Optimum Motorsport delighted with McLaren British GT pace at Spa

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Optimum Motorsport endured a roller-coaster race weekend as the British GT Championship visited Spa-Francorchamps at the weekend (7-8 July, 2017) and after electrical gremlins struck in qualifying, the team bounced back in race one as they ran in third position before being taken out by a rival, while race two saw Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson finish in a strong fourth position overall in GT4 after a charging drive.

weekend Spa

Team Principal Shaun Goff

“That wasn’t a bad result at all considering the problems we had in qualifying. We were third in the first race and then got hit by the Audi R8 GT3 and then the McLaren went into a limp mode. We got the car back to the pits and reset it and all was okay, but that lost us that strong result.“Then in the second race, we started from the back once again and again we were up to third when William Phillips in the Aston made a move for position and that compromised us both allowing the HHC Motorsport car through for third position.“Perhaps it’s a case of what might have been, but there are lots of positives to take from the race weekend.

Mike Robinson

“Well, that was a weekend full of what ifs!! After FP1 we already knew we had a much better base setup than we had at Silverstone and after some more changes, we were confident of qualifying strongly for both races. We made further changes for qualifying but of course never got to try them until race day but the car felt transformed from what we drove last time out.“Had it not been for the problem in qualifying and getting punted off in race one by the WRT Audi, we would have been challenging for the win in race one and another podium in race two. Pace was good but luck wasn't our side this weekend!”

race results white 1

Johnson started the first race from the back of the field, quickly picking up six positions on the first lap to run 13th in class and 25th overall.Following a long safety car period, the #501 McLaren continued to make progress though the field before handing over to Robinson on lap 12.While unable to show their pace in qualifying, the race was a different matter as Robinson ran an incredible third in class before contact with another car forced a trip back to the pit lane and retirement.

race results white 2

The second race proved a challenge from the back of the field, but Robinson wasted no time in making gains, moving 27th to 21st overall on the first lap and continuing the progress during his stint. By lap three he was up to eighth in class before handing over to Johnson in seventh. Johnson found himself in a terrific battle with the #29 entry, continuing to make progress and running as high as third in the closing stages. Johnson took the chequered flag fourth in class and second in the Pro/Am class on what was a very good second race for the #501 crew.

British GT - Spa on Social Media

A problematic #BritishGT qualifying session for us at Spa with an air flow meter issue ▶️ We’ll be fighting back from the back! pic.twitter.com/EwkpoZ4l7e

— Optimum Motorsport (@OptimumMSport) July 7, 2017

????Race 1 is underway and we're making good progress early on with Graham up to 12th in class from the back of the #BritishGT field pic.twitter.com/568tJvHCGF

— Optimum Motorsport (@OptimumMSport) July 8, 2017

Incredibly, after starting last, the @OptimumMSport #501 570S GT4 of Johnson and Robinson is up to P3 in GT4! Incredible. #BritishGT

— McLaren GT (@McLaren_GT) July 8, 2017

When your day gets ruined...@OptimumMSport @circuitspa @BritishGT Brilliant drive to that point pic.twitter.com/SEZTunkmtL

— Malcolm Dunderdale (@dunderdalemr) July 8, 2017

GT4: Oh what a shame that is: @OptimumMSport's McLaren, which started last and was running P3 before a spin, has been pushed into the garage

— ????????British GT???? (@BritishGT) July 8, 2017

Pushing on.... We're up to P7 in class as Mike hands over to Graham for the second half of the race... #BritishGT pic.twitter.com/otBwm0PALd

— Optimum Motorsport (@OptimumMSport) July 8, 2017

Podium in Race 2 for the 570S GT4! ????????@TolmanMsport finishes P3! Behind, @OptimumMSport comes home P4! #BritishGT pic.twitter.com/WRmdxTgf20

— McLaren GT (@McLaren_GT) July 8, 2017

We got pipped at the end, but a fab race for Mike and Graham as they take P4 in GT4, P2 in Pro/Am at #BritishGT Spa! pic.twitter.com/2IrHeq37WU

— Optimum Motorsport (@OptimumMSport) July 8, 2017

The next race for Optimum Motorsport in the British GT will be during the first weekend of August at Brands Hatch GP, were Graham Johnson​ and Mike Robinson scored their first win last season.


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