Team Redline Racing scored a superb third victory of the season in the Silver-Am class in the latest round of the British GT Championship at the spectacular Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium this past weekend (23/24 July).
The Teesside-based team made the trip to the picturesque 3.5-mile F1 circuit in Belgium for British GT's only international meeting of the year, continuing its long-standing association with Porsche by running a 911 GT3 R in a one-off switch from the team's usual Lamborghini Huracan machinery.
With the team entering as the class championship leaders in the Silver-Am category and sitting third in the overall British GT Championship standings, driver pairing James Dorlin and Alex Malykhin once again had their sights set on further success within the top-level GT3 field.
No stranger to success in a Porsche, the team quickly adapted to the change in its weapon of choice to show consistent pace in Friday testing, topping the Silver-Am class the following morning in the first of two practice sessions ahead of the rapid-fire qualifying period.
Malykhin ran within the top five after an impressive run in his session before ending it seventh, while Dorlin's mighty initial effort had looked set to move the car up the grid until he was hit with a deleted time for track limits. The combined results were still tight down the field, with the Team Redline Racing car handed a starting spot of sixth on the grid for Sunday's crucial two-hour endurance contest.
Sunny skies greeted those at Spa-Francorchamps on race day, and Malykhin would be behind the wheel for the initial stint. What followed was a fiercely competitive scrap for the top six places, of which Malykhin was a significant part of.
Having passed Nick Halstead's McLaren for fifth and taken advantage of a penalty for another ahead of him, Malykhin brought the Porsche into contention for an overall podium. He moved the team into third place with a well-judged late lunge under braking on Adam Balon into La Source, handing the car over to Dorlin who rejoined in fourth with a success penalty in the pits to contend with.
Dorlin then displayed a fine defensive performance to keep back Sandy Mitchell's Lamborghini Huracan for many laps in the final 30 minutes of the two-hour contest, until the latter switched inside the Porsche heading to Eau Rouge. Dorlin managed his tyres home to the flag, claiming fifth place overall and yet another brilliant Silver-Am class win to ensure the team extended their lead in that particular championship.
The result keeps Team Redline Racing right in the overall title fight also, maintaining a top-three position in the points ahead of the next event on the calendar where the team's Lamborghini Huracan will return at Brands Hatch (10/11 September).
Simon Leonard – Managing Director: “We started off in a different situation by bringing a Porsche to Spa-Francorchamps, but our targets very much remained the same, and our long-standing relationship with Porsche meant the switch was effortless for the team to adapt to.
"Both Alex and James drove the wheels off the car all weekend and we were always in contention for the class win, and it's a testament to the team that we could stay in that position throughout the race at a track like this.
"To extend that lead is important, and we can now start thinking of taking that Silver-Am class title after the run of results we have been putting together. It's been another great story for our rookie season in GT3, and to end it with a strong result and a class win on the only international visit is just another chapter for us to be proud of.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.