The third round of the TORA British GT series saw the grid head to Silverstone, with a change of format to a single one hour race opening up greater possibilities for strategy. Due to a surprisingly low number of GT4 entries, only the top three lobbies actually included both GT3 and GT4 cars.
Qualifying saw several of the VPR BMWs clustered close together on the timing sheets. Fastest for the team was Mutley, whose 2:02.345 put him fifth in lobby four. Following directly behind was Runaldo with an impressive first session for the team, as he lined up sixth. 10th and 11th place on the grid in lobby four were claimed by Shep and Delete, with just over a hundredth of a second between the pair. Yami followed in 13th, with A55ASSIN completing the VPR lobby four group in 18th: all six cars in the lobby qualified within half a second of each other. There was also one representative for the team in lobby five, with AnonCaliga qualifying in 11th.
Over the opening laps there was plenty of action as the order shuffled around. A55ASSIN made a great start to begin cutting his way through the field, while Shep was on the receiving end of some robust moves that left him down in 15th. Over the course of the race the team would mostly move forward through the pack, though there were some setbacks. Yami made contact with a tyre wall which cost him some time, while Delete was the victim of an odd incident that saw him shoved into the barrier on the Hangar Straight. The field generally became quite spread out as drivers took pitstops at different times, though there were still occasional on-track battles in the mid part of the race. By the latter stages there had been some issues for other drivers that helped Shep recover through the field, as well as allowing Mutley to climb up onto the podium.
In the end Mutley came home in a very strong second place, with A55ASSIN not too far behind with a brilliant recovery to fourth place that saw him climb 14 positions. One car separated A55ASSIN from a train of team-mates, with Shep, Yami and Runaldo finishing in sixth through to eighth. The trio had battled in the last few laps, with a slightly elbows-out last lap lunge allowing Shep to take sixth from Yami. Runaldo got some good experience under his belt and showed lots of promise, with his eighth place a highly respectable debut result. Despite showing strong pace, Delete had a frustrating evening as he was forced to retire due to his incident. AnonCaliga picked up a few places in lobby five to achieve a seventh place finish, contributing good points for team three.
Overall it was a fairly strong showing for the team, with the results in lobby four showing just how close the pace is between each of the three VPR teams. Next up on the calendar is the Nürburgring GP layout in just over a month, with a return to the usual two-race format.
Article By: Ewan Donaldson
Images Courtesy: Jamie Cutting | Team Manager