- Dan Mason
Fighting Fourth For Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke In Silverstone 500
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke extracted the maximum but narrowly missed out on a podium finish in a competitive Pro-Am tussle in the British GT Championship's Silverstone 500 event last weekend (26/27 June).
Coming off the back of a superb season opener at Brands Hatch GP, where Gordon-Colebrooke claimed a class win and was part of an overall one-two for Century Motorsport in the GT4 class, the 28-year-old from Buckinghamshire headed to his home circuit hoping to add more silverware to his collection.
Silverstone was also the scene of Gordon-Colebrooke's first British GT victory at the end of last year, and with improvements made to the BMW M4 GT4 since that famous day, he entered in a competitive mood with co-driver Chris Salkeld.
Following a brace of test outings on Friday afternoon and a further two hour-long free practice runs for the BMW man on Saturday, Gordon-Colebrooke's machine cemented itself into a solid top five position in a GT4 class of mixed variety in terms of cars and drivers.
In qualifying, that position was again a target, and with tyres on the team's mind for the race ahead on Sunday, the BMWs took to the circuit on fresh rubber looking to claw away at a good grid slot. Gordon-Colebrooke finished the session a combined sixth overall, gaining back time over the twisty final two sectors of the Silverstone lap to keep himself within range of his rivals.
On race day, Gordon-Colebrooke took over the car after a long stint by his co-driver initially, and climbed the order to chase the second Century Motorsport BMW in second overall.
The pair looked to take advantage of a possible late safety car that did not emerge, leaving Gordon-Colebrooke battling for the final spot on the Pro-Am GT4 podium. He made his bid with a fabulous move on the outside of the long Stowe corner on Will Moore's Ford Mustang, which became fourth at the finish after a closing Ginetta surpassed the pair of them with its Pro driver recovering lost ground.
The result keeps Gordon-Colebrooke right in contention in the Pro-Am class in terms of the championship, after a winning start at Brands Hatch that keeps them the points lead.
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke:“It's a good result all things considering, and it's more important points for our championship.
"We were hoping for a top five in qualifying after practice where we hadn't used many new sets of tyres, as we were planning to utilise those in the race as it was a three-hour event, and anything can happen in that space of time as we saw last year.
"The car is quick but it was going to be be a tough fight with some of the cars and drivers we were up against this weekend. Other cars were maybe too quick here this weekend, and it says a lot when the quicker pairings are being caught in the race.
"Obviously to get points when you don't expect as many - it proves that we've maximised what we could before we say what changes are made ahead of Donington Park among the field."
Gordon-Colebrooke next takes the trip up north to the Donington Park GP circuit over the weekend of 10/11 July for round three of the 2021 British GT Championship.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.