Ollie had a very strong weekend in his first ever GT3 race at the historic Monza circuit in Italy, setting lap times to match the leading cars. In extremely wet conditions competing and a completely different type of race format, Ollie didn’t put a foot wrong and was setting very consistent fast times impressing his team, Ecurie Ecosse in the BMW Z4 GT3.
Friday’s free practice was dominated by electrical problems, causing the engine to cut out and severely restricting Ollie and his team mates seat time. The BMW Motorsport engineers worked hard alongside Ecurie Ecosse and Barwell Motorsport to find the cause of the problem, which was huge relief for the team ahead of qualifying.
With 57 cars on the track for qualifying it was difficult for anyone to get a clear lap but with the car now without trouble, Ollie made the best of it. On new tyres Ollie tried to find as much space as possible to put in two consecutive flying laps and immediately put in two very quick sectors only to be held up by a slower car on sector three, costing him time.
Starting the race in 30th position the team elected Andrew Smith to do the first stint in what can only be described as treacherous conditions. After 55 minute’s Ollie took over the car which was now in P50 and immediately began to make his way through the field. Lap after lap with consistantly quick times Ollie set about making up places and after a 70 minute stint, ended up P15 for team mate Joe Twyman to take over. Joe had a very solid stint in drying conditions and eventually brought the car home in 21st position, 11th in the Pro-Am Class.
‘That was my first ever GT race, my first endurance event and the first time I have driven the BMW Z4 GT3 in the rain – and I loved the lot! I was on a mission the whole way through my stint and when my engineer called me in for the driver change I just wanted to stay out there! It was a great performance by the whole team and I really hope to be out with them again at Silverstone.’
Ollie hopes to compete in the next race at Silverstone on the 2nd June 2012.