Oliver Bryant Racing

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5th June 2006

Rounds 4&5 Pau (France)



Keith Ahlers and Oliver Bryant were much happier in the south of France than at Donington, as was the car; “It’s been on the rolling road back at base and is running problem free,” said Bryant.

In the early stages, Ryan Hooker was making the running in the #3 Trackspeed Porsche, closely followed by Oliver Bryant in the Morgan and Bradley Elliott in the #96 RPM Porsche. And that was how it stayed for the first ten minutes, before Bryant made his bid for pole.

On his sixth lap, the young driver used his experience of the track to full effect and took the fabulous-sounding Aero 8 round in 1:23.370, demoting Ryan Hooker to second and setting a new fastest time of the weekend for the British runners. Sensing he could go quicker, Bryant pitted to have the tyre pressures checked out and resumed three minutes later. Unfortunately for him, however, for the rest of the session he was unable to find enough of a clear lap to find that extra speed. So the Trackspeed Porsche was on pole with Oliver lining up along side him in P2.

For race 2, Keith Ahlers qualified the car with a 1.25.430 which lined the car up P7.


Ryan Hooker had managed to hold onto the British GT lead and Oliver Bryant was right behind him. Meanwhile, Gavan Kershaw was disproving the notion that it was difficult to pass around the circuit, having already disposed of the two RPM Porsches on that first lap in the #19 Exige. He had a go at the Morgan as the two crossed the line, but Bryant held him off as the first hairpin approached.

With 18 of the 58 minutes gone, the safety car came in and the crowds were treated to some excellent BGT racing.

Ryan Hooker made an excellent restart and had pulled out a big gap over the Morgan as the cars crossed the line. Behind the Team Aero car, Bradley Elliott was lining up a move and was through at the second hairpin. This temporarily wrong-footed Oliver Bryant and he had fallen some way back from the #96 car by the end of the lap. This situation wasn’t to last though and Bryant was in the Porsche’s slipstream two laps later. He tried and failed across the line, but was back in second place by the end of the next lap. The Morgan was flying and it was heartening to see the car back on form after its early season woes.

The Morgan pitted and Bryant handed over to Ahlers. Ahlers rejoined in P2, he hung on in there, but Glew made his move with just over nine minutes remaining and the Morgan was demoted to 3rd place. Bryant, Ahlers and the Team were all delighted to be back on the Podium again, where they belong.


Keith Ahlers was some way back, having had a knock during the first lap scrum. He decided to adopt a conservative pace in order to preserve the Morgan, and was accompanied by French cars for most of his stint. He pitted to hand the car over to Oliver at the beginning of the pit window (23 minutes).

Two cars were noticeably on a charge. Oliver Bryant was getting the Team Aero Morgan moving and had his eyes on fourth position, currently held by the JMH Ferrari of Phil Burton. Gavan Kershaw similarly was hustling the #19 Exige around the track in pursuit of Matt Harris’ #4 Trackspeed Porsche and sixth position. At the head of the field, Ryan Hooker’s lead over Bradley Elliott in the #96 Porsche looked stable. For a number of laps, the gap was around 16 seconds and any gains were minimal. Behind Elliott, Hunter Abbott similarly seemed to have enough of a lead over Oliver Bryant to maintain third position.

While one RPM Porsche was gaining, the other was falling back. As with the battle for the lead, traffic was disguising the rate at which Bryant was closing on Abbott. Again, the gap was coming down at about a second a lap, but it stabilised at six seconds with seven minutes remaining, and it looked for a moment as though the Porsche may have enough in hand to stay ahead. But at the end of the next lap, Bryant had halved that advantage and it was now clear that Abbott was in trouble.

Oliver Bryant was all over the back of Hunter Abbott’s Porsche as they followed the new leader across the line, but Abbott hung on before conceding the place with less than two minutes to go. Bryant’s charge up through the field had been amazing; and it wasn’t over yet.

As the chequered flag flew at the end of the 58 minutes, Bradley Elliott took the win, to the obvious delight of the RPM team. But as Ryan Hooker approached the line, the Morgan suddenly jumped out of his slipstream and got ahead with literally a few yards remaining and snatched second (and valuable championship points) from the luckless Trackspeed driver.