Jamie Chadwick (L6, Ch) finishes third in the latest round of the British GT4 Championship at the 2.43 mile Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit yesterday. The 22.5 points for the place, plus the non-finish of their closest rivals in the Lotus Evora, mean that Jamie has a healthy lead in the championship with just two rounds remaining, at Snetterton and Donington. Jamie's championship lead is now extended to 42.5 points, having finished every race this year on the podium. If Jamie wins the GT4 Championship she will be the youngest and the first female driver to do so.
Jamie took the first one hour stint, of the two hour race, from P5 on the grid, in sunny conditions, and ran with the class-leading pack from the outset, consistently matching their times. With a safety car period bunching the pack, Jamie kept in close touch with the Lotus, before pitting from third place to hand the Aston Martin over to teammate, Ross Gunn, who emerged from the pits in fifth just ahead of their key rival. However, the chasing Lotus eventually retired with a mechanical fault, leaving the team looking comfortable in fifth place, with 15 minutes to run. But, an incident ahead involving the Porsche and another Aston Martin, promoted them to third,which they held to the chequered flag.
Commenting after the race Jamie said, “We went into this race knowing it wouldn’t be easy because of the 40kg of ‘success’ ballast, we have to carry due to our past results. So, although we weren’t running as close to the front as usual, technically and speed-wise, it was probably my best race this year. My task was to stick with the pack whilst saving the tyres for Ross – and it really paid off. After the safety car restart, it seemed that the other drivers had really hurt their tyres as I was able to match their pace more easily. Even though my radio communication with the team stopped working, I was able to pit at the optimum point for the strategy and that put Ross out just ahead of the Lotus”
“It was a key weekend for us to consolidate our championship lead so you could probably say I’ve never been so happy to come third!”
Jamie will now enjoy a short three week break – including sitting her driving test - before the next round takes place at the Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on Saturday 22 August.