MONDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2009
BRITISH GT CHAMPIONSHIP GOES DOWN TO THE WIRE AT BRANDS
Allan Simonsen has been the A-seeded driver in the Rosso Verde/United Christian Broadcasters Ferrari team for the last few years. With the 24 Hours of Le Mans interrupting his own challenge for the British GT title, his primary role in 2009 was to support his co-driver, Hector Lester, to help him win the championship. And it almost did, with Lester taking the runner up position, a mere point shy of the winners.
The teams now aging Ferrari 430 GT3 was at a distinct disadvantage coming into the final round at Brands Hatch. To that end, Lester had been on the hunt for a quicker object to seal the title, but it was to no avail. Over a month ago a search for and Audi R8 LMS came to naught as did a Ferrari 430 Scuderia.

None the less, the current car was prepped to perfection, as always.

That preparation showed up immediately when Simonsen put in 3 laps during the first of three Friday 40 minute practice sessions.

"It was good right out of the box, so I think it best Hector spends as much time as possible in it, for now, said Allan.

Three laps into his practice, hector slid wide at the exit of Druids and make hard contact with the wall, damaging the entire left hand side of the car. It would take the five team mechanics the next 12 hour to rectify, and that they did.

By Saturday morning all was well in the Rosso Verde/ UBC team, despite a distinct lack of sleep by the great mechanics.

Allan re-shook the car down and posted a stellar time of 1.29.2 – a time that no one would match, not even in qualifying. His form was repeated in qualifying, easily taking pole, whilst Hector could only make 7th for his race start.

Hector started well, maintaining 7th position until the hand over at the 23 minute mark. With 37 minutes to make up lost ground, Allan found himself in 4th, behind the very powerful Viper, with only two laps to go. After the disaster of Druids, luck suddenly changed and as the Viper slid wide, the nimble Ferrari siezed the opportunity. Another podium result!

And so it came down to the final race of the year in British GT. Allan and Hector would need to win the race, whilst the Preci-Spark Ascari of Jones twins would need to finish lower than fourth. It would be a strategic race indeed.


Allan made a great start and held the lead, unchallenged until the 37 minute mark. He'd built up a gap of 13 seconds during that 24 lap stint. The Ascari bothers were 30 seconds behind.

Hector returned to the track in the lead and made no mistakes. With two laps remaining, a Ginetta G50, running in the invitational class (which scores no points) passed him for the lead. With Hector finishing 2nd, on the road, the Rosso Verde/UBC team was declared the round winner. But it wasn't enough to take the title, with the Ascari finishing closely behind. A single point was all it took. Hector was 2nd in the title and Allan 3rd.

Hector was quite illuminated.

"I don't mind not winning the title so long as I know that I gave it everything I could. Allan did a fantastic job all year handing me a car with a strong lead and without damage."

Allan was also upbeat.

"Today was textbook stuff. Pole, fastest lap, a win and the round victory. It's all you can do really. I'd like to say thanks to Yvonne, David, Steve, John and Hector for a fantastic year and a great friendship. Let's do it again with a new car in 2010!"