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10-10-2007

2007 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Rounds 13 & 14 at Rockingham

Saturday Warm-Up

The warm-up session for Saturday was only fifteen minutes due to an extended Friday testing session. The no.40 car was concentrated on giving Michelangelo Segatori as much time in the car as possible to help him adjust to the demands of the Dodge Viper. For much of the damp session Michelangelo set respectable times in the mid-field, eventually finishing 15th. Clive Richards took out the no.41 car, building confidence and speed to finish the session 10th.

Qualifying - Session One

Michelangelo took car 40 for the first qualifying session, and his first time in the car on slick tyres. For much of the session he struggled to find enough space to fit in a clear lap and eventually qualified the car 20th. Clive in 41 developed a problem with throttle pick-up, meaning he wasn't getting as much power from the car. After a few minutes spent in the pit lane, the car was up to speed but only a few minutes of the session remained. Despite the pressure, Clive managed to set a time of 1.25:63 to qualify 16th.

Qualifying - Session Two

James Gornall took to the wheel of car 40 for session two and quickly established his pace, putting the car 6th. However as the session continued, other cars found the space James couldn't and he was unable to improve his time of 1 .23:90, car no.40 finished the session 1 4th. Glen Denny was another driver who struggled to get to grips with the driving style of the Viper; however he still managed a respectable time of 1 .25:35 to put car 41 seventeenth.

Race One

With the title contest still wide open to four drive pairings, the race was bound to be eventful. With Michelangelo and Clive starting the race, it was just a matter of keeping their heads down and looking after the cars. Sure enough, within eight laps the safety car was deployed due to a stricken Mosler. The pack bunched up for the restart, Michelangelo claimed one place up to 18th before his pit stop and Clive moved up two to 12th place. Of the no.40 car driver pairing, James was the faster and it was agreed to bring Michelangelo in at the earliest opportunity to maximise James' time in the car. With the "in" given to Michelangelo, timed to perfection, the white car entered the pit lane just as the window opened. A faultless pit stop and James had rejoined the race in 19th place, the first car to have stopped. With Clive duelling with an Aston, he was left out longer to fight his corner, eventually brought in from 9th place, the second pit stop was equally smooth thanks to the well drilled team. There was nothing left to do now except knuckle down and claw back some positions. Over fifteen laps James found exceptional pace, consistently lapping on the pace of the leaders. The no.40 car moved from 19th to 10th. Glen had rejoined the race in 16th, whilst not on the same pace as James; he still moved forward to bring 41 home in 15th.

Sunday Warm-Up

Sunday morning brought the news that Glen's partner had gone into labour, leaving Clive to drive the warm-up and race alone in the 41 car. Michelangelo took the 40 car to increase his "seat time" and build more experience of the car.

Race Two

Two casualties from race one in the form of the Eclipse Mosler and Team Modena Lamborghini meant our cars started 12th & 15th. James started the 40 car and Clive faced the entire race in the 41 car. At the end of the first lap, James had made one place up to 11th and Clive had stormed to 12th. The Trimite cars were running nose to tail as the safety car was deployed on the second lap. With the racing restarted two laps later, James set about reeling in the Cadena Aston Martin and Clive held on behind. As James moved up to 10th, Clive was caught by the displaced Jones brothers Ascari and was demoted to 13th. The pit strategy was to call Clive in for his stop early and bring James in late. Clive was shown the "in" but as the track lay quite a distance away from the pit wall, struggled to see the board for five laps. Each time Clive came past without pitting, time was ticking away toward the end of the pit stop window and we still had to stop the 40 car. Eventually after some frantic waving of Trimite caps and pit boards Clive got the message and brought the car in. Meanwhile James' pace was beginning to drop, after a prolonged stint in the car we thought the tyres were deteriorating. However when he was called in for his stop it emerged that the rear left wheel had worked loose, the car had been seconds away from catastrophic failure on the high speed oval section. With a new wheel fitted, Michelangelo took to the track after a delayed stop in 16th place. While not on the same pace as James, Michelangelo managed to bring the car home 16th in one piece. Clive had rejoined in 16th from his stop and fought onwards to bring his car home 12th, a significant result given he had driven alone in his first weekend in the mighty Viper.

There are two encouraging points to take away from this weekend for next season, firstly a Viper won the championship, and secondly, our car demonstrated a faster pace than the championship winning car. We look forward to the 2008 season as Team Trimite and hope to return to winning ways. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Trimite for all their support during 2007 as we look to build on this season for a more successful 2008 together.