A Triumphant Return to the Paddock Against all the odds, Tech 9 Motorsport broke championship records last weekend to claim first place in the opening round of the 2005 British GT season for the third year in a row. However as last year's ...
A Triumphant Return to the Paddock
Against all the odds, Tech 9 Motorsport broke championship records last weekend to claim first place in the opening round of the 2005 British GT season for the third year in a row.
However as last year's championship proved, success doesn't always come easily to the Liverpool-based race team and securing the podium finish proved to be an uphill battle from the very beginning as the team was plagued with a mystery oil leak that saw the engine and gearbox removed not once but three times!
Problems began during initial testing when the Tech 9 GT3 was literally stopped dead in its tracks by a surprise terminal electrical fault which completely burnt out the car wiring harness. With the first race looming and the team desperately in need of grid practice time, the team saw a quick flight back to Tech 9 HQ in Liverpool and a long day spent stripping the entire machine in preparation for the weekend.
However this would be the first of several obstacles that were to face the team in their quest for glory.
A major oil leak was discovered in the free practice Saturday morning. Before the opening qualifying session in the afternoon a new race was on to remove the engine and gearbox and find the cause of the problem. Despite a thorough check, the team was completely baffled as to where the leak was coming from and had no choice but to replace the engine and gearbox ready for qualifying.
Despite the small leak and no practice time, Tech 9 still managed to secure p.3 on the grid. Team boss, Phil Hindley was more than a little surprised,
"This was an incredible achievement considering we had no practice time. It definitely looks set to be a tough competition this year.
The first eight cars all qualified faster than last year's pole with the top three qualifying cars separated by just 200th of a second."
The team had no choice but to work through the night to repair the mystery oil leak but mood in the camp was one of sheer disbelief as they yet again removed the entire engine and gearbox but still could not find the root of the problem.
Tech 9 engineer Dan Fitzsimmons said,
"We were literally at our wits ends but in the end it was just a case of back to basics. We replaced the engine with a spare ready for the Sunday warm up and hoped for the best result possible."
Phil reflected, "We basically entered the race knowing should we have cured the oil leak, we had a strong car and driver pairing to achieve a podium finish and despite the problems it proved to be a dream result."
With an excellent drive from Piers Masarati and Dimitris Deverikos, the first round at Donnington was undoubtedly deserved by Tech 9.
Masarati commended the Tech 9 team for their hard work. "I am really happy for the team. It was a hard weekend but we pulled through and it shows what we are really capable of - heres to winning more races!"
For Athens driver Deverikos, who has successfully competed in the Italian GT and Greek Formula 3, the future is exciting.
"I do not know the UK circuits very well but it was an excellent result for the team and I am looking forward to competing in the rest of the championships."
Tech 9 will be competing in the next round of BGT at Croft on 8th May 2005 for a special GT3 only race. Outright victory is the focus for the meeting.