Archie Hamilton (22, Basingstoke) made his 2013 race debut in the Drivex Porsche GT2 RSR alongside Niccolò Schirò at Paul Ricard in the south of France. The pairing put in a solid performance to take points to start their championship campaign after a weekend of mixed weather hindered their fortune. Both drivers put in fast times but lost out on podium finishes when the intermittent weather and wrong tyre choice came into play.
Both qualifying sessions were held with the slower GTS car slots having dry weather but rain falling as the Super GT cars went on track. The result was a mixed grid with the faster cars needing to work through the traffic to get to the front.
Race one, held yesterday, was wet throughout with cars struggling to stay on track. While Archie was learning the new car with much higher down-force and no anti-lock braking, Niccolò had a huge amount to do, adjusting from the F3 cars he has previously driven. The weather and traffic made the task even more difficult and the pair did well to keep the car on track and take three valuable championship points.
Today’s race two was a similar challenge with a wet track reducing grip levels and traffic issues again. The Drivex Porsche was set up for the wet and the team opted for wet tyres throughout the race. Despite running as high as fifth overall, the drying track handed the advantage to those who opted for slicks at the pit-stops and Archie crossed the line in fifth for another three points.
The car now returns to the Drivex base in Madrid for upgrades before the next round in two weeks.
“It’s great to be back in the car but it would have been much nicer to have had an easier event to start the season. Last year I had almost the exact opposite when I was I the lower class in the wet and I benefitted and took third overall. It’s just one of those things but not the best way to learn a new car. The handling is different and I’m looking forward to getting some dry running to get a better feel. The traction is amazing coming out of low speed corners – we just didn’t have any here!
“I have to say that Niccolò has done really well to have adapted to this type of racing in these conditions. To have done his stints well with just a couple of minor spins and still bring it home fifth was great. It’s a good start to the season. We have some points in the bag and I’m pleased that we’ll be back in the car for another round in Portugal in only two weeks.”
Super GT Championship Standings
1. Montermini-Filippi, 20
2. Talkanitsa Sr, Talkanitsa Jr, 12
3. Login-Sijholf, 12
4. Cameron-Griffin, 12
5. Hamilton-Schirò, 6
Archie next races at Portimao, Portugal on 11th and 12th May.