Qualifying run simulations at Paul Ricard didn’t go quite as planned for Parker Racing at the Paul Ricard test; where Chris Jones hit the kerb at turn 1 on the first ‘fast lap’, bouncing into the wall and doing ‘game over’ damage. Expectations were nevertheless exceeded given their lack of seat time, just one day at Silverstone previously, with time yet to find on the brakes and finding the high-speed grip limit of the Audi R8 LMS.
Here at Monza yesterday, however, it was electrical gremlins creeping into the new team’s preparations with the Bronze test and the pre-qualification session, the only two of the three pre-race sessions in which Gentlemen’s Trophy (GTR) entrants must record a time, being almost entirely lost to gearbox issues for Ian Loggie in the morning and a transponder issue for Chris Jones in the afternoon. A clearly disappointed not to be in the one minute forty nines with the Class leaders Chris Jones said
My issue was the transponder not registering me all the way through my qualification; the one-fifty-point three I qualified with was my second lap out, the two subsequent laps, both faster were not registered as me, somewhat annoyed to find this out over the radio, I lost it a bit going through the Parabolica covering the tires in dirt and brought the car in.
At least the team qualified, registering 4th in the GTR Class and 34th of the 40 cars officially entered, and starting near the back is at least starting. Staying out of trouble early on should see them fighting for a podium come the finish.
Lead driver Ian Loggie, co-founder of the Logson Group – a UK-based group of corrugated packaging companies, is highly impressed with SRO’s Blancpain GT Series
We knew it would tough but it really is one if the best presented and most competitive series in the world. I really enjoyed the challenge of the circuit at Paul Ricard and I’ll be happy to be mixing it with some of the best GT drivers in the world at Monza.
The three-hour Round One of the Blancpain Endurance series race begins at 14:45 CET. Follow the Racing.GT tweet feed for race information as it happens.