Optimum second at Imola as 24H Series title race goes down to the wire

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Optimum Motorsport secured second position in a closely fought battle Saturday evening (1 July, 2017) as the Creventic 24H Endurance Series travelled to Imola for a two-part 12H challenge.Julio Martini joined Ade Barwick and Dan O’Brien in the #231 Ginetta G55 GT4 in the SP3-GT4 class, with the latter claiming pole position by 0.003s and setting up the race perfectly.The long and gruelling race followed, with the Optimum trio leading a significant portion of the race, before an unscheduled stop due to a mechanical failure in the ninth hour cost them the chance of the top step of the podium. With just one point-scoring round remaining in the 2017 championship, the team enjoys a five-point lead at the head of the championship….Team Principal Shaun Goff“Imola was a good weekend for us a P2 puts us back in the lead of the championship, I think the win was ours for the taking but some issues arise in endurance racing and our guys did a great job to get it back out quickly."Now looking forward to trying to secure the championship in Portimao next month"

Part 1, Friday 30th June - 4 hours

imola timeline on white pt 1

O’Brien quickly regained the class lead at the start, completing routine pit stops before handing over to Martini who retained the advantage at the 3H mark. Barwick was back in the car next and completed the first segment of the race to take the chequered flag a lap clear of the #114 BMW.

Part 2, Saturday 1st July - 8 hours

imola timeline on white pt 2

      The second segment of the race resumed Saturday morning with O'Brien back behind the wheel of the G55 facing a long stint until the 6H mark. Leading the class and running 21st overall, Martini resumed, completing the 200th lap with a lap advantage over the #114. As 8H of racing approached, Barwick fended off the second placed car ahead of the final third…With the second-placed #114 losing five laps, Barwick completed his second stint before handing back to O’Brien with the lead intact with just 2.5 hours remaining. However, an unscheduled 14-minute stop for a driveshaft change on lap 264 turned the race on its head as the #231 crew exited the pits one lap down on the #114. Undeterred, O’Brien pushed on and as the stops took place the gap fluctuated, ultimately resulting in a second-place finish with Barwick taking the checkered flag after 330 laps for the trio of drivers.

The 12H Imola on social media

Race ready #231 Optimum team for Imola ???? #24HSERIES pic.twitter.com/WvPmtkZLmz

— Optimum Motorsport (@OptimumMSport) June 30, 2017
#24HSERIES | After the first part we have the following leaders per class. CONGRATULATIONS! pic.twitter.com/zgHTLz0A8v— 24H SERIES (@24HSERIES) June 30, 2017

4h - 116 laps. The refurbished Ginetta is running smoothly as ever. Ade sees the????flag of part 1 from the class lead. P21 #24HSERIES pic.twitter.com/iMFe313P1J

— Optimum Motorsport (@OptimumMSport) June 30, 2017
5h - 140 laps. Dan leads and is going for a triple stint! Hear from @adebarwick, full video on Facebook #24HSERIES pic.twitter.com/RqdadlHglY— Optimum Motorsport (@OptimumMSport) July 1, 2017

Stint 1 done and handed the car over to Julio with a 1 lap lead. 5.5 hours left of the race, fingers crossed! @OptimumMSport @adebarwick

— Daniel O'Brien (@Dano555) July 1, 2017
It's celebration time ???? #24HSERIES pic.twitter.com/4VReTbY6Mf— Optimum Motorsport (@OptimumMSport) July 1, 2017

Podium selfie! Very tough race at the 12hours of Imola. I put the car on pole for us and the whole team worked so well to build us a lead eventually up to 7 laps. Unfortunately a driveshaft failure with 3 hours to go which put us 2 laps down on the lead. We fought hard to get back to P2 and back to the lead lap but the win wasn't to be ???? BUT, a podium is a Podium and we're all over the moon to be on the podium again and still hold the lead of the championship! #optimummotorsport #endurance #24hseries #danobrien #ginetta #race #racecar #imola2017 #imola #italy

A post shared by Daniel O'Brien (@danobrien550) on Jul 1, 2017 at 12:34pm PDT

...up next

The 24H SERIES heads to the south of Portugal at the end of August for its last round. The Hankook 24H PORTIMAO will be held at the Algarve International Circuit.The next race for Optimum Motorsport will be this week's British GT flyaway round, hosted in Spa-Francorchamps on Friday and Saturday.


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