Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge newcomer Oli Basey-Fisher made a huge impact during the opening event of the 2013 season at Oulton Park International Circuit on Saturday, 30th March, by racing to three superb podium finishes – securing him third place in the championship standings.
While all three race performances were noteworthy in their own right, the Great Finborough driver’s runner-up finish in round three was the pick of the bunch. Running in fourth place early on, mere fractions of a second splitting the lead quartet, Oli moved into third on lap eight and took second on the final tour to cap a tremendous first weekend in the category.
“It’s been an absolutely amazing debut weekend, there’s not much else that could have gone better”, he commented, “I’d just like to thank everyone at Academy Motorsport for getting me up to this standard over the pre-season with the testing we’ve done.”
Following on from a successful maiden season of car racing in the ranks of Ginetta Junior last year, the 17-year-old certainly put everything he learned to great use on his debut in his more powerful Ginetta Challenge-specification Ginetta G40.
Qualifying third fastest for round one with a lap of 1m54.182 seconds (84.86mph), Oli’s second best lap of the session of 1m55.311 seconds (84.03mph) placed him fifth on the grid for the second of the weekend’s races
At the beginning of the opening encounter, the Academy Motorsport driver maintained his third place but this soon became second when Luke Davenport was given a 10 second penalty for a jump start. Despite leading on the track, on corrected times Davenport was classified down the order.
On lap three, Oli slipped back to third behind Will Burns which triggered an entertaining dice over the place. Swapping positions for several laps, Oli eventually had to settle for third just 0.1 seconds behind his rival.
An incident at the beginning of round two led to red flags being shown and racing was, therefore, halted. When the action eventually got underway once again, Oli held sixth place at the end of the first lap but moved into the top five and then top four in quick succession. Taking third on lap five, the Century Logistics-backed racer comfortably maintained his spot on the podium to the finish.
“Overall it’s been a fantastic weekend, I thought pre-season testing went well but it’s never until the first round you really know where you stand”, said Oli, “Hopefully I can keep up this level of competitiveness over the rest of the season.”
Now returning to his studies at Suffolk One College in Ipswich, Oli will be back on track for rounds four, five and six of the 2013 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge over the weekend 4th/5th May at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.
Provisional 2013 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge Driver Standings:
1st Brad Bailey, 102pts; 2nd Luke Davenport, 86pts; 3rd Oli Basey-Fisher, 82pts
Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.