Kershaw cures electrical problem to claim podium place at Silverstone
- Credit: Archant
The Lotus ISSY Racing team had to overcome a mid-race electrical gremlin to claim their second British GT Championship GT4 podium finish at the blue riband Silverstone 500Km.
The event started well for the local team, who annexed pole position, for the second time this year, after the qualifying times of both Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw were amalgamated.
Yusuf had his best lap time nullified for exceeding the track limits – but his second best time was good enough for third place in his section, while Kershaw ensured top spot went to the Norfolk team with the quickest lap time in his category.
'I'm really pleased to be starting on pole,' said Yusuf. 'It's a long race and anything can happen, but it's always good to start from the front.'
Not long after the race started, on a wet but drying track, the safety car made an appearance to allow the damaged Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Cambridge's Derek Johnson to be cleared up.
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The Lotus squad made a strategic decision to get their mandatory driver changes completed under the safety car conditions, a tactic which was soon repeated up and down the pit lane.
'There is a mandatory stoppage time for the pit stops and you normally lose a lap, but under the safety car it can be completed without,' explained Carlton Rode's Kershaw. 'If the safety car had come in earlier we would have gained a lap on the field.'
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On a different strategy to some of its rivals the local team were hopeful of victory, but the Evora developed a nasty habit of cutting out at the most inopportune moments, which saw the leading McLaren 650S GT3 of Adrian Quaife-Hobbs running off-track to avoid the stuttering Lotus.
'I had a big problem in the middle of the race,' explained Kershaw.
'We couldn't accelerate properly and it turns out the rev limiter had got stuck, so that held us back.
'We were even going to retire the car until I wiggled the wheel a bit and, hey presto, it worked again.'
With Kershaw behind the wheel for the final stint the Lotus test driver used his vast racing knowledge to guide the car home for third place holding off a gaggle of cars in the final laps.
'It was hard work,' added the local racer, who, with his team-mate, moves into second place in the championship.
Wisbech's Jake Giddings could only secure seventh place after a difficult finish to the event despite he, and his team-mate Kieran Griffin, leading the GT4 category during the race.
'Kieran did a good job out there, but after the last stop, I'm not sure what happened,' said the reigning GT4 title holder.
''We came out and just struggled for pace at the end.'
The Stratton Motorsport Lotus Evora of Richard Taffinder and James Nash claimed 10th, with the latter showing excellent pace during his final stint, while the second example of Tim Eakin and Jamie Wall was the final classified finisher in 17th place in the GT4 category.