Solid Rockingham points keep Optimum Motorsport in the British GT title hunt
An unfortunate refuelling issue with the #75 Aston Martin Vantage at Rockingham Motor Speedway took away a potential race win for Optimum Motorsport, Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam as the British GT Championship reconvened for the third round of the championship at the weekend (29-30 April).
However, a great recovery to fourth place finish yielded an impressive 18 points for the team to keep them very much in the title hunt.
Riding high following a sensational debut victory at Oulton Park where Haigh became the first female racer to record an outright victory in the history of the series, the Rockingham two-hour endurance race held great promise with Haigh fastest in her qualifying session and Adam second in his.
Lining up second on the grid with drizzle in the air, Haigh made a good getaway from the rolling start to run second behind the #33 and maintained that position until the first of several safety car deployments. The restart however saw Haigh caught out on fluids put down by a GT4 car. Undeterred, she made further progress back through the field before pitting mid-race from fourth position.
Time lost refuelling the Aston Martin dropped Adam back down to tenth before he dispatched five cars ahead over the remaining 23-laps to record a fourth-place finish for the team.
The result means that he and Haigh are fourth in the drivers’ standings after three rounds, while the team are sixth in what is an incredibly tight championship.
“The pitstop cost us the chance of a win today, no doubt,” said Team Principal Shaun Goff. “The fuel hose was stretched and that cost us a lot of time, so that is disappointing. On the positive, Flick and Jonny showed real speed in the race and this bodes well for the rest of the season. We now head to every venue with the view that we can win, and that is something we can be very proud of.”
Optimum Motorsport also fielded three cars in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge with Connor O’Brien having his strongest showing in his short career to date after a great battle to fourth position in the opening race of the weekend. The final race meanwhile saw teammate Geri Nicosia dominate, leading from start to finish to take his first win in the category after a tremendous drive.
The next round of the British GT Championship takes place at Snetterton on 27-28 May.