TOP ATTACK FROM TOC

Tom Onslow-Cole finished the third round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship – Silverstone 500 – just inside the top 10 in the Milltek-Sport and Casio Edifice-liveried Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, yesterday (1 June).

The 27-year old from London went fastest in free practice two, putting the team in a confident place going into qualifying. He and his Strata21 team-mate Paul White (GB) both completed their 20-minute qualifying session and with the time combined, started the race from 10th on the grid the following day.

White started the race well but was squeezed out on turn one to lose several positions amid the 38 GT cars on track. He remained composed and fought back but a safety car was deployed after 35 minutes of racing and the Aston Martin Racing team decided to pit early from fifteenth place.

Onslow-Cole took over the Vantage and returned to the race in sixteenth place. He took no time in settling in and recorded the fastest lap of the race within three laps.

“My first stint was really good,” commented Onslow-Cole. “I got released into some good space and was able to put in not only a quick lap but what I feel was a fast stint overall.”

Passing several cars, Onslow-Cole ran the V12-machine as high as sixth, but after the pit stops rearranged the group, White took over and continued the race in tenth, where he put in some consistently solid laps to maintain the position.

Now in eleventh place, Onslow-Cole jumped in for the final stint of the three-hour race with his sights set firmly on the top 10. He began his assault and quickly passed the tenth place car before completing a ‘stop and go’ penalty for an early release from pits, just three-tenths of a second short of the allowed minimum time.
Onslow-Cole returned to the race in tenth but now with the BMW Z4 in eleventh place hot on his heels. Despite passing Onslow-Cole, the BMW took a spin leaving the Strata21 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 to cross the line in tenth.

“For only our second British GT race in the Aston Martin, I’m pleased with a top ten result,” he continues. “It’s not quite the result we had a Rockingham but things haven’t gone our way this weekend. The Strata21 team has done an outstanding job and I’m confident we can get back to where we were, and even beyond, at the next round. We had a new engineering team, who did a great job, but it always takes a few races to bed things in. It’s a very competitive championship – last year ten teams went into the final in contention for the title and we hope that this year, we can be battling it out among them.”

Tom next races in the British GT Championship at Snetterton on 21 June 2014.