TEAM DAYTONA JOINS TEAM BRIT
Daytona’s passion for racing starts at the very top and filters down throughout the company.
Our CEO, Charles Graham, has had a passion for motorsport for over thirty years and he was recently invited by Bobby Trundley and Team Brit to join the team as a driver for Round 5 of the Britcar Endurance Championship at Snetterton.
We sent our media team along to the race to capture all of the action behind the wheel of the 500bhp Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 as the race unfolded in changeable weather conditions.
Before the race, Charles presented Team Brit driver Bobby Trundley with a TW Steel watch in recognition of his 5 x Daytona DMAX Championships.
Friday was the all-important test day and although testing started well, the day was unfortunately cut short after a bad accident which left one driver from a rival team requiring extended medical treatment. When it did eventually resume, Charles was left with only 10 minutes’ worth of track time to familiarise himself with the circuit. That said, the precious 10 minutes were with British racing driver Max Coates in the left-hand drive Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 who was providing precious onboard tuition around the racetrack.
On Sunday morning the team agreed to let Charles get 3 more laps under his belt ahead of qualifying and then it would be up to Bobby to post his fastest possible lap times to get the best grid position possible.
He attacked the circuit only for mechanical problems to cause him significant issues that would force him back into the pits. Something with the suspension needed serious attention and time was ticking for the mechanics to get the car race-ready before the start.
With mechanical superhuman skills on display the engineers managed the impossible and repaired the Aston Martin ready for Bobby to head to the grid for race one.
Bobby got off to a fantastic start and back in the pits, Charles watched on as the weather conditions started to improve.
After a strong opening performance which also had its fair share of challenges, including a clash with another driver, Bobby came into the pits to swap seats with Charles and reflected on his performance.
It was over to Charles for the second stint and race engineer Al Locke was instantly impressed. Charles’ lap times were coming down regularly. On test day, he posted a lap time of 2-minutes and 12 seconds. He instantly improved that time on race day, posting a 2 minute 11 second lap which then came all the way down to 2 minutes and 4 seconds, after he found his rhythm in the dry. He raced past the finish line as Race One came to a close with the team clapping and looking on.
During lunch, the team analysed their times inside the Team Brit state-of-the-art custom truck, in the hope of exceeding the results of Race One.
Race Two started and Charles got the team underway. The Daytona veteran was driving consistently but two thirds into the stint it started to rain. Backing off the power slightly in the 500bhp machine on slicks was the right strategy but locking up the brakes unfortunately slowed his later lap times. The call came to box the car for wets.
Bobby took the wheel and gave it everything round the 3-mile circuit. In the early period of his stint, he even found himself to be faster than cars in other classes. Moving the team up positions into the mid-pack where they could challenge for a podium position.
However, in similar conditions to the Birkett, the weather was changeable, and the team once again found themselves on the wrong tyres.
It was time for an all-important stop in the pits to change to slicks in the hope they could make up more places. The car came into the pits at a similar time to the Porsche Cayman team, who they had been challenging for the latter part of the race.
The difference between race positions in endurance racing can be seconds and a slightly faster pit stop by the Porsche Cayman team meant they could hold on to 4th and Team Brit had to settle for a very respectable 5th place which at the time, was their best finish.
An amazing day of racing which will last long in the memory of Daytona Motorsport.