PIT-LANE MISFORTUNE COSTS METCALFE POTENTIAL WIN Avon Tyres British GT Championship front-runner Jeremy Metcalfe saw a potential race victory slip through his fingers at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire this afternoon, Saturday, 28th June, when ...
PIT-LANE MISFORTUNE COSTS METCALFE POTENTIAL WIN
Avon Tyres British GT Championship front-runner Jeremy Metcalfe saw a potential race victory slip through his fingers at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire this afternoon, Saturday, 28th June, when misfortune befell team-mate Luke Hines during the compulsory driver change pit-stop.
Eventually finishing the ninth round of the season in seventh position, the CR Scuderia pairing did look on course to challenge for their second win of the campaign when Fleet based Jeremy handed over his Ferrari 430 GT3 to Hines in the lead of the race under Safety Car conditions on lap 16.
However, contact from the then second placed Cadena Motorsport Aston Martin as Hines attempted to leave his pit-box, still with the lead intact, resulted in chaotic scenes and saw the CRS Ferrari slip to eighth position as the race resumed.
Reflecting on round nine, Jeremy said: "It's really frustrating as we had a great chance to have a very good result today. After qualifying on pole position with just one flying lap, I was really confident we could pull out a good lead and that's what I was doing until the Safety Car appeared about 12 minutes into the race.
"The car felt fine and I could easily have pulled away more but the Safety Car spoiled that. When Luke took the car over we should have gone back out in the lead but as he tried to leave the pits we were blocked in. When our car was pulled back into a better position to allow Luke to leave, the Aston Martin went straight into the back of it."
Having secured the second pole position of his debut sportscar season during the earlier round nine qualifying session with a thoroughly dominant performance -- Jeremy's best lap of 1m 16.697 seconds (110.58mph) achieved with just one flying lap -- he led the race very comfortably from the start and looked in good shape throughout his stint.
Posting his quickest lap of 1m 17.350 seconds on the fourth tour, which ended up as the second fastest lap of the race overall, the 20-year-old British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star comfortably opened up a gap to the second placed Aston Martin until the Safety Car was deployed on lap 11.
Wiping out his four second lead, the field continued to circulate under the Safety Car until the compulsory pit-stop window opened at the end of lap 15 and Jeremy led the train of cars into the pits. Rejoining in eighth place after the pit-lane debacle, Hines climbed into sixth as the race entered lap 27 but had to settle for seventh in the end.
"It's annoying we didn't have better fortune today but I raced strongly and I'm happy with how I performed", added Jeremy, "We start tomorrow's race from 13th on the grid which will be tough but hopefully we'll be able to fight for some points."
Following a short 10-minute warm-up session at 10.45 tomorrow morning, Sunday, 29th June, the 10th round of the 2008 Avon Tyres British GT Championship will follow at approximately 13.45.