Bold Strategy Lets Qi and Jones Cruise to Silverstone Victory

Li Qi and Oliver Jones gave Carson Speedworks their second victory from three races at the RAC Tourist Trophy in Silverstone.

Even as Li Qi would pace the field after getting a better start then teammate Joey Alliot, the strategists for the factory Chevrolet team would put them on a aggressive pit strategy. The Chinese driver would pit from the lead three laps before anyone else would during the first sequence of pit stops. Oliver Jones would exit the pits with plenty of clean air and would result in having a lead of twenty seconds once the first round of pit stops would cycle out.

The American would have clean sailing for the duration of his stint until the tires started to run out of grip by the time his next scheduled pit stop would come. James James Davies would pass Jones for the lead under braking at the Arena Section on lap 39, but they would swap the lead back the next lap before Jones would go for his scheduled pit stop. Jones would stay in the car and have another twenty second gap to work with once the pit stops cycled out, even with catching the battling Lucio Richetti and Morten Pedersen before they went to pit. Evgeny Restov would retake the reigns of the 28 Scuderia Italia Ferrari from Davies and would hunt down Jones and catch him with three minutes, cutting down the gap from 8 seconds to effectively nothing in the last ten minutes alone. Running on fumes and on tires at the cliff, Oliver Jones would hold off the last minute charge from the Russian and win the RAC Tourist Trophy.

Restov and Davies would be the only ones able to challenge the winning pair, with third place finishing duo of Fabian Rei and Ryota Wong only putting up a fight to the cars ahead late into the first stint of the race. Their GP Racing teammates would bounce back from a Lap 1 spin at Stowe from Paul Travesen and finish fourth overall, after jumping the Solvalou Lamborghini of Chris Winter and Einar Armannsson in the final round of pit stops. The fifth place finish put the pairing of Winter and Armannsson at 33 points at the head of the championship, five markers clear of Restov and Davies.

Winning in the Independents Class would be the pairing of Helena Bertinelli and Patrick Feldhoffer giving Euromotor their first victory in the series since joining last year. They would emerge as front runners for class honors after the first round of pit stops, having cycled out third in class behind the LKM Lamborghini and Scuderia Belgio Ferrari. After Shane Sparks cleared the battle before finishing fourth, the three were left to battle among themselves. Laurent Seron would suffer a mechanical failure with ten minutes remaining in the race, leaving the other two to battle for the class victory. Patrick Feldhoffer would manage to get the Falken Aston Martin between him and Carlton Cho and it would be enough to secure the class victory.

The main benefactors from the Belgio retirement would be the pair of Boutsen Ginion Corvettes, securing third and fourth in class. Leading the way for Boutsen Ginion would be the pairing of Kikkawa and Laurent Gauthier recovering from a mid-race clash with Best In The World driver Rêdûr Jaffer which resulted in the Kurdish driver getting a 15 Second Penalty. Kikkawa and Gauthier would finish in the last points paying position for the Drivers Championship in tenth, with their teammate finishing half a second behind at the end of the two hour endurance race.

Major players failing to finish included the other Carson Corvette suffering a brake failure with less than twenty minutes remaining after they were circulating in third place.

Race Results – After 60 Laps

228MRestov/DaviesScuderia Italia+0.660
314MRei/WongGerald Pereria+11.028
441MTravesen/SparksGerald Pereria+28.563
603MLe Fay/FazioSolvalou+37.635
8007MMagnus/GeiszlerFalken Tire+58.899
102IKikkawa/GauthierBoutsen Ginion+1:03.323
113IBourne/TuckerBoutsen Ginion+1:03.862
18555IA.+V. Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+1:26.995
1911IMestach/JafferBest In The World+1:29.814
2199IEinfeldt/von SchweigerPeople's Republic+1 Lap
2255IDouglas/MelroseTom Douglas+1 Lap
2396IFidelis/HortinBest In The World+1 Lap
2470ITime/ManciniAstana+2 Laps
2521IVan Dycke/SeronBelgio+6 Laps*
2827Mvan Walwijk/ConstantiniScuderia ItaliaEngine

Fastest Lap – Car 6 (Gulf Aston Martin – Rossi/Davidson) – 1:53.612

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – John Magnus and Olivia Geiszler: Fought tooth and nail through the mid pack and got rewarded nicely with Falken’s first points of the year.

Reject of The Race – Tom Douglas Racing: A poor race setup meant that the boys were spinning more often than not, and running into each other when they did spin.