Avon Tyres British GT Championship racer Jake Giddings combined with team-mate Kieran Griffin to secure a hard-earned seventh place finish in the GT4 Class during round six at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday.
A Safety Car period early in the second hour spoiled the duo’s hopes of a stronger finish.
Even so, the result once again extended the JWBird Motorsport squad’s run of consecutive points results for the 2015 season and the top seven finish, after two hours of intense action on the 2.43-mile track, enabled the Aston Martin V8 Vantage pairing to retain ninth in the GT4 driver standings and conclude the event fifth in the Pro-Am standings.
Starting the weekend strongly in the opening two practice sessions, Wisbech-based Jake helped the JWBird entry conclude the first run as the fastest GT4 Aston Martin in sixth place and in session two the car was an improved fifth and still the quickest non-Ginetta.
With the grid for Sunday’s live televised race being determined on the combined qualifying times of both drivers in each squad, the No.47 Aston Martin lined-up 11th in GT4 and it was Griffin who took the opening stint.
Maintaining position until lap 21, just after the first Safety Car period of the race, Griffin slipped back to 12th place but then moved back into 11th with 70 minutes remaining on the clock. As the driver change pit-stops started to be taken, the JWBird car remained on track and climbed into the top five before entering the pits with 66 minutes to go.
Giddings took over the car with just over an hour to run and ventured back out into the race in 10th position in GT4. Soon enough, the Safety Car re-appeared and the intervention proved costly for the Finesse Paving & Civil Engineering, Cowley Road Garage and Toppesfield-backed racer as it resulted in the JWBird entry falling a lap behind the top six in GT4.
After the re-start with just over 50 minutes to go, Giddings claimed ninth at the expense of the stricken Toyota of Stefan Hodgetts and he then moved into the top eight with little more than half an hour to run. With only a few minutes remaining on the clock, the 20-year-old climbed into seventh where he stayed to the flag.
“It’s good to have scored some points but we should have taken more away from the weekend, the second Safety Car hurt us and from a lap down on the lead cars there was nothing we could do”, said the Aston Martin Evolution Academy driver, “The weekend started really well in practice and even though we had a bit of work to do after qualifying, we had high hopes for the race.
“It’s the way things work out sometimes, the main thing is the car was working well and Kieran did a good job again in his stint. I’m looking forward to being back at Snetterton for the next round, it’s always nice to be racing at my home track – we’re really looking forward to it.”
Next on the Avon Tyres British GT Championship calendar is a visit to Snetterton 300 Circuit in East Anglia over the weekend of August 22/23.
Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT4 Driver Standings (after Rd6): 9th Jake Giddings/Kieran Griffin, 51.5pts.
Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT4 Pro-Am Standings (after Rd6): 5th Jake Giddings/Kieran Griffin, 76pts.
Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT4 Team Standings (after Rd6): 8th JWBird Motorsport, 48.5pts.