The second round of the British GT started with wet and cold Saturday practices and qualifying.
After showing great pace in similar conditions at Oulton Park in the Academy Aston Martin, Tom and team mate Jan struggled to get up to pace. Lack of traction meant they qualified out of place, well down the order in the GT4 class.
Although still very cold, the track was dry, with occasional light rain blowing across the circuit for Sundays’ 2 hour race.
Tom took the first stint in the stunning Aston Martin V8 Vantage for the first 1 hour 10mins from P20.
He got off the line well and gained 2 places, past the Invictus Jaguar F type and Ultratech Nissan. He gained 2 more positions out of turn 3, when the HHC Ginetta and the Mercedes made contact in front, Tom doing well to avoid being caught up in it.
At the end of lap two he was overtaken by Kelvin Fletcher’s Nissan which was faster at this stage of the race, but Tom would eventually catch him back up in the latter stages of his stint.
One by one he started to pick them off and by the halfway mark, he was already up to P13, overtaking the other Ultratech Nissan and one of the Ginettas. Just after halfway through his stint, the safety car was called after the Balfe McLaren GT3 car crashed at the last corner. This gave him crucial time to cool his tyres which were very much degrading at this point.
After the safety car had gone in and the race resumed, he made a pass work on one of the McLaren’s into turn 2 for 12th place overall. He then set about chasing the battle in front. Within 4 laps he was with them, picking them off one by one. A brilliant overtaking manoeuvre by Tom, saw him take both the McLaren and the Toyota into Turn 2.
A lap later he stormed past another McLaren into turn 1 and was firmly into the top 10, showing race pace which was highly competitive with the race leaders. There were 3 seconds to make up to the battle for 7th in front with just 20 mins of his 1 hr stint left to run. With the tyres holding up well, Tom made astounding progress and caught right up to the battle.
GT3 cars began lapping the GT4s and disrupted the heated battle between the McLaren, Nissan and Tom in the Aston. With just one lap left in his stint he made a move up the inside of the Nissan with the Bentley GT3 lending a helping hand.
Tom then handed over the car to his teammate Jan Jonck, who struggled towards the end of the race with tyre degradation but nevertheless did a fantastic job to bring the car home in P9 and P7 in the Silver Cup.
Tom Wood “I am very satisfied with the result and also had some good fun coming through from P20 to P8 overall! Massive credit to Jan hanging on in P9 overall, as the tyre degradation was a massive blow in the closing stages. With a better qualifying on Saturday, I am sure our race pace would’ve put us in podium contention. Nevertheless, we have scored points in every race this season which will help us a huge amount later in the season! I am Looking forward to the next round at Snetterton.”
The next round of the 2018 British GT Championship takes place at Snetterton on the 26-27th May.