Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke saw potential podium pace go unrewarded during a character-building weekend as the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup returned to action at Snetterton (28/29 July).
Changing weather conditions across the meeting would provide a steep learning curve for the Buckinghamshire racer, who produced some battling performances as he fought his way to a pair of tenth place finishes across the three races.
Having headed into the summer break with two hugely encouraging outings at Oulton Park and Croft under his belt, Gordon-Colebrooke was hoping to start the second half of his maiden Ginetta GT4 Supercup campaign with a positive showing in Norfolk.
There was a great start to proceedings for the 25 year old as he finished third fastest during an official championship test at Snetterton earlier this month, and he carried that front-running pace across to free practice on Friday as he ended the day fifth quickest in scorching sunshine.
In cooler temperatures the following morning, Gordon-Colebrooke would go on to place his WHIreland Wealth Management backed Ginetta G55 sixth on the timesheets in qualifying, a strong platform for the opening race that afternoon.
Unfortunately it would prove to be a bruising first race of the weekend, with Gordon-Colebrooke having to avoid contact from other drivers on a number of occasions as he battled in the midfield, eventually taking the chequered flag in a lower-than-hoped tenth position.
There would be further change in the weather ahead of Sunday’s two races as the heavens opened in Norfolk, leading to Gordon-Colebrooke having to contend with “the wettest conditions I’ve ever competed in” in the day’s first encounter.
The Lillingstone Dayrell-based driver would unfortunately find the limits of the conditions a couple of times in the early stages, with trips off circuit at Coram and then on the approach to the Wilson hairpin eventually leading to an unfortunate early retirement.
Gordon-Colebrooke, who races with 2015 Supercup champions Century Motorsport, would face another new challenge in the live-televised final race of the weekend, as a drying circuit led to all the drivers having to gamble between wet and slick tyres.
The 3C Test Ltd and Tyrrell Automotive supported driver opted for slick rubber, which led to a tricky first few laps as he searched for grip around the long 2.97 mile circuit, with a moment through the fast Riches corner on lap five resulting in a brief excursion off track.
The drying track would quickly play into the favour of those on slicks though, which allowed Gordon-Colebrooke to bring the weekend to a close with a brilliant recovery drive from sixteenth position through to an eighth top ten finish of the season so far.
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke: “This weekend really has been a steep learning curve for me. The weather and track conditions were different every time we went out, and it was a case of adapting to them and getting as much experience under my belt as possible.
“Our preparations had gone well over the summer and we were able to continue the strong pace we showed at Oulton Park and Croft during testing and free practice which is pleasing, it’s just a shame it didn’t go our way come the weekend.
“The opening race was eventful, as I had to take avoidance from some questionable overtaking efforts and dropped to tenth. The less said about race two the better, they were mistakes on my part, but it came together for an enjoyable final outing.
“The changing conditions played into the hands of the more experienced Supercup drivers, as they could judge better how much to push on the slick tyres when the circuit was still wet, but I’ve learnt more about that for next time.
“I pushed too hard into the first corner a lap too early and spun around, which cost me a potentially good result as the track came to us after that. It was fun though and I got to make some good overtakes, while our lap-times were on the same level as the leading guys.
“While we haven’t come away with anywhere near the results I’d hoped for from the weekend, we had some really good pace in the car once again and I’ll be looking to build on that next time out at Rockingham (11/12 April).”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.