Brackley's Garage 59 team in World Challenge races in France

By Colin and James Beckett

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 10:52 am
Alexander West was in action for the Garage 59 Aston Martin team in France last weekend (Photo courtesy of SRO)

BRACKLEY TEAM IN GT ACTION

- GARAGE 59 SQUAD CONTEST WORLD CHALLENGE RACES

The 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season is in full swing, with two Sprint Cup races at the French track of Magny-Cours last weekend forming the second round of the series for GT3 specification cars write Colin and James Beckett.

Alexander West was in action for the Garage 59 Aston Martin team in France last weekend (Photo courtesy of SRO)

The Brackley-based Garage 59 squad were represented in France by two Aston Martin Vantage GT3 cars, with Alexander West sharing with Jonny Adam, and Tuomos Tujala lining-up with Nicolai Kjaergaard.

An overall entry of twenty-seven cars took part in the two one-hour races, the first held in darkness on Saturday evening. and at the end of an eventful race, the best-placed Garage 59 car was the 159 entry of Tujula and Kjaergaard in fifteen position. West and Adam finished seven places back in twenty-second. Sunday's second race did not go to plan for Tujula and Kjaergaard, who retired near the end following an incident, with West and Adam placed twenty-first.

Jonny Adam said afterwards, "We saw that the Aston Martin has good race pace and we need to work hard during qualifying to make sure we are in the best possible position to fight in each race. We had a solid weekend here in Magny-Cours and now look towards the next race."

Overall race victories went to the Team WRT Audi R8 GT3 of Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts, and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Luca Stolz and Maro Engel. The GT World Challenge Europe continues with an Endurance Cup event at Paul Ricard at the end of the month.

* Josh Cook is second in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship following the first BTCC event of the season, that took place at Thruxton in Hampshire last weekend. Driving for the Brackley-based BTC Racing team, Cook scored impressive victories in the opening two races around the fast airfield track to start his 2021 campaign in style.

After three races, Jake Hill leads the points table with 46, one point ahead of Cook as the championship prepares to move to Snetterton for its next event in June. Speaking after his opening race victory, Cook said, "Wow. This is a great start to the season. I love racing at Thruxton and I want to thank the team. Hopefully we will have a great season!"

* Lewis Hamilton swept to his third victory of the FIA F1 World Championship season at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Sunday, winning the fourth round of the 2021 F1 season in some style. Driving for the Brackley-based Mercedes AMG Petronas team, Hamilton finished clear of Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and his team-mate, Valtteri Bottas.

Heading towards next weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton has a fourteen point advantage at the head of the Drivers' Standings, and he said following his Spanish triumph, "I had to work hard for this victory, but again the team was able to show that we can win races. Three out of four to start the season is great, and now it is Monaco and that is a particular favourite of mine."

Pierre Gasly finished tenth in Spain to score one championship point for the part Bicester-based Alpha Tauri-Honda team, although his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was a retirement. The Silverstone-based Aston Martin duo, Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel, once again finished outside of the points with their Mercedes-powered cars.

TOM MILLS

* Buckingham's Tom Mills will race at Silverstone this weekend, when he will drive his Royale RP26 Formula Ford car in the annual running of the track's Jim Walsh Trophy. Mills will contest the Zig Zag Lighting Heritage Formula Ford Championship class, and will compete against thirty other drivers in races around the 1.6-mile Silverstone National Circuit. Buckingham's Team Fox Racing will be represented by Lewis Fox in a Van Diemen, while Brackley's Low Dempsey Racing will field two Ray cars for Max Esterson and Colin Quinn. Reigning Walter Hayes Trophy champion, Oli White, heads the entry list.