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November 23, 2017

Ryan Ratcliffe: Zandvoort

Ryan Ratcliffe: Zandvoort

This time last week I was hoping that I would be coming out of the weekend as GT4 champion. I knew it would be tough but I knew we had the pace to do it. Myself and Rick were quick all weekend, Rick was unfortunate to get all of the horrible half wet and half dry sessions and I had most of the new tyre runs. In qualifying I was the quickest British car by 1.7 seconds and 3rd overall in GT4, so as you can imagine I was pretty hopeful that my goal for the weekend wasn’t too far away.

Rick started the first race and sadly it was over before it began, due to contact from another driver Rick crashed out of the race on the fastest corner of the track due to a puncture caused from the contact on the previous lap. The car was a write off and it was game over, thankfully Rick escaped from the car without a mark on him!

There was no way that we could rebuild the car ready for the race on the Sunday afternoon, so this left us with only one option, to drive our spare car out to Zandvoort through the night. To do this we had to have a signature from every GT4 team saying we could use a different chassis. We were hopeful of everyone signing so we had the car loaded and ready to leave. We were denied a chance to race on Sunday because one driver would not sign the form. After losing a car and gaining no points you can imagine this hit us pretty hard!

So in race one we went from having a 27.5 point lead to a 12.5 point lead because our closest Championship rivals finished 3rd! Sadly we could not defend our championship lead as our closest rivals won the race giving them a 12.5 point lead over us! However luck was on our side the car that won the race and took the championship lead was disqualified from the race for not running and catalytic converters in the exhaust!

So the weekend was pretty up and down as you can imagine! We went in hoping to win the championship, to mid-way through the weekend losing the lead of the championship and leaving coming out on top. I can safely say I do not want another weekend like this again! It’s a shame when you know you have pace to really challenge for the lead and then to never step foot in the car!

The Optimum Motorsport crew are now working hard to rebuild the car before the next race at Donington in three weeks. There are a few teams who can win it so there is everything to play for going into the last round! I just hope the driving standards are higher at Donington than they were at Zandvoort!

Thanks again to everyone who has supported myself and Rick this year, and thank you to everyone who has been in contact to check on Rick!

Cheers

Ryan

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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.