Tolman Motorsport encountered a bitter sweet weekend last week at Silverstone for the British GT Championship’s blue riband event, the Silverstone 500. The #5 McLaren 570S GT4 of Jordan Albert and Lewis Proctor scored their second consecutive podium, after taking the checkered flag in P2 following a hard-fought three-hour battle. Heartbreak came in the form of DNF results for Charlie Fagg and Michael O’Brien in #4 and Joe Osborne and David Pattison in #56, both due to being taken out of the race through contact from their GT4 competitors.
The longest race of the season, held at the Home of British Motor Racing, posed a different challenge for the Tolman Motorsport crew and their trio of McLarens, in the shape of three hours of racing and three mandatory pit stops per car, but with no set pit windows. This meant that strategy and pit stop performance would play a vital role in the result.
In qualifying Fagg and O’Brien in the #4 car admitted to having an average run, ending up P8 in the Silver class and 11th overall.
In similar fashion to Pattison at Snetterton, Proctor flew up the order on the opening lap and the young gun left the team speechless as he went from seventh to first before the GT4 pack reached the Hangar Straight.
Race 1 saw Fagg push hard to make up ground from qualifying. Following a strong start, picking off four of his competitors on the opening lap, Charlie was completing a superb first stint in the #4 McLaren. After passing the HHC Ginetta and Academy Aston Martin, Fagg had the run on the #53 Ultra Tek Nissan of Kelvin Fletcher down the Wellington Straight. Charlie had the inside line for Brooklands when Fletcher turned in on #4, launching the rear of the McLaren in the air, breaking the rear suspension and sending Fagg into a spin where he came to rest in the gravel trap. The Stewards immediately issued a two-minute stop-go penalty to the #53, but that was little comfort to the Tolman crew who had a second non-point scoring entry.
Tolman Motorsport continues to lead the Team’s Championship standings, with Fagg/O’Brien now second and Albert/Proctor sixth, in the Silver Class standings. Osborne/Pattison have fallen to fourth in Pro-Am following their DNF, however all three pairings sit within the top-seven of the overall Driver’s Championship.
The team now switch their focus to their flyaway round at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium on the 20th-22nd of July where they will strive to continue their series of podium finishes.
Charlie Fagg #4 – “We can definitely take some positives away from the weekend. I truly believe that even though we had an average qualifying, I had a great initial start and I started to reel in the guys ahead of me. The car handled brilliantly, the set up was perfect. Around 48 minutes in, I went down the inside to overtake and I got hit and put into the gravel with broken suspension, meaning we were out of the race. It was a shame, not only because we were out of the race, but because the team work so hard and Mikey didn’t even get a chance to see what he could do in the longest race of the year. Fortunately, we’ve been doing really well in the Championship so far. Obviously, we would have preferred to score some valuable points, which we would have done, if we didn’t have any contact. I’m looking forward to going to Spa and it would be amazing to get our first win there!”