment for the hard working team. Ryan pitted and handed over to Andrew who brought the car home safely for another finish, eighth in class and collecting a point.

An altogether brighter day on Sunday, Andrew started Race 2 which thankfully didn't see a repeat of the first lap carnage of the day before. "Andrew stayed out trouble, had a little spin but settled in to a good pace" said Ryan "we pitted him at 25minutes. We still had a slight vibration through the car, with a front wheel catching I was wondering if we'd have a pop! I was in a big gap on my own for a long time so I could set some nice lap times but after a positive test at Oulton a few weeks ago I would have hoped for a bit better time. I matched my best test time but with the made since I'd have expected better again. Silverstone will be a turning point as to decisions on how we will move forward long term." Ryan brought the car home ninth in class, just missing out on another point bringing to a close a trying but ultimately encouraging weekend.

The next outing for the Corvette will be at Rounds 11 & 12 of the British GT Championship at Silverstone 13/14/15th August. However, Ryan will be back on track next weekend at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire in the Porsche 924 Championship.

-rhr-

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About this article
Series GT
Drivers Ryan Hooker , Andrew Ward