The Intelligent Money British GT Championship reaches its halfway stage at Snetterton this weekend, and SD Sealants racers Nick Jones and Scott Malvern are aiming to kick-start their second half with a strong performance in Norfolk.
The duo will once again line-up in their Team Parker Racing-run Porsche 911 GT3 R as part of a 30-car grid for the fourth event of the season, which this time features two one-hour sprint races on Sunday June 26.
Jones and Malvern head into the weekend on solid form too, having enjoyed their strongest event of the championship so far last time out at Donington Park, with the Porsche running as high as second overall during the three-hour race in Derbyshire before going on to score a top-10 finish, despite a technical issue robbing the car of power in the closing stages.
After further investigation by the team, it was found that the engine was bleeding up to 70bhp, so there has since been a full engine and gearbox change. Between British GT rounds, Jones made the most of this update by entering the car in the Porsche Sprint Challenge races that supported the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours in France at the start of this month. The event gathers the best amateur drivers from both GT3 and Porsche’s various Carrera Cup series. Once again armed with full power, Jones celebrated a clean sweep of race wins in front of a bumper crowd of spectators, making it a weekend to remember.
Now, off the back of that success and with the car again firing on all cylinders, Jones and Malvern head into this weekend’s British GT round with their eyes set on fighting for a top result.
Nick Jones said: “I’m really up for this weekend, and I think most of all I’m determined to try and undo the run of bad luck we’ve had at Snetterton in the past. Last year we couldn’t really do anything due to a persistent electronic issue that kept us in the garage for most of the weekend, and before then we’ve endured difficult GT3 races with the Bentley and been robbed of GT4 wins by late punctures, so we’re definitely owed a result at this one! Personally, I’m going into it on a high after the results at Le Mans, which were just fantastic and showed that I’m starting to really feel at home in the car after a tough start to the season. The team is working together brilliantly and Scott’s rapid as always, plus we like the shorter sprint race format as there’s no complications to it: it’s literally hop in and drive as hard as you can! Hopefully we can be in a place to challenge for a podium at some point this weekend.”
Scott Malvern added: “There are a lot of positives for us going into Snetterton, and probably the biggest one is Nick’s recent performance at Le Mans. He drove superbly and – even though the race was run on different tyres to those we use in British GT – it was the perfect chance for him to gain mileage and experience in the car as GT3 racing is all about seat time. It’s also a bonus to have the new engine and gearbox so we know we’ll have the tools to fight. Theoretically, the 911 should be perfect for Snetterton due to its mixture of corners and the fact you have a few traction-heavy hairpins in there, but we’ll have to see where the order shakes out with the Balance of Performance. With it being a sprint weekend, each driver qualifies the car for one of the races, so if we can maximise that and get a start near the front then there’s every chance we can get into the mix for a podium this weekend.”
The fourth round of the British GT season gets underway with two free practice sessions on Saturday, before qualifying at 16:10. Sunday morning features a warm-up before race one gets rolling at 10:45, with race two scheduled for 16:05. All sessions will feature live timing via TSL-Timing.com, with qualifying and both race streamed live via the British GT website and GT World YouTube channel.