Oliver Bryant Racing

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9th May 2009

Promise and problems at Spa 8-10th May 2009

Olly Bryant was joined by Andrew Smith in the Ginetta G50- Zytek for the British GT Championship races at Spa-Francorchamps. It was to be the car’s second ever race after a one-off Britcar race at Silverstone in the hands of Laurence Tomlinson and Richard Dean.

The car had a few handling and braking imbalances that Olly, Andrew and the team at Barwell Motorsport and Ginetta spent the Thursday test sessions ironing out. These developments paid off as Olly recorded the second fastest time in Friday practice session with a 2m.30.275s lap, the car responding well to the changes that were made. Friday afternoon also saw the qualifying sessions and Andrew Smith, who was new to GT racing, posted an excellent time of 2m30.096s to line the car up second on the grid for Saturday’s race, in his first British GT qualifying session. Olly then set a rapid 2m28.388s to line the car up a very close 4th on the grid for Sunday’s race. Just 0.3s faster around the 7km circuit would have put Olly 2nd on the grid.

Race 1

Andrew lost ground at the start in the first corner mayhem but soon was fighting with the championship leading Mosler of Dan Brown. This battle continued for several laps with the positions being swapped at Eau Rouge and La Source in some spectacular overtaking moves. Andrew eventually settled for 4th and continued lapping well until a fuel pressure problem caused the car to cut out on his in lap, this cost 9 seconds plus an additional 30 seconds in the pit stop as the car refused to restart. Olly rejoined but all hope of a podium result was lost. Olly drove the car quickly and consistently on fading tyres and with a severe handling imbalance, which was later diagnosed as a suspension bush that had been melted by the exhaust. This was causing the rear wheel to toe in and why Olly had to deal with an ill-handling car for the second half of the race. Nonetheless Olly brought the car home in 6th place but much more had been promised by the car’s race pace.

Race 2

Sunday’s race was a 9am start and the Spa circuit was wet and thick with fog. The Le Mans Series warm up had been cancelled due to the conditions but the British GT cars lined up on the grid and the start was given under safety car conditions for the opening few laps. Once racing started Olly quickly got used to how the car handled in the wet, albeit on slick tyres! Allen Simonsen was leading the race followed by Martin Short’s Mosler, Aaron Scott’s Viper and Olly ran in fourth pressuring Scott all the way around the circuit. Olly carried more speed through Eau Rouge but was unable to pass the Viper on the Kemmel Straight as the crashed Mosler of Stuart Hall was parked at the side of the circuit and necessitated a yellow flag, preventing Olly from overtaking in the area of the circuit where he had the most advantage. Olly out the Ginetta up the inside of the Viper on the run out of Pouhon, only to find the car die as fuel pressure dropped away. The car cut out completely and Olly parked the car in a safe position. The car lost several laps whilst Olly discovered the fault was a loose wire on the back of the relay box, he rectified this fault before returning the car to the pits to hand over to Andrew. Although all chance of a good result was gone, as the car was now 9 laps down, Andrew took to the now dry track to complete the race, setting fastest lap in the process. The Scott Viper went on to win the race, indicating where the G50Z should have finished had the problems not re-occurred.

The Ginetta G50-Zytek had several development problems at Spa but will no doubt be right on the pace at the next round. Olly is set to carry out a test with Barwell Motorsport and Ginetta to iron out any remaining reliability issues with the car ahead of the next round where it will hopefully challenge for the results it deserved at Spa.