After a fairly successful start to their GT Cup season, Steve Burgess and Ben Dimmack’s RAW Motorsports Radical RXC were hoping to add to their tally at Snetterton.
The pre-race testing had been a mixture of fine weather and heavy rain. “We had a few small issues and we thought we had solved them, before the rain came,” said Dimmack.
Saturday morning’s qualifying was dry, but there was still a problem with the car. “It was mainly with the brakes,” explained Burgess after setting seventh best time overall, for third in class.
Dimmack took the wheel again for the first Sprint race. He had settled in sixth place, but was under pressure from Warren Gilbert’s Lamborghini, until a safety car intervention after six laps.
He had moved up to fifth and from the green flag continued to hold his position, but in the closing laps class leader John Seale’s Lamborghini had slowed.
On the final lap Dimmack was through, claiming a GTO Class victory from fourth overall. “It was a great race for us, but the car still isn’t good. Understeer, but the brakes seemed good and through Coram I just couldn’t steer, so very frustrating,” he added.
Burgess was back in the car for the start of Saturday’s Enduro, lining up eighth on the grid. It was a frustrating start again though, losing four places on the opening lap.
He was back inside the top 10 after three laps and continued to climb the leaderboard, before pitting from ninth to hand to Dimmack. “The temperature kept rising and there were still issues with the brakes,” he said.
Dimmack had managed to settle in eighth place, which despite their problems was still good enough for third in class too. “Overheating, brakes and understeer, it was just a case of finishing,” Dimmack added.
The lack of pace seemed to be the major problem and the crew immediately set about tackling the engine the problem, which not only took up the whole evening, but most of the early morning hours too.
Crew chief Tim Shaw had his attempts to source a replacement engine thwarted, but succeeded in finding an engineer to do an overnight rebuild.
The engine came out at 7pm and was back at the circuit for 4am, installed and prepared for Sunday morning qualifying, with any thoughts of sleep abandoned.
It was hoped that the dedication was going to be rewarded in Sunday’s races, but once again there was a reminder of how cruel motorsport can be.
They had qualified seventh overall and third in class again. “The engine felt Ok now, but still a small brake issue,” said Burgess.
From the start of Sunday’s sprint race Dimmack was holding his place, but the race lasted as far as the exit of Riches, the first corner. The front nearside hub had sheared, but fortunately the wheel stayed attached though. So it was not only race over, but weekend over, but a great example of team work and dedication at its best to have even made the start, when both Burgess and Dimmack had expected to be on their way home considerably earlier.
The next round of the Championship is at Oulton Park on July 3rd.