Driving the number four Ligier JS P3, current ELMS LMP3 Champion Christian England and multiple Radical Champion Bradley Smith propelled the car to an impressive second place in the hour long race.
After problems in qualifying the team’s second car suffered irreparable damage and with no spares available the tough decision was taken to retire the car from its well-earned second place on the grid for the main event on Sunday. Sadly this meant promising young talent Colin Noble and experienced racer Shaun Balfe would have to watch from the side-lines.
With the team now only running one car all attention and focus was on the number four machine. Starting from fifth position Christian got off to a flying start quickly making up a couple places on the opening laps to settle into third position, his eyes then set on the car in front. After setting some blistering lap times he caught and passed the car ahead and was safely into second. It was now time to hand over to Bradley for the second half of the race.
With the lead car some way down the road, after taking advantage of a clear track at the start, Bradley’s main focus was to maintain position and bring the car home. Given his relative lack of experience in the car compared to the other drivers on the track at the time, Bradley did a sterling job and was able to post some impressive lap times on his way to securing second place and the team some silverware!
“It wasn’t the easiest week for us, we only got the car on Thursday so we haven’t tested like the rest of the grid and we’ve had some bad luck here this weekend so we’ve done an excellent job to finish second. We lost time in an incident at the start that meant we couldn’t battle for the lead so to keep second was a good result.”
“All in all that wasn’t too bad, the last minute driver line-up change and my first dry weather laps in the car, plus I was maybe a little too cautious, all played a part in a list of things that will be better next time. I love the car though, a great piece of kit.”
Craig Bennett, Team Manager:
“After the dramas with the second car on Saturday to finish on the podium in our first event was a spectacular result. My team worked extremely hard all weekend and the result showed our ability to perform at this level, I’m very proud of my mechanics and engineers for what they have achieved.
We couldn’t have asked for more from the drivers either, both Christian and Bradley put on a fantastic display and I am certain with more time in the car we could have challenged for the win!
I am sad that Colin and Shaun didn’t get to experience racing the car but I guess that is motorsport. On the positive for Colin, in the limited time he had in the car he really turned some heads and is defiantly one for the future.
Our focus now turns to next year, it is our goal to join the LMP3 ELMS and Prototype Cup grid and we are looking into all opportunities as we speak.”