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BRUNDLE: Silverstone Debrief

Alex Brundle files his first Sportscar365 column of the year…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Well it was nice to be home at Silverstone but a really tough race for us. Looking back on things, there are some key positives we can build on but several places that we need to work hard to improve.

Practice looked like it was going decently well. P3 in FP1 was well within my limits as we practiced managing the tires for what would be an extremely tricky potential triple stint later in the weekend.

P4 on old tires in FP2 seemed to cement the concept that we had decent pace in the car and we were happy Easter bunnies.

Quali was as expected with David [Cheng] as one of the only ‘true’ silvers left in the series, we did the minimum and maxed out the tires available for the race. The left-fronts had been at a real premium all weekend and we weren’t about to waste precious rubber on midfield grid slots. Better to keep the egos out of it, and focus on the race.

After a solid start from David it was down to me, Tristan [Gommendy] and an oven full of hot slicks to try to drag back the natural deficit, after running our AM against the Pro drivers.

I hopped in straight after DC and my first triple was a fun challenge. With rain falling my engineer Taka made a great call to stay out on slicks, and we dragged back a whole heap of time on our journey back to the action. We had jumped back on to the lead lap and it was a case of fighting hard to maintain that position in the case of a safety car.

That safety car came in Tristan’s first stint and initially I thanked the racing gods for their generosity but it just wasn’t our day! The 25-minute stoppage sliced the LMP2 field in half and put most of the field a further lap ahead. Nightmare.

Tris was doing a great job however and pushing towards a triple. We always get prepared after two stints just in case there is an issue in the car and the driver has to get out.

Normally this is a formality but this time I am glad I was ready to go as Tristan felt he couldn’t make a third stint.

Early in the season with seats not quite perfected, at one of the most physical venues of the year this kind of thing can happen! But I was left with plenty of work to do, with another two stints to go!

Thankfully the car was great and I was able to bang in the fastest lap of the race so far, we were moving forward, happy days!

The track was rubbered nicely and I dug deep to try to catch the Manor of Petrov, who was our next target, coming back through the field. I reeled him in slowly over two stints but we just didn’t have quite enough to catch him by the end of the race.

In the end P8 is a disappointing result and we can’t escape from that. Clearly the car has pace and it was great to see the No. 38 car demonstrate that with an outstanding result. Congratulations to those guys!

We need to pull together as a line up and work strategically for Spa to get the max out of our whole No. 37 lineup and the car.

Rest assured I will be pedal to the metal until then, making it happen.

Alex Brundle (@AlexBrundle) is a sports car racing ace, driving for Jackie Chan DC Racing by Jota Sport in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

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