PODIUM FINISH FOR TOC AT SNETT

Tom Onslow-Cole stood on the Avon Tyres British GT Championship podium this weekend (22 June) after he and team-mate Paul White finished in third place in race two of the Snetterton round.
 

The race weekend comprised two one-hour races and, despite rain hampering the event in both 2012 and 2013, this year boasted blue skies allowing Onslow-Cole to get some valuable dry laps behind the wheel of his Milltek Sport-liveried Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3.
 
The pair enjoyed laying down some good lap times and confidence was high, however, a small ABS niggle became apparent in the second free practice session and it was too late to rectify it before the qualifying sessions began.
 
“Something didn’t feel quite right in free practice two," commented Onslow-Cole. “When you really leaned on the car to squeeze the last few tenths from it, the rear wheels were snatching and locking up. We tried some fixes ahead of qualifying but unfortunately didn’t manage to get it sorted. As Paul was first to qualify I think it affected him more than me as he ventured into the unknown.”
 
Despite the issue, White qualified the car in 14th place for the first race of the weekend - good enough for the pair to set its sights on a top ten finish to collect valuable points - and Onslow-Cole still managed to qualify the #21 car in fifth place for race two.
 
“Qualifying is difficult on these tyres,” he added. “You have a very small window to get the best lap out of them. I was happy with fifth, as I knew we could do something with that. Most importantly, I feel like I’m getting closer to nailing it.”
 
The Aston Martin Racing team set to work and, the following day, with the ABS issue sorted, Onslow-Cole went fastest in the morning's warm-session.

"The team did a great job to resolve the issue and in the morning the car felt amazing. I had a real confidence in the car and the team and we started the day in a great place."

A couple of hours later, White started race one in 14th and held the position until Onslow-Cole took over after 30-minutes. Exiting the pits in 12th place, the Casio Edifice-sponsored driver set about attacking the field ahead and, after some stunning on-track passes, he crossed the finish line in 10th place, later earning two more spots after cars ahead were penalised.
 
Race two, however, was the Strata21 team’s chance to get on the podium. Starting the race from fifth, Onslow-Cole stayed close to the car in front and the pack of five pulled away from the rest of the field. Half-way through the one-hour race, he pitted and White rejoined the field in fourth.
 
With the team’s first podium in sight, White hunted down the Audi in front, doing a incredible job to pass it and bring the car home in third place.
 
“The boys from Aston Martin Racing team helped us to gain valuable places in both of the pit stops, which they nailed,” added Onslow-Cole. “And, Paul did exactly what he needed to do to bring the car home in a podium position. To be stood there with a bottle of Champagne each at only our third British GT race in the Aston Martin and in my first season in GT racing felt pretty special. I think it’s the first of many more to come.”
 
Onslow-Cole next races this weekend (29 June) in the French VdeV series in Dijon in the Mosler MT900 GT3 with Escuela Española de Pilotos.