Oliver Bryant Racing

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19th July 2008

Another Successful Spa for Olly Bryant!

BRDC “Rising Star” Olly Bryant returned from the annual Spa 6 Hour meeting with another Victory in the 2 hour GT race, sharing with his father Grahame in the famous AC Cobra, GPG 4C. The pair grabbed the win for the fifth year in a row, and they celebrated the win after a great weekend of racing for Olly and the car. Olly engaged in a battle with the similar cobra of Steve Hitchins for most of the race until Olly forced Steve into an error with 20 minutes to go, Steve spun the car at La Source allowing Olly to get through and pull away to take the win.

Olly also drove the cobra in the 6-hour race alongside his father Grahame and Andrew Smith. They finished 4th overall in the 70 car field and had it not been for two lengthy fuel stops due to queuing at the pumps (13 minutes on both occasions), they would have made the podium.
Olly started the cobra and put in a great 2 hour stint to bring the car into the top 5. Grahame drove second and Andrew finished the car, staying out of trouble the whole way.

Olly was also sharing a Lightweight E-type Jaguar in the race with Andy Jenkinson and John Young. An excellent start by Andy, the car’s owner and a good follow up stint by John meant that when Olly was handed the car with a lap’s lead with 2 hours to go. Unfortunately on his second lap the brakes failed and Olly was forced to pit. It turned out that a rear calliper seal had burst causing the brake system to loose fluid and the pedal would go straight to the floor. It looked like all chance of a good result had gone when one of the mechanics decided to crimp the brake pipe flat as it left the master cylinder, this gave Olly front brakes only put he climbed back into the car and drove a storming 2 hour stint.

With brakes that only lasted 2 laps before overheating and requiring a cooling down lap, Olly had to manage his pace carefully and avoid overcooking it into corners where the brakes could not be trusted. He stormed back through the field and managed to pass the 2nd placed Porsche on the run to the line to claim 2nd place overall and a spot on the podium! It was a great result for all those in the team but it left them all to question what could have been if the brakes had not lost them so much time in the pits!.. Perhaps Andy will return with the car next year to claim the victory!

Olly also drove a very famous Lola T70, for its first run since restoration and its first on circuit outing since 1970! Thursdays test sessions were used to run the car in, to get a few niggling issues dealt with, and to get Olly’s seat position sorted. Qualifying came along and Olly went straight to the top of the time sheets, and stayed there with a 1m32.587s lap and an average speed of over 103mph. The car felt great and Olly was looking forward to the race, Clive Robinson and the team were also very pleased by the “out of the box” pace of the car. The race came and Olly made a good start and lead through La Source, the 2nd place T70 of Richard Meins moved passed at the end of the Kemmel straight on the opening lap but Olly kept close behind in the knowledge that an hour was plenty of time to get back into the lead. Unfortunately the gear linkage then broke within the first 15 minutes of the race and Olly was forced to pit for lengthy repairs that lost the car 5 laps. Olly rejoined and the car ran faultlessly until the end of the race but all chance of a win was lost. He set the fastest lap by over 1.2 seconds with a 1m31.331s lap.

Olly also raced a Lotus XV in the BRDC 50’s sportscar race but this was marred with a gearbox problem when Grahame was driving which lost time. Olly also raced a BMW 1800ti in the U2TC race but Michael Steele drove into the side of Grahame and punctured a tyre and damaged the body. Olly rejoined but the upright broke a lap later forcing the car to retire.

A mixed weekend from one point from view, but excellent to finish 2nd and 4th in the 6 hour race and to win the 2 hour GT race, five years since Olly first drove the cobra and won the same race in 2004!