Oliver Bryant Racing

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22nd July 2012

Olly Bryant in 3rd World Sportscar win in as many starts at the Silverstone Classic

Qualifying was a wash out with the session being red flagged as heavy rain flooded the track and stopped play. Andrew Smith’s single lap time at that point was good enough for pole. The session was then restarted behind the safety car for the first drivers to complete their 3 mandatory qualifying laps. Olly the took to the wheel for what turned out to be the remaining 5 minutes of the session and recorded a lap time just good enough for pole position, some 0.3s quicker than the next car.

Andrew started the race from pole position and went into a commanding lead. The Ecurie Ecosse driver was soon hunted down by the rapid Ferrari 512M of Paul Knapfield who powered passed on the run to Maggots corner. Andrew was being held up by the Ferrari through the corners and began to get frustrated as the Ferrari powered away on the straights. Whilst trying to use the Lola’s handling advantage through traffic to pass the Ferrari, they made contact, sending Andrew spinning and ripping the door and mirror off in the process. Otherwise undamaged, Andrew was straight back on the pace as he set off after the lead pack.

Andrew then pitted from 4th place to hand over to Olly, who quickly set about catching the leading pack. As a result of the early driver change, Olly was fully up to speed when he caught the second placed Lola which he passed straight away. The Ferrari was still leading the race, now in the hands of Martin Stretton, who’d taken over from the car’s owner Paul Knapfield. A similar fight battle resumed with the Ferrari much quicker on the straights and the Lola excelling in the corners and under braking. An epic battle commenced as the 2 glorious World Sportscars swapped position several times in the Silverstone afternoon sunshine. With 2 laps to go, the Ferrari blasted past on the Hangar straight only to immediately be challenged on the brakes into Stowe. Stretton held on but ran deep into Abbey and Olly re-took the lead and managed to hold on to score a well deserved win to the delight of the crowds, who had witnessed one of the best races of the weekend.

Olly Bryant “I am delighted with the result, to get pole and the win was a great result for Clive who prepares the car. We’ve now won for a 2nd time in the Lola at Silverstone, to add to wins at Donington, Brands Hatch, Portimao and Spa. It was great to share this win with Andrew who had a very busy weekend racing in nearly every race!”

Andrew Smith “It’s a few years since I’ve raced a MKIIIB but it took no time at all to get back up to speed, they are such a pleasure to drive. It was a privilege to share Olly’s T70 with him since we’re usually racing against each other in historics and we race our Ecurie Ecosse BMW in different series. The contact with Paul was unfortunate but I’m just glad we got away with it in the end. Olly’s stint was outstanding and he did exceptionally well to keep Martin at bay given the straight line puff of that 512!”

Silverstone Classic 2012