RACE Performance took a maiden win on the first time of asking in the PFV Class at the VdeV Sports 6hr event on the 10th of September 2016 when Ollie Jackson and AJ Mackinnon climbed aboard our Alcon backed Ginetta G57 in the beautiful surroundings of the Mugello circuit in Tuscany, Italy.
Showing good and strong pace from Free Practice all the way through to Qualifying where the pair were P2 on the road with a time from Ollie of 1:41.72 but ended up P3 on Aggregate (VdeV grids are taken from the average lap time of all drivers in the car) with a combined time of 1:43.78. It was a clean sweep of the top four positions in Qualifying for the Ginetta G57's over the Ligier LMP3 opposition.
Mackinnon Construction boss AJ took the start and kept it neat, tidy and at the sharp end which is what mattered. Handing over to Ollie was all in the stride of the RACE team and the BTCC star settled in for his first stint. However, this was disturbed by a GT car dropping coolant on the circuit which unfortunately as the car directly behind it, resulted in us and the car behind us spinning off the circuit. The GT car had no issues in rejoining and did so straight away. The Alcon Blue Prototype however, was left beached with the floor sat on the kerb. This could have been simply addressed by a small push from the marshalls, however, they insisted on a full scale recovery and the back of the car was mechanically lifted and the car dragged forlornly back through the gravel. Bad Times. As Ollie rejoined, all was well with the car but being in 18th place left the Lincoln based squad quite the mountain to climb!
As the first hour ended, the 59 car was up to P15 and making headway through the GT traffic but was three laps down from the overall leading Graff Ligier along with the PFV Class leading G57 of Ginetta boss Lawrence Tomlinson who was piloting his creation superbly.
The next 60 mins clicked by and it was pretty much status quo, both AJ and Ollie keeping it on the island and plugging away at the rescue drive. The RACE Team hit their marks perfectly both in refueling and service and bar a minor mishap where Ollie ended up in AJ's seat insert for a stint, all was well with the car.
Progress was made in hour three as we moved up to P13 overall and P3 in class. With Lap times faster than most of the cars ahead of the Fluro Yellow nose of the Allen Signs liveried Prototype, it was full steam ahead.
Now over the halfway point and as the fourth trip round the clock ended, light was at the end of the tunnel with P2 in class and now running P8 on the road overall. The Simpson Motorsport prepared G57 was at the head of the field and had a lap in hand from the P2 Ligier.
Loins girded, it was on now to see how far we could get up the remaining rungs on the ladder. AJ pulled out a storming stint in this phase and kept his cool whilst we had a radio communication issue. The fault turned out to be with the umbilical cord that linked AJ's Saltire painted helmet to the car's radio. This was again handled beautifully by AJ and the RACE Number 1 Tech Shaun Ely with a series of pit board communications that allowed us to serve mandatory drive through handicap penalties as well as maintaining pace. As the fifth hour drew to a close, we were now P4 overall and still P2 in class.
As we went into the 6th and final hour, Ollie Jackson silenced any critics that may be out there by being able to constantly absorb the pressure on his shoulders (not through the wrong seat insert this time, however) and push all the way to the chequred flag, even with an unscheduled trip to the pits for the oil level to be dosed up. The Simpson Motorsport leading 57 car had a very, very unfortunate electrical breakdown which rendered the car immovable on the side of the track. This just shows why you should never give up as we then unwound the laps from the now stricken 57 car and moved into P3 on the road and P1 in class. This is how it remained until the flag dropped in Mugello, P3 on the road and only 15 seconds behind the BE Motorsport Ligier. From being 18th and it looking to be all over, never count out the RACE Team!
We now look towards the next round of the VdeV Endurance in Magny-Cours for a 4hr event on the 9th October. Stay Tuned to find out how it goes and why not follow us on facebook and twitter??
RACE Staff on event were:-
Ryan Connolly, Shaun Ely, Alex Trevellyan, Chris Allen and Amy Rawlinson
Ollie Jackson & Alistair Mackinnon
Allen Signs, Alcon Components, Mackinnon Construction, Beavis Morgan, Showtrax, Corbeau & Ginetta Cars.
RACE would also like to thank:-
Emma Wilde, Paul & Jacqueline Jackson, Jon "Segway" Edwards and all of the VdeV staff.