Lotus Sport UK was triumphant in Round 9 of the British GT Championship, with the red, white and gold No.48 Evora winning the GT4 category from pole position. It was the first class pole for the team.
Touring Car regulars Phil Glew and James Nash lapped Donington Park 100 times during the three hour endurance race, which started in wet and tricky conditions. No.48 incurred a stop-go penalty late in the day after speeding at the exit of the pitlane, but the car was already a lap ahead of the competition. Other than a faulty pitlane limiter, the car ran reliably. It was the perfect GT debut for 25-year-old Nash, who is currently fifth in the BTCC standings. They finished a lap ahead of the second-placed No.42 Ginetta of Josh Wakefield and Jake Rattenbury, and even took the fight to a number of the faster GT3 cars which failed to match the Evora GT4’s grip in the wet.
The sister No.49 car of Freddy Nordström and Leyton Clarke qualified fourth. The junior pair were hunting down third when, 25 laps from the end, the car suffered a drive shaft failure.
Phil Glew: “It was a fairly straightforward race. We got a good start, we had great pace in the wet and pulled a massive lead, and we kept that lead pretty much all through the race. We had a scary moment towards the end with the stop-go penalty, but we had a big lead so it didn’t matter too much. James and I got on really well, we have a good team around us, and it’s been a great weekend.”
Gary Ayles, team manager: “The boys drove a blinder and the cars were brilliant. Apart from the pitlane speeding it was an absolutely faultless weekend for Evora 48, and fantastic to claim another victory and our first pole of the year. Phil and James actually had to run an extra 25kg of ballast to get us above the driver pairing minimum weight, but it didn’t slow either of them down. Today it’s my birthday, and this is the perfect present.”
Claudio Berro, Group Lotus director of motorsport: “Lotus Renault GP will be taking important upgrades to Japan and these, as well as the remaining five tracks on the calendar, should produce more satisfactory results for the R31. And while F1 was racing into the darkness in Singapore, our Lotus Sport UK team was braving the daytime conditions at Donington. A dominant victory in the GT4 category from pole position is something Group Lotus and Lotus Sport UK can be very proud of. It was a brilliant demonstration of our Evora’s abilities, and we’re thrilled with the result. Happy birthday Gary!”