Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge front-runner Oli Basey-Fisher enjoyed a dream outing at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 10th/11th August, where he sealed an outstanding hat-trick of race victories in rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the season.
Doing the power of good for his championship position, the trio of results – added to bonus points for the fastest lap in each encounter and pole position for the first two races – mean the 18-year-old from Great Finborough is now third in the standings and a mere three points shy of the series lead.
“It doesn’t get much better than this”, said the elated Century Logistics-backed racer, “It’s been an absolutely outstanding weekend from start to finish, qualifying went perfectly for us and the car was faultless, the guys at Academy Motorsport did a fantastic job.
“The races were hard work but to come away with all three wins, and the fastest lap in each, really is more than we could have hoped for. I was aiming to challenge for a top three championship finish before the weekend started, now we’re right in the fight for the title – fantastic!”
Starting the Brands Hatch event superbly in qualifying, Oli topped the times with a tremendous lap of 1m40.323 seconds (87.31mph) to secure the round 16 pole and with an equally impressive second fastest lap of 1m40.477 seconds (87.18mph) he also bagged pole position for round 17.
Making a good start to the opening encounter on Saturday afternoon, he led away from rival Jake Giddings but into lap two the latter had managed to edge ahead. Running nose-to-tail for almost the entire duration, with never more than a couple of tenths of a second splitting the duo, Oli tried everything he could to retake the lead over the final three laps.
Piling on the pressure to his rival, the Academy Motorsport racer’s efforts paid off on the last lap at Druids when he was able to slice past Giddings for the lead once more – winning in the end by just 0.2 seconds. Oli also posted the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m41.093 seconds (86.65mph).
At the start of Sunday morning’s race, round 17, Oli got away well from the line to lead but the action fell under caution before the end of the lap after a multi-car tangle further behind at Paddock Hill Bend.
At the re-start on lap four, the Suffolk teenager was 0.2 seconds clear over the line and in a repeat of Saturday’s encounter he become embroiled in a cat and mouse battle with Giddings. Although losing out to his rival on lap six, Oli hit back with a new fastest lap on the seventh tour and with only 0.064 seconds between the pair going into the final lap the stage was set for a dramatic finish.
Retaking the lead, Oli just shaded Giddings by 0.097 seconds at the chequered flag to cap another fantastic performance and seal his third victory of the campaign. His best lap of the race was a time of 1m41.566 seconds (86.24mph)
Again lining up on pole position for round 18, as a result of winning the previous encounter, the Suffolk One College student controlled the final race from the front to claim his fourth win of 2013 by over six seconds. Capping off the weekend perfectly, his fastest lap time of 1m41.042 seconds (86.69mph) shaded his race one best.
There is now a lengthy eight-week break from competition for the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge with the championship finale, rounds 19, 20 and 21, taking place at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit in Leicestershire on 5th/6th October.
“I really can’t wait for Donington”, added Oli, “After such a fantastic weekend I’d like to be back in the car tomorrow! It’s a shame there’s such a big break in the calendar now before the final three races, it just means there’s plenty of time to prepare as well as possible though. It should be a great finale to the season, it really is all to play for.”
Provisional 2013 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge Driver Standings (after Rd18):
1st Brad Bailey, 431pts; 2nd Will Burns, 429pts; 3rd Oli Basey-Fisher, 428pts
Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.