Buoyed by an eye-catching cameo in the British GT championship, Stuart Leonard has “every confidence” in the Leonard Motorsport AMR team to contend for Pro-Am honours the Spa 24 Hours.
24 year-old Leonard, who completes a strong driver line-up headlined by 2013 Spa 24 Hour pole-sitter Stefan Mücke, double Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Michael Meadows and BTCC race-winner Tom Onslow-Cole, already has a win to his name from round two at Silverstone and is backing the Prodrive-run outfit to be in the mix on his second attempt at the biggest race on the GT racing calendar.
“We’re going to really give it everything and I have every confidence in the team,” he said. “We have a fantastic line-up of drivers and a very good team underneath us, which is how we won Silverstone; every pitstop was perfect, every call was bang on and nobody made any mistakes. It’s when all of those things work that can give you a chance of a good result.”
Although business commitments meant Leonard was unable to attend the official Test Day, he and Meadows – who finished third – still found the British GT meeting on Avon tyres and with no ballast a useful confidence-boosting exercise.
“It was a good experience, it gives you an understanding of the right places to overtake and helps you get your eye in,” he added. “Of course there’s positives and negatives to it, a lot of people would say the Test Day with the correct Pirelli tyres and the correct weights in the car would be much more beneficial, and they’re probably right, but due to work constraints I didn’t have any other choice. However, from a team point of view and from my point of view, the British GT round actually worked better than we initially thought it would, because there’s nothing that can replicate being on circuit with other cars in a race scenario.”
Despite sheering a bolt on the steering at Paul Ricard, the Leonard team are still in the running for the Pro-Am title, and with double points on offer at Spa, there is no shortage of incentive.
“You do look at it from a championship perspective for sure as there are double points on offer,” Leonard said. “Ricard unfortunately didn’t go our way; we had a blinding start but one of the bolts snapped on the steering rack, which was extremely frustrating, although we did our best to make it back and made up a couple of points by the end. But at the same time it would be fantastic to have the win and stand on that podium. We have the potential for sure, but whether it will actually happen, we’ll have to see.”