The thing about luck, good or bad, is that it changes eventually, and Solseal drivers Nick Jones and Scott Malvern head into the biggest race of the British GT Championship season well overdue a dose of good fortune after being denied two outright GT4 race wins already this year.
After a braking issue during the season opener at Oulton Park, and a heart-breaking puncture on the penultimate lap last time out at Snetterton, the pair have reset and are ready to go again for the showpiece three-hour ‘Silverstone 500’ event at the British Grand Prix venue.
Nick and Scott will be back in action aboard the Team Parker Racing-run Mercedes-AMG and are keen to make amends for recent lost ground in the championship. Even with the issues so far this year, Nick and Scott head into round five of the season sitting fifth in the GT4 Pro-Am division standings, and still very much in with a chance of retaining their class title.
Silverstone gives the Mercedes an ideal habitat to stretch it legs, with a good mixture of medium- and high-speed corners, which the four-litre V8 biturbo machine excels at. Nick and Scott showed their pace at the event last year, qualifying in the top six and staying in the hunt for class honours until a few issues cost them time in the pits. However, they still recovered to finish fourth in the Pro-Am order.
This weekend’s race brings new challenges, with a record 26-car GT4 grid expected. Among the new entries for this round is another Mercedes-AMG GT4 driven by Mercedes factory driver Maximillian Buhk, which will give the team a good like-for-like pace comparison.
Nick says: “I can’t wait to get back out there at Silverstone. The last two rounds haven’t been kind to us, but we have to put those problems behind us and go again. After all we’re surely due a dose of good luck at some point!
“I’ve got a good feeling about this weekend. I think the car is where it should be performance-wise right now and we’ve done some work on the clutch and gearbox after Snetterton, so we should be in good shape. I like Silverstone as a track, too. It’s quite flat, but very fast and challenging and the three-hour race brings so much more strategy into play. I just can’t wait to get back out there and see what happens.”
Scott adds: “We’re feeling very positive ahead of Silverstone. It’s the biggest race of the year, both in terms of duration and the entry, and it’s an all-round great event. After the last two rounds, I have to admire how resilient and positive Nick is. If we suffer a setback, we accept it, move on and simply aim to do an even better job next time. And that’s the challenge this weekend.
“Silverstone should suit the Mercedes. We’ve yet to see how much power we’ll be allowed under the balance of performance rules, but we certainly made a step forward at Snetterton and Silverstone has even more high-speed corners, which the Mercedes really likes. The longer races also reward consistency more, and both Nick and I have been very consistent in our stints so far this year. For me personally, getting the chance to go up against a factory driver in the same machinery is a very exciting opportunity. I can’t wait for qualifying.”
The British GT Silverstone 500 event is scheduled to start at 12:35 on Sunday, June 9. The race will be streamed live via BritishGT’s official website and YouTube channels, with live timing available via tsl-timing.com.