GT Cup Silverstone 2012

The Circuit - April 28/29 2012

Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8TN

Location: off the A43 between Brackley and Towcester

Tel: 0844 3728 200

Website: www.silverstone.co.uk

Smallwood takes Pole

Media release: 12th May 2012

The very precisely timetabled day was running to schedule so at the duly appointed time of 11:07 qualifying for the GT Cup got underway. In a sharp contrast to the weather at the opening round at Donington the session was held in dry and sunny conditions.

Having taken advantage of the Friday practice session Pete was able to go into the session with a good idea of what he wanted to do.  “It was a case of getting a sensible time which I managed to get on the first set of tyres,” said Pete. He set a time to put him third in class on a 1 minute 01 seconds around the 1.6 miles Silverstone National Circuit. After a brief spin he continued to better his time getting down to a 59.6 second lap before stopping for a new set of tyres.

Pete was able to make the new rubber work for him. “The second set of tyres felt better,” he said. “Once I felt how good they were I decided to stay out for a couple more laps than we intended and just give it a push, so that’s what we did. It was clear the track was coming in with the oil (left by a Golf GTI) disappearing. We’d sorted a couple of lines since practice and I saw the times coming down and thought I’d stick with it.” It paid off as he recorded a 58.770 second lap and his first class pole in GT Cup. Fellow 997 driving father and son team of Nick and Harry Whale line up second with the BMW M3 of Don Grice in third.

Smallwood takes race one win

Media release: 12th May 2012

After some great work from the Silverstone marshals to remove seven cars from the track after an accident in the F3 race, the last race of the day got underway on time. The weather continued to be kind to us as Pete made a good get away from the rolling start.

Pete held the class two lead and was in sixth place overall with the chasing cars of Grice and Whale behind. “Getting the opportunity to start from pole I got a good start and then just tied to maintain a position in the middle of the track all of the time and holding my lines through all of the critical corners,” said Pete. In the early stages he was challenging the class one Mosler of Riley for position. “I was racing with the Mosler to start with, through the corners I was holding him but it just has so much power that it was going away from me on the straights,” said Pete.

On lap ten there was drama in the pitlane as the heavily modified orange 993 of Richard Chamberlain stopped outside the Parr garage with an engine fire. The marshals reacted quickly to put it out covering the pit apron in extinguisher powder and liquid in the process. After the smoke had cleared however we able to once again focus on the race. Pete had now been promoted to fifth but was not able to shake the chasing cars with Whale having overtaken Grice’s BMW for second. As the final laps counted down the Parr Motorsport driver continued to drive smoothly and without errors to cross the line for a class win. At the end of the 26th lap the gap was just 0.16 of a second. “The gap ebbed and flowed but I just could not pull a proper gap against Don Grice or Harry Whale,” said Peter after the race. “I managed to withstand the pressure for the 25 minute race and brought it home. I think all of the effort that we’ve been doing trying to change the way that I drive the car is all starting to work now and I think there is more to come so we’ve just got to keep on refining. It’s absolutely brilliant though.”

Races two and three are on Sunday and Pete will carry 55 kilogrammes of success ballast in race two for taking the win.

Grice takes win as Smallwood finished third

Media release: 13th May 2012

After the win in the Saturday race, Sunday morning’s race two was always going to be a tactical game to achieve the best result. With 55 kilos of success ballast being added to Pete’s car, the decision was made to preserve the better set of tyres for race three in the afternoon. As the race got underway at 10:30am Pete made a superb start, despite his handicapped car and grabbed second from Whale. He managed to hold it for half a lap before Nick dived up the inside at the end of the National Straight into Brooklands. “I got a good start but I just couldn’t hold it. The tyres were sliding in next to no time,” said Pete.

At the end of the first lap Pete settled into a good rhyme for the opening laps setting consistent times. “For a period of time I was catching Nick in second,” said Pete, “but I had to get out of the way when the Mosler and Ferrari were coming though. I lost a bit of time then and I caught a bit of traffic when I was lapping them and the time was gone. I was catching him around a tenth a lap and was visibly closing in the middle of the race. I doubt I would have got past him though.”

By the time the clock had counted down on the 25 minute race Pete crossed the line in third. “ That was pretty much as we expected with old tyres and 55 kilos of success ballast,” He said. “Onward and upward to race three with a better set of boots and a lot less ballast.”

Whale wins, Grice falters and Smallwood picks up more silverware

Media release: 13th May 2012

The grid numbers were somewhat depleted for the final race of the day with the withdrawal of the two Chevron entries taking the entry list down to ten cars. As the race got underway Pete was able to hold third off the rolling start as the Mosler of Martin Short led the field through the first corner. “ It wasn’t a fantastic start,” said Pete. “I hooked onto the back of Don Grice and a little bit of a gap opened up to Harry Whale and then a bit of a gap opened up to Don but I managed to pull it back and then I sat on his tail with a 0.3/04 of a second gap.”

With both drivers setting consistent lap times the gap stayed the same for a number of laps. They both moved up a place when the orange class one Porsche retired on lap seven promoting Pete to fifth overall. He maintained the pressure on the BMW of Grice in the hope of an opportunity or a mistake from the second place driver. “There was fluid on my screen, I didn’t know what it was but I knew it was coming from his (Grice’s) car,’ said Pete. “I had a look up the inside a couple of times and was reasonably confident I was going to get past him but he ran wide at Becketts which allowed me to get through.” Soon after the BMW entered the pitlane for a check before rejoining two laps down.

By the time Pete had got past the race was into its second half making it a tall order to catch the leading Porsche 997 of Harry Whale. “Harry was long gone and there was not time to catch him. So it was a case of bringing it home for the second in class,” said Pete after the race. “Not a bad weekend – three pots, three podiums, seven podiums out of eight starts this year. The car on the Pirelli tyres was fantastic Parr did a brilliant job this weekend, the car couldn’t have been better. Off we go to Rockingham!”