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Team SD aiming to continue its British GT learning curve at Silverstone

06th May 2022

SD Sealants racers Nick Jones and Scott Malvern head into the second round of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship at Silverstone hoping to get back to competitive form after a difficult start to the year with their Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Jones and Malvern battled through a difficult opening event at Oulton Park across the Easter weekend, where a lack of pre-season running meant they began the campaign on the back foot. Their position was made even more difficult by the introduction of a new Pirelli tyre for this season, which has significantly changed the way the Team Parker Racing crew has to operate the 911 GT3 R. The team learned as it went across the Oulton Park weekend and eventually Jones and Malvern managed to salvage an 11th place finish, albeit well adrift of where the duo wants to be.

The biggest problem with the new tyres appears to be that the rear-engined 911 struggles to get the harder-compound fronts into the right performance window to ‘switch them on’, while also stressing the rears.

In the wake of Oulton Park, the team conducted a test at Silverstone and has been in contact with both Porsche and Pirelli to try and find a solution that will bring the car back up the competitive order. Jones and Malvern will also take part in the pre-event test to try and find a better balance before the race weekend.

The second event of the British GT campaign is a big one – the three-hour Silverstone 500 showpiece – which will boast an increased GT3 class entry around the home of the British Grand Prix. And it’s a race that Jones and Malvern have a strong history in, having won the GT4 category outright at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG back in 2019.

The duo are hopeful that some extra track time can help solve their setup issues, allowing them to fight further up the field this weekend.

Nick Jones said: “It’s no secret that we haven’t started the season quite as we’d have liked, and the tyre problems we’re experiencing at the moment have only exacerbated that. But I believe in the team and know the lads are working hard to find a solution to get us back into the mix. Silverstone is a great track, with a lot of history, and the Silverstone 500 is a superb event to be a part of. It’s Britain’s leading GT event these days, and winning outright in GT4 back in 2019 was a really special experience. Hopefully we can go and put on a show this weekend.”

Scott Malvern added: “We were both keen to move on from Oulton Park and get some extra testing under our belts, as we have been playing catch up to the others, so it was good to have the day of running at Silverstone to help us find out more about where we are with the car. And it’s not just us, Porsches across the European championships appear to be struggling with the new tyre at the moment, too, so we all have some work to do. I think our aim this weekend is to go and give it our best shot and play the long game. Anything can happen in a three-hour race, so we have to focus on consistency and doing our own thing. Nick’s driving really well at the moment and it’s just a question of sticking together as a team and pushing forward.”

Qualifying for the British GT Silverstone 500 takes place at 15:55 on Saturday May 7, with the three-hour race set to begin at 11:30 on Sunday. Live timing will be available all weekend via TSL Timing, and both qualifying and the race will be streamed live via the British GT website and GT World YouTube channel. The race will also be broadcast live on the Sky Sports F1 channel.

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