|GWS Motorsport tantalisingly close to podium finish|
Only a red flag stood between Winchester-based GWS Motorsport and the podium in round two of the Lotus Cup UK at Brands Hatch on Sunday 20th May 2012, with the team putting its Silverstone demons to rest by scoring a creditable fourth place finish at the Kent circuit.
After the disappointment of a gearbox failure preventing them from contesting the opening round last month, the weekend began on a much more positive note as team principal and driver Glenn Sherwood qualified inside the top ten.
When the 55-minute race got underway on the tight and twisty Indy circuit, starting driver Sherwood initially lost a couple of places during the opening laps. However, the Tructyre owner took advantage of incidents further ahead to regain 9th place – the position in which he started – by the mid point of the race.
Sherwood handed the car over to his co-driver Jamie Stanley as soon as the pit lane opened on lap 28, who posted a series of quick laps to lie fourth once the order settled down following driver changeovers.
Stanley’s storming drive continued throughout the second half of the race - the former British GT4 Champion lapping the 1.2-mile track considerably quicker than the surrounding cars in his pursuit of the leading trio.
With Stanley reeling in the cars ahead at a rate of two seconds per lap, the Brands Hatch crowds look set for a grandstand finish. However, GWS Motorsport’s podium charge was brought to a premature end when an incident involving another car resulted in the red flag being shown with eight minutes remaining.
As the race was almost complete, the result was declared early and Sherwood and Stanley were forced to settle for fourth position – tantalisingly close to a podium result.
Glenn Sherwood, GWS Motorsport team principal and driver, said: “A great performance by all the team, even if circumstances meant we weren’t able to have a shot at the podium. I was pleased with my pace in the opening stint and look forward to seeing what we can achieve as the season progresses.”
Jamie Stanley, GWS Motorsport driver, added: “It was really frustrating that the race ended early as the car felt great and I was sure we could bring home the team’s first podium of the year. However, it’s been good to put the problems of Silverstone behind us and we’re now even hungrier for a top three result!”
Lotus Cup UK now travels to Castle Combe on Saturday 16th June.
words by Chelsea Reay and image by Snappy Racers