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Jan Jønck close to podium in GT4 debut

Jan Jønck close to podium in GT4 debut
Date: 17-04-2017 By: JanJonck Presse

Jan Jønck and his teammate William Phillips was ready for the podium after a solid race 2 in their debut weekend together in the British GT Championship where they came in 3rd after having started in 8th position. They were subsequently handed a time penalty, because their pit stop was 2 seconds short, and therefore finished 8th.

In GT4, the no.42 Aston Martin Vantage V8 started from 4th on the grid, with Jan Jønck’s teammate Will Phillips at the wheel. A good getaway saw Will grab third place in the charge through the first few corners, before he was hit from behind at the second chicane and knocked into a long spin on the soaking grass, that dropped the Aston way down the order and cost Will’s assailant a penalty.

“The car was mega,” said Will, “it had a lot of grip in the wet and I was able to keep picking other cars off, to get back up to fourth place, by the time I handed over to Jan. Apart from being punted off, it was a really good race, I’m really pleased with that result.”

“My first-ever stint in GT racing was tough,” reckoned Jan Jønck, “everyone had rain tyres on and there was a definite dry line. That isn’t something we’d experienced in testing, so I was really having to learn fast! I’m pleased to have survived with no damage and a decent points haul.”

The GT4 team finished in 4th position, after their assailant on Lap 1 was excluded, claiming second in the Silver drivers’ points as well. A decent start to the season and – critically – the car was still in fine fettle for the second race.

Jan Jønck lined up in 8th place in GT4 for his first GT start and made a clean getaway.

“I managed to avoid the carnage at the start,” smiled Jan, “but then, I got held up by a GT3 car and lost a couple of places. It was really hard to overtake but when the other started pitting, I was able to really fly in clear air.”

Among the very last of the stoppers in the 10-minute pit window, Jan handed the car over to partner Will Phillips in third place in GT4, allowing his more experienced team-mate to try and grab a podium finish.

Shortly after Will had taken over the car a huge accident, between a pair of GT3 cars, forced the organisers to scramble the Safety Car.

Both drivers involved were OK but significant damage to the safety barriers led to the race being curtailed almost 15 minutes early.

Unfortunately, the no.42 was among a number of cars penalized for pit-stop infringements, handed a 30-second penalty that dropped them down to 8th spot in the final reckoning.

“The penalty was very unfortunate,” said Will, “but overall it was a great weekend. I’m really pleased with the way the team is performing and Jan is performing well too. The year should be interesting. We know we’ve got the pace, we know the car’s good, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

“We knew Oulton Park wasn’t going to be easy,” said Team Principal David Macmillan, “and when Monday dawned grey and wet, that just raised the stakes. I know we were not alone in prioritizing taking points and sustaining as little damage as possible, given the weather and the nature of the Oulton track.

“The races proved exactly what we thought during winter testing – that we’ve got two good cars and two very strong driver line-ups… that’s really promising for the rest of the season. The team is all-new this season and I know the boys and girls on the crew are mortified with the two slip-ups but they weren’t alone in making mistakes – we’re all human.

“With a brand-new GT3 car, three new drivers – two of whom are rookies – and an entirely new crew of engineers and mechanics, there was a lot to get right... and almost everything worked like clockwork. I’m immensely proud of the whole team. We’ll all get our heads down and work even harder for Rockingham.”

Round 3 of the British GT Championship is at Rockingham, Northamptonshire on Sunday 30th April.


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