Nick Tandy wins on British GT return for Trackspeed Porsche
Nick Tandy helped Trackspeed to a third British GT win of 2014 as the factory Porsche racer returned to the UK’s premier sports car series for the first time this season.
The Briton has a long and successful history in the British GT Championship and, on the Brands Hatch GP circuit, the 911 ace proved pivotal in the no. 31 Porsche 997 GT3 R alongside his teammate and ex-British GT champion, David Ashburn.
From the start of the track action on Saturday morning, Tandy was among the pacesetters before topping the timesheets in the second free practice session. With long-time British GT partner, Ashburn, the duo qualified fifth as the combined times of both drivers were used to set the grid ahead of the two-hour race.
Jon Minshaw in Trackspeed’s Demon Tweeks-sponsored 997 GT3 R made a solid start to retain second while Ashburn in the polka-dotted Porsche dropped from fifth to seventh as he made a cautious return to the series.
Towards the end of his stint, Ashburn moved up to sixth before two back-to-back safety car periods saw the two Trackspeed Porsche 911s pit. Phil Keen emerged in the lead having taken over from Minshaw as Tandy found himself fourth.
The factory Porsche racer was quickly on the hunt for a podium place, catching and passing both Aston Martins ahead of him on the 2.43-mile Brands Hatch GP circuit.
Trackspeed were looking set for a one-two finish and a strong haul of points in the championship – a win for the Minshaw/Keen entry would keep their title hopes alive – however, as Tandy caught Keen with just six minutes to go, the lead Porsche 911 GT3 R suffered a puncture.
After a frantic pitstop, Keen emerged tenth before a hard charge was consolidated with ninth at the flag. Meanwhile, Tandy was able to cruise home, taking victory by 8.5 seconds.
“I’m thinking David should retire more often!” Tandy joked. “Last time he retired, we won on his comeback, and we did it again today. This is a brilliant championship, and I had a lot of fun –I can’t wait for Donington.”