Ecurie Ecosse

Ecurie Ecosse scores third British GT podium in thrilling Brands Hatch enduro

Legendary Scottish motor racing outfit Ecurie Ecosse powered by Black Bull and drivers Oliver Bryant and Marco Attard picked up their third British GT Championship podium of the season at Kent’s Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on Sunday (August 11) to move up to second in the championship.

The squad’s Barwell Motorsport-run BMW Z4 GT3 enjoyed its last competitive outing at Austria’s Red Bull Ring for round three of the European Le Mans Series with drivers Ollie Millroy, Andrew Smith and Alasdair McCaig three weeks ago. With the team’s focus now switched back to its British GT programme, the UK event was an opportunity to score more valuable championship points.

Attard converted a solid fifth place qualifying effort by Bryant into a excellent opening stint, holding his ground at the start before making his way up to third position early on. The Surrey-based driver tried in vain to pass the 888 BMW of Steve Tandy and briefly lost ground as the Ginetta of Colin White made its way to the front.

But the Ecosse BMW was soon back into third following an off-track excursion for the Ginetta. Attard was then passed by hard charging Silver-graded driver Gregoire Demoustier in his McLaren and the Aston Martin of Mark Poole before pitting from P5 to hand over to Bryant.

Thanks to a slick-as-ever pitstop by the Barwell Motorsport crew for tyres and fuel, Bryant rejoined chasing the Beechdean Aston Martin of Jonny Adam for what was to become the race lead. Bryant set about closing the gap to the Aston over the opening laps of his stint, but his charge was interrupted when the McLaren of Demoustier, now in the hands of Duncan Tappy, resumed in between the two. Bryant was keen to pass the McLaren straight away to continue his pursuit of Adam, but his efforts were thwarted again and again as Tappy defended impeccably. This enabled the Aston to make its escape up front while the Ecosse BMW’s pace was severely hampered by being stuck behind the McLaren.

Dan Brown in the 888 BMW soon closed in to make it a three-way battle for second place, managing to get ahead of Bryant before pushing hard to pass Tappy, but to no avail. With 15 minutes left on the clock Bryant capitalised on a mistake by Brown into Graham Hill Bend to reclaim third place. He then made a concerted effort to attack Tappy in the final laps, while also holding off the attentions of Brown. Bryant succeeded in his defence from the 888 BMW but was unable to pass Tappy, who held on to second by the narrowest of margins.

Third place was nevertheless a fantastic result for the Ecurie Ecosse pairing and made up for the disappointment of Snetterton eight weeks ago. Attard’s opening stint was the perfect start and Bryant absorbed huge pressure to deliver a podium and a vital 22.5 championship points.

Oliver Bryant, Ecurie Ecosse driver: “This was a great weekend for us. We worked hard on the setup and found a good race balance. Unfortunately I couldn’t pass the McLaren as I believe we had the pace to challenge for the win today, but I’m happy with third. Marco delivered the perfect opening stint and the Barwell crew gave us a brilliant strategy as always. I can’t wait for Zandvoort.”

Marco Attard, Ecurie Ecosse driver: “After a hectic but orderly start we managed to get up to third place. There were limited opportunities to pass the 888 BMW so I thought it best to play it safe and trust Olly to finish the job. This was a great result and as usual the team performed brilliantly – roll on Zandvoort!”

Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal: “We have to capitalise on the circuits that suit the Z4 and so far this season we have done just that. We are in great shape to carry on and get the job done.”

In addition to the activities on track, Ecurie Ecosse had numerous guests and sponsors joining the team over the weekend. Significantly, the team invited five current and former young cancer patients from the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey. Ecosse European Le Mans Series driver and former patient Joe Twyman was on hand to show the patients the ins and outs of the BMW Z4 GT3.

Ecurie Ecosse’s next competitive outing sees the team head to Zandvoort for rounds eight and nine of the British GT Championship (September 8).

2013 British GT Championship – GT3 Drivers’ Standings (top three after seven rounds)

1.    Jonny Adam / Andrew Howard (Beachdeen Aston Martin Vantage GT3) 95.5 points
2.    Oliver Bryant / Marco Attard  (Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3) 89 points
3.    Matt Bell / Mark Patterson    United Autosports Audi R8 LMS GT3 79.5 points

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