The International GT Open will have a couple of new faces on the grid at Silverstone this weekend, with Craig Dolby and Tomas Enge entered in Nigel Mustill’s newly-acquired Wessex Motorsport Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX. In an exclusive Racing.GT blog, Dolby maps out his plans for a successful weekend.
Nigel had a look at the Reiter Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX and really liked it when he tested the car, so he went and bought one. He’d talked about doing some races in GT Open and I was really looking forward to driving with him, but when he told me I’d got Tomas Enge as a team-mate I was really excited. To learn what he knows from racing at the very highest level in Formula 1, winning at Le Mans and all his time in Lamborghinis will definitely bring me along as a driver and it will be interesting to see what the organisers decide to Balance of Performance-wise to peg us back.
The car is mega, I drove it at Thruxton a couple of weeks ago in the Britcar Endurance Championship and absolutely loved it. You look inside and it’s absolutely spotless, although I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous beforehand, because Thruxton is very on-edge circuit and if something goes wrong it can turn into a big one quite quickly! But it was a great pleasure to drive and luckily everything was perfect. We used all the tires to the absolute limit, but that’s what motorsport is all about. We managed to have a good race and both of us really enjoyed ourselves, which leads to Nigel wanting to do more with the car.
Nigel is a true motorsport fan and that’s what the sport needs more of. He phones me up all the time asking how my weekends have gone and he’ll phone me to ask if I’m watching this race or that race on TV. I can’t thank him enough for the opportunities he’s given me over the years, because it’s not just this weekend, it’s also been times when I haven’t been racing and he’s put me in a car. I’ve enjoyed every second I’ve driven with him, although it will be different this weekend having him on the radio and as my team-boss. I’ve got to behave myself now!
The thinking behind it is to see what the car can do up against some top-quality teams and GT Open is probably one of the best places to do that. Obviously I have a soft spot for Blancpain and after last year there’s unfinished business there, but in GT Open there’s some top teams and GT3 cars in there as well. I’ve got a lot of friends that race there and I know how good they are, so I’m not going to say it will be easy to go and get a result, but having Tomas as my team-mate and with the team we’ve got underneath us, we’re absolutely going there to push for the win. If you don’t believe in yourself, then you’ll never get anywhere in motorsport.
If you look at the Gallardo last year in Blancpain, it was still a front-running car with Nick Catsburg driving it and if anything it’s more of a complete car because it’s had those additional years of development, so hopefully at Silverstone we’ll be up there somewhere. It’s the same as anything, if we get everything correct then of course we can fight for a win; if we make a few mistakes we won’t be on the podium.
I can’t fault the guys from Reiter, they’ve been fantastic and they’ll be there to guide us in the right direction. It’s going to be close, a lot will depend on the penalties they give us in the pitstops and we don’t know what they are yet, but we’ll try our best and hopefully come back with some trophies.
Craig’s International GT Open debut will be shown Live on Motors TV at 3pm on Saturday, with delayed coverage of Race Two shown at 11:30 on Sunday.