Sebastian Priaulx and team-mate Scott Maxwell salvaged a top five finish in their Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 from a difficult second meeting of the 2019 British GT Championship season at Snetterton this past weekend (18/19 May).
After enjoying a sensational, race-winning British GT debut at Oulton Park over Easter weekend, the trip to Norfolk proved to be a much different weekend as championship issued performance restrictions to their Mustang put them firmly on the backfoot.
Finishing seventh quickest out of a record-breaking 23 car GT4 entry in each of Saturday’s two free practice sessions, a simply stunning lap from Maxwell in the GT4 Am qualifying session secured them pole position for race one, while Priaulx secured them tenth for race two.
Unfortunately the team knew their chances of success in race one were limited due to the championship’s pitstop success penalty system, which meant that courtesy of their victory at Oulton Park they had an extra ten seconds added to their minimum pitstop time.
Maxwell put in a tremendous stint to remain second in class heading into the pitstops, though by the time Priaulx emerged their Mustang was down to 15th place. From there, a determined drive from the Guernseyman saw him gain two spots before the finish.
Slipping to twelfth at the start of race two, Priaulx put in some competitive lap times and showed some impressive race craft to hold positon through to the pitstops. Maxwell then put in a great performance to drag the Mustang up to fifth place at the chequered flag.
That hard-fought result means that Priaulx, who races with the support of 1st Central Insurance, Ravenscroft and Plus Interiors, now lies fifth in the overall GT4 Drivers Championship and fourth in the Silver Cup standings after the first four of nine races across the campaign.
Sebastian Priaulx: “It was truly a damage limitation weekend for us with the penalties we received. Both races were tough, particularly the opener with the longer pitstop and then being held up by another car in the pitlane which cost us even more ground.
“Scott [Maxwell] drove superbly all weekend and got us into fifth in race two for a crucial haul of championship points. Thank you to Multimatic Motorsport, they worked incredibly hard all weekend and together we did the best we could. We will regroup and come back stronger at Silverstone.”
The British GT Championship now enters a three week break before the flagship event of the 2019 calendar, the ‘Silverstone 500’ on 8/9 June, which features a single three-hour race around the world-famous Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.