MONDAY 16 MAY 2011
THE HARD WAY TO EARN A PODIUM
After a struggle at Oulton Park one would have thought the powers to be could make the right call to ensure the balance of performance between the various marques be maintained. Allan expected that his extra 25kg of ballast and 100mm of ride height would be dismissed, allowing a fair fight be taken to the much newer GT3 cars like the Mercedes SLS and Ferrari 458.

But no! Only 5kg was removed. Clear it was going to be a tough weekend here at the 'new' Snetterton.

Allan has always been a fan of the older style tracks – ones that do not have their character altered heavily from the pressures perhaps of both safety and corporate hospitality needs.

None the less, when Jonathan Palmer takes on a track upgrade it always comes out pretty darn good and Snetterton was no exception.

A new track does have its issues for a driver – one has to learn it all over and the data from previous adventures.

Right: The new Snet 300 circuit updated by JP.


Regular British GT team mate, Hector Lester was first to take to the new circuit but it would only be 9 laps before trouble struck.

A broken drive shart would put paid to the session meaning Allan has zero time out.

Allan was typically philosophical about it.

"If you have to break a shaft then do in the practice not the race and I'm glad Hector got the laps in because he doesn't need to qualify the car either, just do 3 laps which is all the SRO ask for the 2 hour race, tomorrow.

With the driveline now repaired Allan headed out into the second practice session only to find the rain starting to fail. It was too dry for full wets yet too tricky for slicks. Now where are those deluxe Hankook inters!?

The track dried sufficiently allowing him to post fourth fastest time.


How much extra is the SLS carrying?

Clear air and charging hard
After instructing his race engineer, JB, to place 40 litres of fuel in the car, Allan set out to qualify. It was a mega lap, fastest in the first sector, but as he approached the line, almost certainly on pole, the engine coughed from fuel starvation.

So, forty litres were not enough – an error on Allan's part, by assuming the track would be clear enough to get a run early on. Drivers can be very hard on themselves for the slightest mistake.

They would settle for 3rd grid position, with Allan quitely kicking himself for the setup error.

Hector was the nominated start driver and despite bad understeer, light rain and the added hassle of weight and ride height drove the first 30 minutes perfectly well, staying out of trouble.

At the 35 minute mark, a safety car was invoked as the result of one of the most expensive crashes in recent history – the two Trackspeed Porsches crashed into each other, sustaining heavy damage.

BoP is a joke, ja?

Out first

The accident took time to clean up which let Hector pit directly after the restart, his one hour minimum driving time completed, 35 second in arrear of the leaders.

Allan in. Airjack fails. 25 seconds lost. Now 1 minute behind leaders.

With the leaders lapping at the same rate as Allan, a win was looking less possible, but a podium and a bag full of points was there for the taking.

Ten minutes left. The SLS GT3 is ahead. Allan sets up one of the Jones twins, with four corners to go. Deal done and a podium is in the bag, 14 second arrears of the winner.

Not a bad result for an uncompettitive car!