Dominant pole position highlights Mark Kimber's increasing speed
July 23, 2019
Mark Kimber came away from his maiden appearance at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps focusing on the positives that highlighted his increasing confidence in the British GT Championship.
Having only experienced the Belgian circuit on the simulator, the Solihull racer headed across the channel into the unknown. But he soon proved his ability to get up to speed in the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 as he - and team-mate Jacob Mathiassen - finished in the top ten in the GT4 Silver Cup category in both practice sessions.
With the 17-year-old proving a quick learner, he put his skills to good work as he partnered with Jacob to storm to a maiden pole position.
As the track dried out after heavy rain swept through the Ardennes track just before qualifying got underway, Jacob decided to go out on slick tyres. His gamble immediately paid off as, with the rest of the GT4 field running on wets, he set a lap more than three seconds clear of the rest of the field.
Mark’s brisk lap gave a combined time which was 2.036sec clear of the rest of the field - the largest margin of the season.
“I was really happy to get pole,” Mark explained. “Jacob did an amazing job, it was a difficult call to make but it paid off massively, and the team also did a great job to get the car spot-on for the wet/drying conditions.
“It was good to finally get that result, I think we’ve both showed we’ve had the pace for the whole season but it was just getting everything to come together and go our way.”
Unfortunately, the two-hour race didn’t prove to be equally as positive as, despite Mark and Jacob battling hard, they didn’t have the pace to battle at the front, crossing the line 10th in class.
Mark added: “It was difficult, the car felt quite unstable and that made it hard to push. I think the balance of performance wasn’t quite on our side today and we knew it was going to be a struggle. It’s frustrating but there was a lot of experience learned and that can only help us at Brands Hatch in two weeks.”
Before the trip to Brands Hatch on 3&4 August, Mark will be making a return to the kart as he takes part in the third round of the IAME Euro Series at Wackersdorf in Germany.
“I’m looking forward to the third round of the Euro Series,” Mark said. “We’ve had a few issues with karts but now we are going back to one that I won with at Shennington so we can go into the weekend with confidence.
“I love the circuit in Germany, which I won at last year and scored a podium the year before that. I know the times will be close but I’m looking forward to it and the Strawberry Racing Team will give me every chance possible.”