Approaching the final few rounds of the GT4 European Series.
The second from last round of the GT4 European Series was underway at Hungaroring for Round 5.
We are now approaching the final stages of the GT4 European Series, with Round 5 being held at Hungaroring. The pair have not yet got what they have rightly deserved with a podium finish amid some technical difficulties and unfortunate circumstances.
It was a frustrating weekend for both Fiona and Matt in many respects. The car unfortunately had a failure in part of the alternator, which meant the battery wasn’t getting charged on practice nor qualifying. As they have many times this year, the team at Academy Motorsport worked incredibly hard to get the car out for their qualifying session. However, the issue meant Matt had missed his session of qualifying, meaning he had to start his race from the back of the grid.
The conditions for Race 1 started dry but with light rain it meant it was a damp track come Fiona’s stint. Matt started off Race 1 from the back of the grid and done a great job making his way up to p5 in class and around 25th overall. Considering the track consisted of 44 starters, climbing up this high in the time-frame was incredible. The pair had swapped stints with Fiona heading back out on slicks from the pit stop. Frustratingly, Fiona had come out behind the safety car which had been brought out due to the weather conditions, which was a real shame as they were all confident that the slicks were still good and was proved by Fiona’s pace catching the pack!
Several laps later the rain had come down reasonably heavy, when Fiona was 2 corners away from the pit entry, so she decided to make a quick dive in for wet tyres assuming the safety car would be brought out shortly. Again, Fiona’s pace was good while catching the pack and the car felt awesome! Sadly, race control made the decision to red flag the race which wasn’t the most popular decision! Fiona certainly felt more than comfortable in the conditions, amongst many other drivers!
For Race 2, it was now Fiona’s turn to start the first stint. Although the earlier alternator problem meant that again, the pair had to start from almost the back of the grid. The weather was very changeable with storms coming overhead and a damp track. The race had officially been declared a wet race before the start, so the team had the option to put wets on; the team decided to leave this decision as late as possible and several cracks of thunder and lightning 2 minutes before the mechanics had to leave the grid, meant they made a last minute decision to put wets on.
“I had a great start and was up around 7 places by turn 4 when I got pushed up onto a wet painted kerb by another car, which span me out! Again, my pace was good and I caught the pack rapidly over the next lap but was scuppered by the tyres overheating in the increasingly dry conditions, meaning I was left with no grip. We kept me out as long as possible as the weather was still changing so we could potentially send Matt out on slicks but the weather wasn’t really on our side and stayed stubbornly intermittent rain until just after the race finish when the heavens opened!”
So overall, the team came away with decent points in Race 1 finishing p5 in class and 15th overall! Fiona is pleased with her pace shown in the wet and damp conditions which will be taken into the next and final round at Nurburgring!