Posted on Jul 13th, 2015
Jamie Chadwick, the Cheltenham College A-level student, from near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, continued her dominant form, alongside team mate Ross Gunn, in the 5th Round of the British GT4 Championship in Belgium this weekend.
Following consecutive wins in the last two races at Rockingham and Silverstone, their debut race at the awesome 7 kilometre Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit was seen as a challenging test of their championship credentials. To make matters more demanding, their championship-leading car has had to carry 40kg of success ballast – a real disadvantage but a fair application of the rules to make the racing closer.
With the support and experience of the Beechdean Aston Martin race team, and the reliability of their Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 race car, Jamie was quickly able to acquit herself with the task – qualifying 2nd in class for the 2 hour race in the searing 30C temperatures on Friday afternoon. It was another extraordinarily accomplished performance against 15 other older and more experienced drivers.
A clean start saw Jamie hold second, in a group of three, led by the ISSY Racing Lotus Evora, but under pressure from the Century Ginetta G55 – the Lotus eventually pulling away, whilst Jamie withstood the challenges from the Ginetta, gradually opening up a gap from which she was never again threatened. Jamie pitted, after one hour in the gruelling heat, whilst still in a commanding 2nd place, handing the Aston Martin over to co-driver Ross to complete the final hour and seal the result.
Victory, on this occasion, was never likely, but the vital points for a highly commendable 2nd place finish sees them maintain their title-leading position.
An ebullient Jamie commented after the race:
“I can’t tell you how excited I was to be here at Spa, with it’s amazing setting and history, and the reality of racing the Aston through these famous curves and hills was incredible.”
“We came here looking for a safe finish to consolidate our Title challenge, but soon found the pace to run at the front, although we couldn’t match the performance of the much lighter Lotus. Second was still a terrific result”
“The race went pretty much to plan, but the temperatures in the car were the hottest I’ve ever endured, with no cooling or fluids, so racing on the limit for an hour really focussed the concentration”.
“Thanks, as always, to Beechdean, Aston Martin Racing, Ross of course, and all the organisers for putting together an amazing weekend. It’s motorsport at its best”
“There are now three weeks until the next round at Brands Hatch, so I plan to use the summer holidays to try and pass my driving test!”