After a character building weekend two weeks ago at Oulton Park, Beechdean AMR youngsters Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert managed to secure a GT4 podium finish in what was a crazy fifth round of the 2016 British GT Championship.
The Beechdean Aston Martin V8 Vantage car kept well clear of any drama – the storyline of the race – to secure its second podium finish of the season. In appalling weather conditions, Bartholomew and Albert showed maturity way beyond their years to secure third and head into the second half of the season leading the championship standings. After qualifying in a superb second place on Saturday, heavy rain ensured the three-hour, 500 km race started under safety car conditions on Sunday. However, when racing began in earnest, it was Bartholomew who reacted quickest to snatch the lead from the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s Mclaren in a bold move around the outside at Copse and subsequently led the huge 33 car field of GT4s until a second safety car was required after 34 minutes due to debris on the track following a collision.
After Bartholomew had completed his stint, he handed over to Albert who, halfway through the race, decided that the track was drying sufficiently to take a gamble on slick tyres. Thus Bartholomew took over for his second stint in the car on slicks, although a brief shower resulted in yet another safety car being deployed. After another driver handover, Albert finally brought the Aston Martin home in third place after a strong performance by the young Beechdean crew.
Bartholomew and Albert have re-taken the GT4 championship lead, albeit by just 3.5 points and also lead the GT4 Silver Cup by 16.5 points.
Jack Bartholomew: “I am really happy with a podium at the Silverstone 500, the team did a tremendous job under challenging circumstances. At the start, I saw the pole man, Sandy (Mitchell), was a little compromised by the GT3s so had a go around the outside at Copse, which has more grip in the wet and led the first stint from then onwards. I was really happy with that, given that we’ve had so little time in the wet this year. I’m honestly not sure how the other guys managed to get past, though!”
Jordan Albert: “The conditions were very tough and tyre strategy had a massive part to play in the race. It was one of the hardest races of my life and securing P3 feels very rewarding. The team did a great job and it was awesome to have my family and sponsors at my home race”.