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Tag: Oliver Basey-Fisher

Oli Basey-FisherProtyre 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.

Oli Basey-Fisher - Ginetta ChallengeProtyre 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.

Oli Basey-Fisher - Silverstone NationalSuffolk teenager Oli Basey-Fisher produced one of the very best outings of his rookie car racing season during the penultimate event of the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship at Silverstone over the weekend, 6th/7th October – the 17-year-old securing his second biggest points haul of the year.

In both races at the Northamptonshire venue’s 1.64-mile National Circuit, the Silverstone Ginetta Junior Scholarship Winner was in inspired form and delivered a best finish of fifth place in round 18 on Sunday afternoon, finishing just 0.8 seconds shy of the podium.

Lining-up seventh on the grid for the second of the weekend’s encounters, Oli unfortunately slipped to ninth on lap one after losing a couple of positions at Copse Corner and was then shuffled back to 10th but he mounted a determined recovery.

On lap six, a tangle ahead at Becketts enabled the Great Finborough racer to neatly move up into the top six and that’s where he remained to the chequered flag. However, he was classified fifth due to a five second time penalty applied to William Palmer and also posted a superb personal best lap time just 0.2 seconds outside the fastest of the race.

Round 17 on Saturday was an all-action encounter for Oli, one in which he ran as high as third early on before just missing out on a top six finish on the final lap. Lining-up sixth on the grid, qualifying just 0.6 seconds shy of pole position and the third fastest of the Rookie Class runners, the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver made a great start and avoided a lap one skirmish to move into third.

Pushed back to fourth behind Andrew Watson on lap two, Oli continued to race well but as the action became ever-more fierce he was elbowed down to sixth on the third tour. Climbing back into fourth place, profiting from close-quarters action between Niall Murray and Sennan Fielding, on lap four the Suffolk racer was again pushed back to sixth and then seventh at mid-distance.

Determined to try and get back into the top six, Oli redoubled his efforts during the final few laps and piled on the pressure to Rockingham race winner, and namesake, Ollie Chadwick who adopted a stern defence. On the penultimate lap, the Century Logistics-backed racer moved back into sixth as Chadwick slipped behind but Oli was then passed on the final lap by Murray so had to settle for seventh.

“It’s been a really good weekend”, said Oli, “Testing in the dry on Friday afternoon was really good, we showed some good pace there. That showed potential for the rest of the weekend, so I went into qualifying feeling confident and the car was feeling good.

“Qualifying was definitely the best we’ve done in a long time, I knew we could fight for the top five in the two races. I got an absolutely flying start to Saturday’s race, I moved up to third by the end of the first lap which was really good. I couldn’t quite hold it and got a little bit mugged, dropping to eighth, but we ended up seventh. It was a good race in terms of racecraft, I’m fairly happy with it.”

He added: “Race two was even better in terms of the end result, the start wasn’t as good though and I braked a bit too hard at Copse so lost a few places there. I managed to claw some places back though, and there were a few incidents ahead of me, I came through nicely and followed Sennan [Fielding] – we just ran out of laps but could have been right in that front mix. I’m really happy to be back in the top five though, a really strong weekend and now I can’t wait for Brands Hatch.”

Oli’s maiden season of car racing will come to a conclusion just a fortnight from now, over the weekend 20th/21st October, with the final two rounds of the Ginetta Junior Championship taking place at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd18 inc. drop scores):
9th Oli Basey-Fisher, 235pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Oli Basey-Fisher - RockinghamOli Basey-Fisher produced two consistently strong race performances at Rockingham International Sportscar Circuit over the weekend, 22nd/23rd September, to consolidate ninth place in the Ginetta Junior Championship standings and also showcase a marked improvement in his racecraft.

Driving for Tollbar Racing with WIRED, the 17-year-old was embroiled in closely contested battles in each of the races at the Northamptonshire track and displayed great composure and a good turn of pace as he secured a best finish of eighth place – fourth in the Rookie Class – during round 16.

Oli started the weekend strongly with a top five performance in wet conditions during testing on Friday, 21st September, and then produced the sixth fastest time during the additional free practice on Saturday morning. Qualifying though wasn’t quite as fruitful for the Great Finborough driver and he had to settle for 10th on the grid for both races – fifth best rookie in each instance.

Enjoying a good opening lap to round 15 on Saturday afternoon, Oli moved into eighth position and remained there until lap six when shuffled back to ninth by Freddie Lee. Determined to try and hit back immediately, the Suffolk racer heavily pressured the Ford Fiesta graduate but as they fought it gave William Palmer the opportunity to slice up the inside at Tarzan on lap eight.

Resulting in Oli being elbowed back to 10th place, on the penultimate tour at Deene Hairpin he hit back by re-passing Palmer for ninth and defended stoutly to the chequered flag on lap 10 to hold on by 0.2 seconds and also finish fifth in the Rookie classification.

“It was a fantastic race in terms of racecraft, we just weren’t in the sort of position we wanted to be or should have been really”, said the Century Logistics-backed driver, “That was really my own fault in qualifying, practice had gone well so things looked promising and the car was good but the times just weren’t there unfortunately in qualifying when it mattered.”

Although not getting the launch from the line he wanted at the start of round 16 on Sunday, Oli benefitted from an excellent first lap and by the start of the second tour the Silverstone Ginetta Junior Scholarship Winner had climbed three places into seventh.

The action in the midfield proved intense with Oli in the thick of some great racing along with Pepe Massot, Harry Woodhead, Lee and Palmer. Pressuring Woodhead for sixth place on lap five, Oli wasn’t quite able to carve open a passing opportunity and the next time around he instead was overtaken by Palmer into Deene.

Determined to fight-back, the first year car racer redoubled his efforts and on the final lap he managed to claw his way back into eighth position – fourth highest Rookie – as Woodhead in sixth bottled up the quartet of cars behind.

“It was a great race, my actual getaway from the line wasn’t that good as I hesitated a bit as the lights went out but the first lap was really good – I managed to pick my way through and grab a few places”, explained Oli, “Following Pepe [Massot] through, we both got a bit stuck behind Woody [Harry Woodhead] and I really should have tried to pass him a bit earlier.

“Unfortunately Will [Palmer] then came through and then the four of us started battling really hard amongst ourselves. I thoroughly enjoyed it though, it was a really great race and I learnt a lot of racecraft which is great to take out of it. Hopefully we can build on that for Silverstone.”

Rounds 17 and 18 of the Ginetta Junior Championship season will take place a fortnight from now over the weekend 6th/7th October at Silverstone’s National Circuit.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd16):
9th Oli Basey-Fisher, 199pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Oli Basey-Fisher - ThruxtonGinetta Junior Championship rookie Oli Basey-Fisher secured a pair of valuable points finishes on his first visit to the fastest circuit on the series calendar, Thruxton in Hampshire, over the weekend, 28th/29th April, with persistent rain and blustery conditions providing the sternest of tests.

Having never driven his Ginetta G40 in the wet before, the 16-year-old from Great Finborough in Suffolk faced a mountainous challenge throughout the third event of his maiden car racing season but took a sensible approach to rounds five and six to secure 11th place finishes in each race.

While Saturday’s free practice, qualifying session and race were all affected by poor weather, the rain and gusty winds worsened dramatically on Sunday to give the Ginetta Junior Scholarship Winner his steepest learning curve yet.

“Obviously, Thruxton is the fastest circuit in the UK so to race there for the first time under the conditions we had was a really tough challenge”, said the Century Logistics-backed driver, “It’s been the most difficult weekend so far but we scored points in both races so I’m happy enough with that.

“It was absolutely tipping down all weekend, Saturday was more changeable – wet in the morning, followed by a greasy session and then a dry session – while on Sunday it was nothing but rain all day long. Every session was a different challenge for me, a hell of a learning experience that’s for sure!”

Round five on Saturday took place on a drying track after earlier rain but, on the grounds of safety, officials decided the teenage racers in Ginetta Junior should run with wet-weather tyres. Lining up 11th on the grid, Oli had a good opening lap and climbed into the top 10 before eventually having to settle for 11th, and sixth in the Rookie classification, following a battle with Tom Jackson.

With heavy rain saturating the 2.36-mile circuit overnight, and no let up throughout Sunday, round six was unquestionably run with all cars having full wet set-up and treaded tyres. Officials chose to begin the action under Safety Car conditions so racing proper didn’t get underway until lap three.

Providing an even tougher challenge than Saturday’s slippery encounter, Oli again moved into the top 10 early on and held the spot until the start of the fifth tour when erstwhile championship leader Sennan Fielding made his way by. Holding 11th place to the flag, the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver lapped well clear of round five challenger Jackson to claim an improved top five Rookie finish.

“I was lower down the order than I expected to be, or wanted to be, but I’ve certainly learnt a lot from it and it’s definitely been a worthwhile weekend”, said Oli, “I learnt so many things, I took a lot of advice from my driver coach Malcolm Smith – he’s helped me so much – and it was just a case of trying to remain as relaxed as possible, whatever the weather threw at us.”

Oli now has a six-week break from racing with the fourth event of the Ginetta Junior Championship season, rounds seven and eight, taking place over the weekend 9th/10th June at the picturesque Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd6):
1st Charlie Robertson, 144pts; 9th Oli Basey-Fisher, 71pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Oli Basey-Fisher - Donington ParkGreat Finborough teenager Oli Basey-Fisher continued the excellent start to his maiden season of car racing action at Donington Park over the weekend, 14th/15th April, with a well deserved top four result during the fourth round of the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship.

As at Brands Hatch during his category debut a couple of weeks ago, the 16-year-old Scholarship Winner was in the front-running fight in both of the Donington races but a robust opening encounter led to a highly unfortunate retirement on lap eight.

Putting the disappointment behind him and bouncing back superbly in Sunday’s televised race, the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver overcame a couple of tough early laps to slice his way back into podium contention in round four – missing out on a rostrum place by just 0.2 seconds.

His lap times, particularly in race two, were very impressive with a quickest of 1m22.135 seconds just a single tenth of a second shy of the fastest of the race. In terms of the championship standings, Oli rounded-out his second weekend in car racing eighth overall with 51 points.

“It was disappointing not to finish the first race and we could have had second in race two”, he commented, “Fourth is still good though, it’s good points after retiring from race one – I’m pretty happy with that really.”

Qualifying sixth fastest for Saturday’s race, just 0.2 seconds shy of pole position and the second fastest Rookie to boot, Oli held his placing well during the opening exchanges but slipped behind second-year racer Sennan Fielding to seventh on lap two.

Remaining glued to the rear of Fielding’s Ginetta G40, Oli challenged through the left-hander at Schwantz Curve but his progress was hampered with a spin at the exit of the Old Hairpin on lap four following contact from Pepe Massot.

Recovering outside the top 10 and with a mountain to climb, the Century Logistics supported driver sat in 11th place during a two lap Safety Car period but his hopes of making up the lost ground were ended on lap nine at Redgate when he was pushed wide before being collected by Nathan Harrison – ruling both drivers out on the spot.

Determined to bag as many points as possible in round four on Sunday afternoon, Oli lined-up fourth on the grid due to pole-sitter George Gamble having withdrawn from the race following a major collision in the opening encounter, shortly after the one which accounted for Oliver.

Getting a little too much wheelspin off the line, he was shuffled back to seventh early on before rapidly fighting back into the top five and then reclaiming fourth on lap six. Following a tangle at the chicane between Charlie Robertson and Niall Murray, the door opened for Oli to nip through and take second place – unfortunately though, it was short-lived and he slipped to fourth.

Concerned mid-race he may have picked-up a puncture, all turned out to be ok thankfully but Oli had to settle for fourth albeit just 0.2 seconds away from the podium and only a second shy of the runner-up spot.

“It was a bit of a hectic race but I kept out of most of the trouble”, he said after round four, “When I ended up in second, there was a bit of a commotion out of the final corner. My mirror was bent round to the side so I couldn’t see where anyone was on my right-hand side, so I kept to the left and that meant I dropped to fourth.

“After that I thought I had a puncture, the whole car started wallowing down the Craner Curves so I lost some pace there but then it cleared up and I found more pace again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite get back to second but I can’t complain with fourth.”

Next up for Oli is, potentially, his greatest challenge of the entire 2012 season with rounds five and six of the Ginetta Junior Championship taking place at Thruxton in Hampshire a fortnight from now over the weekend 28th/29th April. Renowned as one of the most demanding tracks in the UK, Thruxton also carries the distinction of being the fastest track on the entire championship calendar.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd4):
8th Oli Basey-Fisher, 51pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.