FIRST BRITCAR PODIUM FOR BURGESS & DIMMACK
Extreme changes in weather played there part at Brands Hatch, but it didn’t stop RAW Motorsports Steve Burgess and Ben Dimmack from securing third overal in their Ginetta G55, after the disappointment of an aerly retirement in the first race. In the wet qualifying session they were 11th best and fourth in class, which put them on the sixth row of the grid.“Steve went out first and I did the middle of the session, but we swapped again for the last 10 minutes,” said Dimmack. Race 1:Burgess took the first stint and made three places on the opening lap. He continued to hold station which gave them second in class, until sliding off on oil into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend on the eighth lap, for a premature end to the race. “A BMW had put the oil down and I was one of about five cars to go off,” he said. Race 2:
Burgess started again in the second race and soon demoted the Team Brit Aston Martin GT4 before closing in on Piers Reid’s BMW and ninth place.A further place had been gained when the safety car appeared for the first time on lap six, but from the green flag the duel with Reid recommenced but now it was for seventh. By the end of lap 11 Reid had been despatched and Neary’s BMW was the next target. But Reid was back to challenge and instead of gaining a place Burgess was back to eighth briefly before a second safety car intervention saw him make an early pitstop from seventh, which proved too early and earned them a post race penalty.“I had lost a couple of places when I went off challenging the Praga at Clearways, but then I decided to pit when I saw the safety car, but it was five seconds too early,” he said.With Dimmack in for the second stint, progress had been rapid and they were suddenly fourth and still on the lead lap.Reid was the leader but the gap was only 0.363 secs and when the BMW driver made his stop, Dimmack became the new leader.
The Paul Bailey and Andy Schulz Ferrari started to close however, but Dimmack survived until lap 40. Such was their lead that even after a stop they had retained the lead. “I didn’t have a clue where we were and certainly didn’t realise we had been leading,” Dimmack explained.But Lee Frost’s Ginetta G55 had also got by which not only dropped Dimmack to second overall, it was second in class too. “I had a touch with the Praga at Surtees and went skating across the grass,” he added. Despite having reclaimed second from Frost, the early pitstop had proved decisive, when they were handed a 30 second penalty as Dimmack had done more than 60% of the race, which was the maximum for any driver. It dropped them back to third, but was still a magnificent result on only their second time out in the car. “We are gretting to grips with the car now and really enjoying it,” Burgess concluded.