Aston Martin Evolution Academy driver Jake Giddings encountered a highly frustrating return to home soil at Snetterton over the weekend, as continued power issues with his Aston Martin V8 Vantage led to a very challenging penultimate event of the season.
Compounded by an unfortunate retirement from the second of the event’s two 60-minute races, a result of suspension damage following light contact with the barriers when the rear of the car stepped-out part way through the rain-hit contest, the Wisbech racer is hoping the unresolved issue with the No.47 car can be rectified before the championship finale three weeks from now.
“We’ve had the power problem since Spa and we’re still trying everything we can to get on top of it, but it’s still been there this weekend”, said a vexed Giddings. “There are no fault codes coming up on the laptops when they’re plugged into the car so there isn’t really a lot we can do as there’s nothing to pinpoint where the problem is.
“The team has changed all the spark plugs, checking wiring and pipes, but we’re still no further forward. The thought is it could possibly be a cam fault so the engine, and the full wiring loom harness, is going back to Prodrive now. Then it’s a case of hoping and praying we’ll have the issue resolved and be able to challenge for a good result at Donington to finish the year on a bit of a high.”
With the issue limiting the pace available to Giddings and team-mate Kieran Griffin in qualifying, the pair had to settle for 13th on the grid in the GT4 Class for both rounds seven and eight. Griffin took the first stint of the opening race, which took place under glorious late-summer skies, and he held the spot throughout the first half of the contest despite losing significant time on lap six after a moment.
Giddings got behind the wheel at the driver-change stop halfway through and despite the power issues, the Finesse Paving & Civil Engineering, Cowley Road Garage and Toppesfield-backed racer managed to claw his way through to an eventual top 10 finish in GT4.
Prior to the start of round eight, the skies opened and a deluge of rain meant a very wet final race of the weekend. The weather took such a turn for the worse, officials opted to red flag the race around 10 minutes early with standing water on track becoming particularly hazardous.
Unfortunately for Giddings, his involvement in the race didn’t last as long as that when suspension damage mid-race, after light contact with the barriers following a slight moment, led to retirement to the pits.
Beginning the race in 13th position in GT4, he progressed well into the top 10 in class before moving up into ninth prior to the driver-change stops. Unfortunately for the JWBird Motorsport driver, though, the rear of the car stepped away just before he was due to head to the pits and the resulting damage from contact with the barriers ruled the No.47 Aston Martin out of the contest.
In the second race, Giddings’s former team Beechdean AMR – with whom he memorably secured the 2014 GT4 title – won this year’s championship with drivers Ross Gunn and Jamie Chadwick, the latter becoming the youngest ever winner of any British GT crown at just 17-years-of-age and also the first female driver to claim the coveted crown.
“It’s great to see Ross and Jamie wrap-up the championship this weekend, they’ve had a fantastic year and really do deserve to be GT4 champions”, commented Jake, “Huge congratulations to them for such a great job all season.”
Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit in the East Midlands will host the championship finale of the British GT season, round nine, three weeks from now on September 12/13.