Although WRT have often run British drivers, such as Oliver Jarvis, James Nash and, briefly, Northern Ireland’s Adam Carroll (at the 2012 FIA GT1 Donington season finale), Vincent Vosse’s team has never before had an all-British pairing. But that’s all set to change this weekend at Misano, as Michael Meadows and Stuart Leonard continue their fruitful partnership with the four rings.
Meadows’ record so far makes for impressive reading – one start, one win after a rather successful trip to Dubai in January – and the double Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion is looking forward to continuing the relationship in the Blancpain GT Series.
“I was fortunate enough to be there in Dubai when we won and that was really my first glimpse into how good this team can be,” said Meadows, who will be joined by Robin Frijns for the Endurance Cup.
“After the first hour when we lost a lap in the fuel station, there was no panic; we just said in two hours we’ll have a one lap lead and we did, it was impressive to be a part of. Last year when we were with the Aston, we would always be looking at WRT and wondering how they’d come out of a Safety Car situation so much better than everybody else, and now we’re starting to understand why.”
Having followed Leonard from Aston Martin to Audi over the winter, Meadows reports that the new-for-2015 R8 LMS is a significant step forward and is growing in confidence after conducting an extensive pre-season testing programme.
“The Aston was a very comfortable car to drive, but it didn’t matter whether you hustled it or cruised, you would do the same lap-time; it felt like there was a limit to it,” he said. “With this one, if you drive it comfortably you’re going to be nowhere, you have to hustle it every lap. When you do come across the line and see a decent lap, you think ‘thank God for that, it was all worthwhile’.
“It does take a bit of getting used to, but I feel like I’m starting to get there now. We’re only talking about a tenth or two, but in Sprint that will probably put you about tenth so we need to find it!”
The pair are also eligible to contest the Silver Cup in the Sprint Cup, but Meadows has decidedly loftier ambitions.
“Originally I was a Gold and then it seemed like a load of Golds appealed and we all got changed back to Silver, which works out quite well. If you have a bad day, but you win the Silver Cup, it’s like a consolation prize,” he added. “Of course the goal has to be to try and win races. Endurance is where a bit more strategy and luck can come in, but Sprint you’ll have to be balistically fast all the time.”