A points scoring weekend in Hungary for Optimum Motorsport in GT Open
Following the success at Spa Francorchamps, the fourth round of the International GT Open Championship in Hungary proved to be a more difficult event for the Optimum Motorsport team, but they still left the Hungaroring Sunday evening having secured solid sixth and fifth placed finishes.
Ollie Wilkinson qualified the #96 Audi R8 LMS for Saturday’s opening race in tenth position in the Pro-Am class, 20th overall, following a rain hit qualifying session. This was especially unfortunate as he was on fast lap, good for sixth position, when the red flag flew right at the end of his lap. A clean start saw him maintain position over the opening lap before moving 16th – eighth in class - on lap three as the race set into a rhythm.
There were further gains for Ollie in his stint before he pitted 14th and handed over to teammate Bradley Ellis with 40 minutes remaining. Following an additional ten second hold success penalty, Bradley was soon back in the race in 18th place. With some attrition ahead, he moved up the order, shadowing the #74 Mercedes of Alexander Hraschowina, before the Austrian dropped down the order.
Running P12, Bradley closed the gap to the #77 Audi R8 ahead of Marcin Jedlinski who was running sixth in class. With over an hour of running complete, he made the pass with eight minutes remaining, a position he would maintain to the chequered flag.
An impressive qualifying run from Bradley on Sunday morning saw him qualify second in class, seventh overall. The race saw an early safety car intervention, and a tight battle with Edoardo Liberati before ongoing braking issues after contacts saw him drop to third before pitting with 25 minutes remaining. Ollie exited the pits fourth and battled hard with Mateusz Lisowski but lost round in the closing stages before finishing fifth.
The result means that the duo are sixth in the Pro-Am championship standings with 25 points with three rounds remaining. The next race takes place at Silverstone in September.
Shaun Goff, Team Principal
“We didn’t test at the Hungaroring ahead of the race, so we were on the back foot a little bit to be honest. With the lack of running we struggled to get the car in the operating window early enough and that hurt our race weekend. We now head to Silverstone, a circuit we are very familiar with and with expectations of a better result.”
“The second race was frustrating, especially after such a good qualifying performance on Sunday morning we were looking strong for a good race. But after I was hit and pushed into another car, I lost cooling to the front brakes causing them to overheat within a few laps making it hard for me to attack and chase down the leaders. Ollie did a great job in what was a really tricky car to drive.”