INGSport at Brands Hatch

Overview of Round 8 at Brands Hatch, Dunlop Endurance Championship, 13th November 2016

Car 46 INGSport BMW Z4 GT3

What a fantastic end to the Britcar season!

Whilst the annual trip to Brands is a long haul for most of the INGSport crew, it is always the one we look forward to the most. We have so many great memories of our Championship winning years in 2008 and 2013.

Our weekend started on Friday morning with a team chat to try and redistribute some tasks as we were missing two valuable guys, Kamil and Carlos. After the R&R's had been settled we got on with some wet weather running to "check the prep" and balance the Z. Apart from some minor issues, all was well.

A long wait till nightfall followed before we could do some nighttime running in FP,  but as always the boys found ways to keep busy. So alongside numerous cups of tea the truck was washed, the storage bays were cleaned, re packed, and all reusable tyres were cleaned off too! Eventually nightfall arrived and we could get out on track to check light settings and get a taste of the Z at night. Not something either Ian or Kevin had ever done. Conditions were very greasy and it wasn't long before the red flag was out. However the Z was showing good pace and at one point was the fastest on track. A good productive day all round.

Saturday dawned with freezing temperatures and rain, lots of rain. Thankfully qualifying was not till lunchtime but chances were that it would still be wet. The constant weather checking by Jacko was proving extremely accurate and as he predicted, by the start of qualy there was the merest hint of dry line and as it continued to slowly dry it was clear that pole would be set by the last car over the line.

After posting second best on the time sheets for the first stint Ian came in to hand over to Kevin. After much cat and mouse tactics with the Ferrari and Audi and some jockeying for a clear position on track, we ended up 4th with nothing but tenths between the Audi in 2nd, the Ferrari in 3rd and the Z in 4th. Pole was rightly taken by the Mosler thanks to its astonishing power and turn of speed.

There was also some further night running available late on Saturday for anybody wanting to tune their eyes but the team decided that a warm and early meal would be far more beneficial so the order to decamp to the hotel was issued at 7pm.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and with the committed prediction from Jacko that we would definitaly be racing in the dry, a quiet confidence descended on garage 3...! By 3pm the track was, as predicted, almost dry and by race start at 3.30pm, it was. A rather disastrous start for the Audi boys, who ditched the R8 in the gravel on the pace lap, caused an immediate extension of the pace car laps and it consequently acted as a saftey car whilst the R8 was extricated and allowed to start from the pit lane. At last the race was under way and a solid start by Kevin kept the Z in 4th whilst the inevitable "argy bargy" unfolded behind.

At 50 minutes in, the safety car was deployed again for an incident at Paddock and the decision was taken by the team to double stop Kevin (25ltrs each stop) and do the driver change on the second stop. Both pit stops were perfect, bang on time and executed with immense skill. This enabled Ian to join on the same lap as the safety car pitted and whilst we were 1 lap down, we now had the opportunity to do a long 70+ min stint at a solid but not tyre-degrading time that we had set before the race started. This type of consistency has always been INGSport's forte. Solid laps, lap after lap, no dramas, no heroics. Ian's stint was right on target too and as he moved the Z4 up to 2nd, other teams were forced to pit for more fuel and tyres. The care taken had given us the advantage we wanted and at around 125 mins the call was given for the last stop. A call that was echoed by the other front runners too. 

After another copy book pit stop, a determined Kevin exited the pits and set about chasing the clock for the final short stint of the seasonand was soon back up to 3rd. But as the clock ticked towards the 3 hour deadline, dew started forming on the glistening dry track and it was clear that nobody was in a mood to take any chances and so the race ended as Mosler 1st,  Audi 2nd and the Z4 3rd.

Another surprise came at the awards presentation when it was announced that we had finished 3rd in class for the Championship as well. All in all, a very satisfying end to our season!

The team would like to give a very special thanks to Mark and his team at Barwell Motorsport for their support with pit equipment over the season. It is massively appreciated - thank you.

Lastly we would like to thank the many followers and fans who have supported us through the year, for visiting our garage at events and for buying our merchandise. We are hugely grateful and hope that you will continue to support us and our little team next year.

Thank you again, see you next year.

Photo credit Arnauskas Photography