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BLACK BULL ECURIE ECOSSE YOUNG GUNS SUFFER HIGHS AND LOWS AT SILVERSTONE

12th June 2016


 


Twenty-four hours after re-writing the British GT Championship history books, Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse young guns Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty were ultimately left frustrated in the gloom which shrouded Silverstone. Fresh from bagging their first pole position and the first for the new McLaren 570S GT4 — and with Mitchell becoming the youngest-ever British GT polesitter at 16 years 100 days — the promise of further success on race day was washed away. In often atrocious conditions, as rainstorms swept across the Northamptonshire circuit — forcing the appearance of the safety car to restrict the race cars’ speed — the Scots racers’ day ended parked at the side of the track.



Starting from GT4 pole, Mitchell pitted from second in the race, handing over to Haggerty. And having taken advantage of the safety car, the 19-year-old from Johnstone rejoined in the lead. At the next stop, Mitchell again took over, but rejoined having dropped a lap to a few cars, ironically because of the timing of the safety car. During Mitchell’s stint, the engine of the McLaren suffered intermittent dips in power. However when Haggerty jumped into the car for the final stint, he was able to deliver a series of blistering laps, eventually clocking the third-fastest time in GT4, with a 2min 17.303s on the full Grand Prix Circuit. But as the Scot was eying fifth place, having rejoined in 10th, the engine gremlins resurfaced and he was forced to retire the car. “The car felt really good for the first couple of laps of my final stint, and I was pretty happy with it,” Haggerty said. “But then the engine started developing the same problem Sandy had suffered. “I just had to manage the problem from there, but we were still looking quite good for fifth. But then the engine stopped: it just wasn’t to be this weekend.”

Mitchell, meanwhile, was delighted with the pair’s pole position. “It was a crazy race, because there were a number of variables due to the weather and people pitting at different times,” he said. “There were a lot of good things this weekend — we scored our first pole position in qualifying — but also some testing moments, so taking the positives, we’re looking good. But unfortunately we couldn’t get the result here that our qualifying pace indicated was possible. Now though we turn our focus to the next round at Spa.”

QUOTES:
Sandy Mitchell — Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4 driver:

“It was a crazy race, because there were a number of variables because of the weather and people pitting at different times. There were a lot of good things this weekend — we scored our first pole position in qualifying — but also some testing moments, so taking the positives, we’re looking good. We did a good job with the first stint, and we were lying second when we pitted for the first time. The pitstop was perfect; we made good use of the safety car and came out in the lead, which was great. I got back in the car at the second stop after Ciaran had been out, but we lost a lap on a few of the leading cars with the pitstop timing. During that stint, the car also then developed a problem which resulted in a loss of power, and meant we couldn’t maintain our lap times. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the result here that our qualifying pace indicated was possible. Now though we turn our focus to the next round at Spa.”

Ciaran Haggerty — Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4 driver:
“The car felt really good for the first couple of laps of my final stint, and I was pretty happy with it. But then the engine started developing the same problem Sandy had suffered. I just had to manage the problem from there, but we were still looking quite good for fifth. But then the engine stopped: it just wasn’t to be this weekend. The car was pretty good in the wet, but we really just needed the engine to work properly and we’d have been fine. It’s frustrating, but we’re taking a lot of positives away from this weekend. We were really fast, and we’re already looking forward to the next round at Spa, where we should do really well.”

 

 

Sandy Mitchell Racing I ©