Oliver Bryant Racing

07946 524 941 info@oliverbryant.com
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6th July 2009


The Barwell Motorsport British GT squad brought our win tally up to 3 victories out of 8 races contested so far this season, with the Ginetta G50Z scoring no.3 in Sunday’s encounter at Snetterton with drivers Olly Bryant and Piers Johnson.

Race 1 – Saturday, 1-Hour (50 laps)
For most of Saturday’s 50-lap encounter, four cars were locked in a fascinating battle of wills for the overall race victory. These included the Mosler of Brown/Short, the Ascari of the Jones twins, the Ferrari of Cameron/Wilds and the Barwell G50Z of Piers and Olly. The Mosler and Ascari had put the faster driver of their pairings in for the first stint, whilst the Ferrari and Ginetta both had the slower one, resulting in the first two cars building up a handy advantage in the first half of the race. So initially at the front it was Mosler just ahead of Ascari, and then an increasing gap back to Piers and Cameron.

Piers was doing a cracking job in his first race stint for the best part of a year, fending off Cameron’s 2009 spec Ferrari 430 Scuderia in the Ginetta. Cameron seemed to have a little more pace, however, and got past Johnson going into the Esses on lap 12. Piers was then able to shadow the Ferrari for the remainder of his stint, keeping the gap down to under three seconds by the time he came in to pass the baton to Olly on lap 23.

By lap 29 all of the leading bunch had made their pit stops, and the roles were now reversed as Ferrari and Ginetta became the hunters, and Mosler and Ascari the hunted. With 20 laps to go, Olly was only two seconds behind the Wilds Ferrari and 16 away from the leading Mosler. Bryant was the fastest man on the track and set a scorching pace as he got right on the bumper of the Ferrari and virtually pushed it towards the leaders ahead. With 10 to go these two were on the tail of the Mosler, which was now suffering overheating problems and had slipped behind the Ascari. Just a lap later, however, Wilds spun out the Ferrari coming onto the back straight and Olly lost a few seconds as he avoided the wayward Italian stallion.

With six tours left the Barwell Ginetta swept past the Mosler into second, but the Jones Ascari was still another four seconds up the road. Olly put his heart and soul into the chase as he recorded more pace-setting lap times, and was just half a second away from the Ascari as they started the last lap. Jones kept his nerve, however, and didn’t leave Olly an opening around the final 2 miles of racing. The Barwell car thus crossed the finish line glued to the back of the Ascari, to claim a very well-earned runner-up spot.

Top 8 GT3 Results – British GT Championship Round 9 – Snetterton
1st. 1st GT3 Jones/Jones Preci-Spark Ascari KZ1R
2nd. 1st INV GT3 Bryant/Johnson Barwell Motorsport Ginetta G50Z-Zytek
3rd. 2nd GT3 Brown/Short Rollcentre Mosler MT900
4th. 3rd GT3 Lester/Simonsen Rosso Verde Ferrari 430 GT3
5th. 4th GT3 Burton/Wilcox VRS Ferrari 430 GT3
6th. 5th GT3 Walker/Bentwood Team RPM Ford GT3
9th. 6th GT3 Howard/Smyth ‘Barwell-Beechdean’ Aston Martin DBRS9
10th. 7th GT3 Cameron/Wilds MTECH Ferrari 430 Scuderia

Race 2 – Sunday, 1-Hour (50 laps)
The pace was incredibly hot at the start of Sunday’s encounter, with the ‘pro’ drivers all fighting bare-knuckle style for track position around the high speed sweeps of Snetterton. The Simonsen Ferrari got away cleanly from pole, but Bentwood’s Ford GT was slow away and blocked Olly going into the first corner. This allowed Wilds’ Ferrari to sneak through and grab third place from the Barwell Ginetta, and a few laps later the ex-F1 driver also grabbed second from Bentwood in a robust manoeuvre at the Esses. With the Ford GT getting knocked out of the way Olly was promoted back to third but still had the scarlet Ferrari to deal with.

All this meant that Simonsen was completely unmolested up front, and making a hasty getaway. Prior to the race we knew that it would be imperative for Olly to keep Simonsen firmly in his sights, so that the gap would not be too large for Piers to close down later in the race when the tardy Lester was back at the wheel of the lead Ferrari. Unfortunately our game plan was being scuppered by another red Prancing Horse, as Wilds resolutely kept Olly at bay. Although Wilds had reasonable pace, he was clearly holding the Barwell Ginetta up and as every lap passed Simonsen’s lead grew and grew…along with the frustration of the Barwell pit crew. Olly was channelling his frustration into trying to pass Wilds, but the new Ferrari is both very quick in a straight line and very good under braking which made it extremely hard for Bryant to carve out a gap that he could fit a Ginetta into. With Wilds defence delaying both cars, Mr Bentwood was now looming large in Olly’s mirrors after recovering from his earlier nerf from our mutual nemesis Wilds.

By lap 21 the three cars were running nose-to-tail, and Olly knew that he had to pull out all the stops to put Wilds behind him. Going into the Sear corner leading onto the back straight on lap 26, Bryant finally got inside the Ferrari under braking and had the line into the corner. Wilds still made life difficult and turned into the side of the G50Z but it was too late to prevent Olly from taking the place.

Unfortunately the hit on Olly’s car caused him to lose momentum, and on the exit of the corner Bentwood was able to out drag both cars and demote Olly straight back down to third again!

Frustratingly Olly still wasn’t able to enjoy clean air for the last few laps of his stint, and by the time he pitted to hand over to Piers the gap to the lead Ferrari had grown out to over 25 seconds. Piers thus emerged from the pits just behind the Ford GT again, but its new driver Philip Walker was unable to offer much resistance and the Barwell Ginetta was up to second after just a single lap. Getting around the Ford had cost him a few seconds, however, and thus with 19 laps remaining he had to find 27 seconds to get onto the tail of the Ferrari ahead (now with Lester at the wheel). The maths worked out that Piers needed to be an average of 1.42 seconds per lap quicker than his rival to be with him on the last lap. Johnson got stuck into the task well, belying the fact that this is his first race meeting of the year, and settled into a pace that was bang on target.

Also playing this cat and mouse game was the Jones Ascari, which now had the faster twin aboard and was carving its way back up the order. This car was thus set to catch both Piers and Lester on the last lap, and a thrilling last 15 minutes of racing played out in front of the large Snetterton crowd. With 10 laps to go, Piers had kept up the attack in great style with an incredibly consistent run, and with the gap at 15 seconds he was still on course to make it a ‘grandstand’ finish! The next five laps, however, provided major set-backs to our cause, as Piers got held up by some backmarkers and simultaneously Lester managed to up his pace by a few 10ths of a second per lap. With three laps to go the margin was 5.6 seconds, and it would now need a mistake from the Ferrari driver to upset the order. The bigger threat to the Ginetta’s result was now from the Ascari, which was on Piers’ bumper on the penultimate lap. Jones wasn’t able to put a move on the Barwell driver, however, and Piers took the flag in second place.

Then shortly after the race had finished, news came through that Lester had been excluded from the results for contravening a technical regulation, thus promoting Olly and Piers to first place in the amended results. This also moved Andrew and Jamie up to fifth overall and fourth in GT3.

Top 8 Results – British GT Championship Round 10 – Snetterton

1st. 1st INV GT3 Bryant/Johnson Barwell Motorsport Ginetta G50Z-Zytek
2nd. 1st GT3 Jones/Jones Preci-Spark Ascari KZ1R
3rd. 2nd GT3 Brown/Short Rollcentre Mosler MT900
4th. 3rd GT3 Cameron/Wilds MTECH Ferrari 430 Scuderia
5th. 4th GT3 Howard/Smyth ‘Barwell-Beechdean’ Aston Martin DBRS9
6th. 5th GT3 Burton/Wilcox VRS Ferrari 430 GT3
7th. 6th GT3 Scott/Wilkins ABG Motorsport Dodge Viper Coupe
8th. 7th GT3 Walker/Bentwood Team RPM Ford GT3