Oliver Bryant Racing

07946 524 941 info@oliverbryant.com
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22nd April 2007

Rounds 2 & 4 Donington Park


There was a brand new look to the Tech 9 squad for rounds 3 and 4 of the 2007 British GT Championship at Donington Park.

It wasn’t a new livery or a new team member but rather a different tint to the existing driver squad, Oliver Bryant and Matt Harris having laid down a bet pre-season that they would dye their hair blonde if and when the team won a race – Race 2 at Oulton Park delivered that result, so it was two bottles into the shower and a new Nordic look for Messrs Bryant and Harris.

Onto the serious business of the weekend however and the odds really were stacked against Tech 9 this time out, with the Vipers and Aston Martins having received substantial performance breaks on a circuit widely regarded as favouring the big, powerful, front-engined machines.

Practice and qualifying would throw another oddity at the Porsche boys – the #9 car was losing speed on new tyres compared to older rubber!

In Qualifying Matt Harris would briefly top the times, before emerging from the quick fire session fifth fastest, just half a second slower than the pole setting Viper, whilst in the second session, setting the grid for Sunday’s 60 minute race, Oliver Bryant improved on Matt Harris’s mark by a couple of tenths but would start on the 4th row of the grid for Sunday’s race, after a session in which many more of the ‘pro’ drivers featured.


Saturday afternoon’s race saw warm and sunny conditions and hopes were high in the Tech 9 camp for a good, consistent race run – from the start the signs were promising.

As the lights went green Matt Harris made immediate progress, the Porsche getting the jump on one of the very quick Aston Martins and getting straight onto the tail of the #44 Eclipse Mosler.

The leading four cars immediately began to pull away from the chasing pack, as the #22 Ascari adopted a very defensive stance.

For Harris though the great start was about as good as it got – the #9 Porsche’s attack on the leading trio ended on lap three, with a spin into the McLeans gravel.

“I changed down from fourth to third, but it wouldn’t go in,” began a disappointed Harris, “I gave it a whack, but found second instead and when I lifted the clutch it spun.” Fortunately for him he was able to drive out unaided and resumed, but he now found himself in sixteenth place and behind the Ferrari 430 of Phil Burton, which was progressing through the field, having started from the back row after missing qualifying.

Thereafter it would be a hard afternoon’s work for Matt Harris, the Ferrari proving just too quick to pass on the straights: all the time he was trying to get by the 430 he was losing ground to the leaders. But he was making up positions and by the time the pit window opened the car was back just outside the top ten – a points finish beckoned after all.

Oliver Bryant emerged from the Tech 9 pit stop amidst a gaggle of very quick men (Cocker, Bentwood and Flux) and began to make rapid progress up through the order.

But in current configurations, the Astons and the Mosler were just too quick for the Porsche and despite his best efforts – and very impressive efforts they were too! – Bryant could only attempt to hang on in the hope that they would hit trouble.

They didn’t and the Tech 9 duo could do no better than seventh place – two valuable points salvaged from an early problem, but this is a team that shoots far higher than that.


Oliver Bryant to start the Sunday race, from eighth on the grid, one spot behind Tim Sugden in the rival Trackspeed 997. Both drivers would comment on how hard they were having to push their cars to set their times – and both would be in tyre trouble before too long.

Oliver was pounding along in seventh from the start, which became sixth by the end of lap five. He was well in touch with the leaders, and with Matt Harris’s form lined up for the second half of the race… “but within ten minutes of the start I had a really bad vibration,” explained Oliver. “Before that I’d set a 1:11.1, which I was pleased with compared to Sugden’s 1:10.9.”

The Tech 9 Porsche, despite the problem, was ahead of two cars which would be pushing for second / third at the end (the Preci-Spark Ascari and the #3 Aston Martin) – but the vibration would turn out to be a tyre issue, which ended up costing the Tech 9 pair any points at all in this one.

Sugden’s blistering left rear tyre was Bryant’s problem too, and the common sense decision (and advice from Avon) was to change the tyre at the driver change.

“The car was dropped off the jack and I was ready to go, but then heard a lot of shouting – and then the left rear was changed,” commented Matt. “I spent my stint catching and passing people, and towards the end had Riley’s Mosler in sight, but came up eight seconds short. It was a great shame: we should have scored two podium finishes this weekend, but all we ended up with was two points. That hurt us in the championship.”