Eventful penultimate round for Academy Motorsport
cademy Motorsport battled their way through another two hour endurance outing at Brands Hatch this weekend (4th – 5th August), for the penultimate round of the British GT Championship.
Following a strong qualifying performance from the team’s driving force, Tom Wood and Jan Jonck secured a superb third place start, while Academy Motorsport Managing Director Matt Nicoll-Jones and Will Moore, claimed a fifth place grid slot.
Experienced in the ways of Brands Hatch, it is a well-known circuit for the Academy Motorsport team. After leading the GT4 European Series race back in May, a strong performance was on the cards.
As the start of the sole two hour race edged closer, both Aston Martin Vantage GT4 cars lined up in their respective grid slots. It was a tremendous sight as nearly 30 GT3 and GT4 machines thundered across the pit straight, each one eager to reach Paddock Hill Bend first.
As the first lap unfolded, Wood and Moore mirrored one another’s movements from fourth and fifth places. Despite still in its infancy, the race was soon marred by chaos with the arrival of the safety car. Shortly after the restart, the safety car was called for once more, as Mike Newbould’s Ginetta and one of the Invictus Games Racing Jaguars were embroiled in an unpleasant confrontation.
As officials tended to the stricken cars, the field were swiftly led through the pit lane, to avoid the scene on circuit.
After nearly 20 minutes at neutralised pace, the race restarted once again, just in time for the mandatory pit stops. Sadly a pit stop for Moore spelled the end of his and Nicoll-Jones’ adventure, with an unexpected oil leak.
With all hopes pinned on the sister car, Wood swiftly handed over to team-mate Jonck, for the final hour of the race. A sterling performance once again saw Jonck hold position in the top 10 for much of his stint, however following an eleventh hour pit stop, 15th place awaited the youngster at the fall of the chequered flag.
Commenting on the weekend, Matt Nicoll-Jones said: “Both cars performed excellently, as did all drivers once again. The pace is certainly there, we keep proving this with our qualifying performances and string of strong results.
“We were unfortunate with the oil leak during the race, as we had been battling in the top five prior to this. Onwards and upwards, we have one more round to go this season and we plan to make it count.”
The final round of the 2018 British GT Championship takes place at Donington Park, during 22nd – 23rd September.