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July 23, 2017

Joe Osborne: Short Silverstone

Joe Osborne: Short Silverstone

Silverstone for British GT looked like Lee Mowle and I were on course to chalk up our first points for the year. After a few hiccups in practice we didn’t run the new tyre in practice but still looked strong for Quali. My lap felt as good as I could give so I was surprised to see Olly Bryant on pole by a couple of tenths of my time which was good enough for P5. Happy with our race pace we weren’t chasing the setup of our 888Optimum BMW Z4 too much. Lee started the race under strict instructions by myself not to get into trouble, give me the car after an hour and we’d be on for a result. Lee made a great getaway up to turn 1 on the inside line holding his own until Matteo Bobbi decided Lee was on a piece of Tarmac he fancied. Contact between the 2 of them saw Lee do a great job of not spinning like the “professional” Signor Bobbi. 10 places lost not the end of the world we could still salvage something. Especially with Lee’s rapid pace putting him on par with the top gents on the grid. Doomsday was just 3 laps around the corner as more contact with Bobbi ended our race. Right front suspension torn from the wheel hub and it was game over.

Same venue, the weekend after and a very different car for the Blancpain Endurance Series. I had been drafted in as the 3rd driver for Mark Poole and Richard Abra’s Barwell Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage one off entry. A new car to me but I felt right at home with the raw power and lack of aero grip and was comfortable with the car within a handful of laps. This confirmed by putting it P1 in the first free practice out of 57 cars. We headed into quali confident of our chances but knowing traffic would be an issue I would go out first to get a banker lap in and then send Abra out for a banzai lap. Although having to overtake 5 cars on my lap it was still good enough for P4 in class and 15th overall. We decided to keep Abra caged up and save some tyres for the race. This strategy that the Barwell boys thought of was less about vanity but more about our race pace. It worked out with Mark Poole doing a perfect stint followed by me gaining places to get is up to P3 in class. Richard Abra jumped in and passed the car in front to claim 2nd position. A great achievement by the whole team. My first taste of Blancpain left a sweet taste in my mouth! I would love to do the rest of the season.

And now its off to Snetterton this weekend. I think our BMW may struggle a little at the heavily biased Porsche track. Although we have done a good amount of mileage around the Norfolk track. We drafted in BMW factory driver Jens Klingman for our last test there to help us get fully up to speed. I am confident our car will be the best it can be just where that is against the rest is the unknown. My team mate in the sister car Dan Brown also has the lap record there from the old circuit so sure he will be pushing on. I just hope driving standards have improved from the opening rounds as they have been truly shocking. A lot of people trying to muscle through using their egos. I call upon Bernard our race director to start handing our some harsh penalties to offenders.

About The Author

Gary Parravani

Gary Parravani is Racing.GT's chief photographer and website manager. The big boss of Xynamic Automotive Photography. Gary originally founded Racing.GT with Chris Partridge in 2013.