British GT, Silverstone, 11 & 12 June 2016

Twelve Aston Martins. Twelve.

How could I resist? I had to see nine race at Oulton Park, so Silverstone was a must see. Or so I thought. It didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped.

The Saturday saw not only the 12 Astons which took part in the British GT Championship, but also the Astons racing in the four races organised by AMOC. It was definitely a fun filled day and I ended up looking forward to the Sunday and the main event even more than in the weeks leading up to this weekend.

The #8 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Motorbase Performance.
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The British GT competitors were joined by the GT4 European Series cars, resulting in a 51 car grid. Always good fun to see so many cars on track. Silverstone is of course not exactly a small track, but it can still get messy with such a large number of vehicles.
A bit of bad weather could vastly improve (?) the ‘fun’.

In April we had snow at Silverstone during the WEC weekend. I thought that would be as bad as I would ever see the weather get. I was wrong.
A bit of rain is no problem. But a bit of rain constantly gets nasty after a while. And wet it was that Sunday.

As usual I was there early, not wanting to miss any of the action.

Having seen Ginettas race at several occasions I have to admit I am a little bit in love with them. These ‘cars with faces’ are feisty little racers. They seem pretty fast and their drivers are all very serious about their racing. But you can’t help but give these guys a bit of a personality and you end up genuinly feeling for them if they happen to crash.
All joking aside, Ginetta racing is just plain cool.

With several races throughout the weekend and taking part in British GT the Ginettas had a lot of track time.
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I remember really enjoying the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup last year at Donington Park. Another race I was definitely looking forward to. But by the time that race was on I had moved back on the grand stand to about half way up because of the rain. And I was still getting wetter and colder by the minute. It was only just after 11 in the morning…

The end result was that the British GT race started under the safety car in terrible conditions and I wasn’t there to witness it. I had dragged my cold carcass home and ended up watching the race on tv.
I’m not sure what to think of the race. Is there a point in even starting the race in conditions like that? What is the added value of a safety car start? Should the race have gone on considering how many cars ended up next to the circuit due to the water?

Not everyone seemed to mind the rain.
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I haven’t made up my mind about the questions above. I realise that a race must go on because it’s on television. But I’m not sure that is right either. With all the discussions going on about driver safety, surely this must be on the radar too? Or are all levels of motorsport in the firm grasp of those who care only about money?

Let’s just say that I truly admire the drivers who went out there and gave it their all. There was certainly some epic driving going on in the rain. Despite all my doubts I can always enjoy the skill being shown during any race. Next time I’ll bring my rain gear.


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