The latest round of the British GT Championship brought Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke and the Century Motorsport team to the world-famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in the Belgian Ardennes forest.
Gordon-Colebrooke arrived at Spa hoping that he and his team could turn around their season after enduring a few difficult meetings recently. He arrived in a positive mood after teaming up with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation for the weekend, helping to promote their fight against wildlife crime.
The WHIreland Wealth Management supported driver took to the Spa circuit on Saturday morning for the free practice. After battling slight understeer in his BMW M4 GT4 during the first session, the team was able to rectify the issue and in the second outing he showed good speed on new tyres and was confident of a top ten qualifying result.
Spa’s infamous micro climate threw a spanner in the works ahead of the session though. A heavy downpour moments before the session changed the circuit conditions and made it tricky for the teams and drivers to make the right call regarding tyres. Sadly, the team went in the wrong direction and neither Gordon-Colebrooke nor his teammate Angus Fender were able to set competitive lap times.
The Buthlaw and Tyrrell Automotive backed driver was elected to take the start and managed to keep out of trouble during the opening laps that saw a number of cars make contact. However, before the first half hour was complete Gordon-Colebrooke took a heavy hit from a following car at La Source and as a result the #43 BMW needed to be brought back to the pits to repair some damage.
The Century Motorsport mechanics did a great job to get the car back out on track in under 15 minutes, but the damage to their race was done. Gordon-Colebrooke pushed on and was setting respectable lap times right up until it was time for him to hand the car over to his teammate. In the end, Gordon-Colebrooke and Fender finished the two-hour race in 11th position in their GT4 class.
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke: “It’s really cool to have the opportunity to race at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit. I’d been here before with track days but not for competition purposes, so it was a fantastic experience.
“It’s wonderful to have been able to support the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, these guys do some amazing work and it’s wonderful to represent them and help spread the word about what they are doing in the fight against wildlife crime.
“Practice went okay. When we put new tyres on the car, it felt good, despite being held up with a bit of traffic. Heading into qualifying we expected to be challenging for a top ten starting position, but our bad luck continued and we were caught out by the weather and the tyre decision.
“We knew two hours was a long race and that anything could happen … unfortunately it went against us again and I couldn’t have been more frustrated after my stint. For someone to make an ambitious move like that from six car lengths back was terrible driving and left us all really disappointed. I must say a big thank you though to the mechanics who did an excellent job to get the car fixed and back out for the rest of the race."
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke and the Century Motorsport team will be back in action at the penultimate round of the British GT Championship which takes place at Brands Hatch on the 3-4th August. The race will be streamed live on the British GT website.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.