Saturday practice went well using the time to get a great qualifying setup – P1 in P1 and P5 in P2, effectively the Q setup.
Allan put everything into qualifying, but that was still 0.6 seconds off pole, from Richard Westbrook in his 'factory' Porsche 997 GT3 - that is a clear message to the SRO that parity needs tuning and quickly.
With Q done, it was time to jump in the 'renta' and head to Manchester airport for a flight to Paris for the LM24 Test Day. Arriving at 10pm, it was almost 1am before Allan's head hit the pillow for what would be a stellar day (see other story).
After the test, Allan was lucky enough to hitch a private flight back with Paul Daniels, Hollywood style. A well earnt ride!
Hector started race one and did a solid job, returning the now aging Ferrari, at the 23 minute mark, in 7th place.
It was an uphill battle for Allan, as he attacked the deficit – the ballast/ride height rubbish rearing itself.
Ahead, in 3rd place was his only blockage to the podium, an Aston Martin. But wait, its slowing. Yes! It's blown up – David Richards pride and joy rolled to a stop...10 metres past the line. Damn, that was close, but deep down Allan knew that there was a lot of foxing going on. These new spc racecars were nowhere near their potential and it was only the first race.
For those true racers reading, you'll know that its actually easier to drive closer to the limit or bth skill and adhesion. Doing so ensures the mind is sharp and focussed, rather than slightly off the boil. Sure, the new cars are fast, but we'll have to see whether the new pilots have the skill to drive them at the pointy end, as Allan does at every opportunity. That's not to say he can't drive at eight tenths – a true professional can modulate the requirement for feedback as the situation dictates.
The second race would enjoy a front row start. Allan pushed Westbrook's almost GT2-like GT3 to the limit, yet the Germanic rear-engined car happily romped away.
Behind, pressure was mounting from a 458 GT3. Alan held his second place position until the pitstop and Hector took his turn. It was a timely stop, the rest of the field pitting. Thanks to the efficient nature of the Rosso Verde/UBC/Santander Team, the Irishman grabbed the race lead.
Being a pro-am event, Westbrook had swapped out for Ashburn, who took off after Hector.
At the last corner, Hector revised his Christmas card list – Ashburn uncerimoniously punting him off and into a wild spin. It was 12th before he could rejoin the track, moving up to 8th for the flag, gaining some valuable points in the championship.
For those who punt, you'll find dear reader, a driver has a very long memory...