Ellis snatches SP3 front row start for Optimum at Mugello
Optimum Motorsport driver Bradley Ellis qualified second for the 2015 Mugello 12 Hour race today, giving the team its second SP3 class front row start in as many races and Yorkshire manufacturer, Ginetta a 1-2.
Ellis claimed second with a 1:58.538 lap of the 3.259 mile Tuscan track, falling just two tenths shy of a second successive pole-position in the 24H Series powered by Hankook. Ollie Jackson in the Speedworks Ginetta G50 GT4 qualified fastest in the SP3 class with a 1:58.308.
After an engine failure curtailed the planned testing on Thursday, Optimum’s crew of experienced mechanics got the G55 GT4 into a position where it was once again a front row challenger. Free practice provided Flick Haigh and Ade Barwick with some laps of the undulating Italian circuit, before Ellis nailed the qualifying performance after a late Code-60 caution period emptied the track.
Team Principal, Shaun Goff commented: “We’re chuffed with P2. We lost a day of running yesterday when our engine blew after five laps, so this morning it was all about getting Flick and Ade some running in the car.“Brad just did the final 15 minutes of qualifying and we gave him some new tyres, only for the Code-60 to come out just as he was going for a quick lap. He managed the situation well though and gave himself enough of a gap and got a great lap in. He’s a bit annoyed with his first sector, because in the other two sectors he found at least a second on his previous best, but we’re very pleased with his performance and that of Flick and Ade. Now we’ve got a quick turnaround before the first four hours of the race; let’s see what that brings!”
The two-part Mugello 12 Hour race begins at 12:30 GMT and will run for four hours until 16:30 GMT with live coverage on the series website and live audio via Radio Le Mans. Then on Saturday morning at 08:30 GMT the second-half of the race resumes for eight hours of wheel-wheel endurance racing, before the flag falls at 16:30 GMT on Saturday afternoon.