After a positive start to the opening round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, Triple Eight Race Engineering has been left with no decision but to withdraw the #8 entry of Joe Osborne and Lee Mowle.
The incident, a relatively innocuous off at the Foulstons Chicane, occurred right at the end of the second 60-minute free practice session with Lee Mowle in the car. The accident was made worse by the fact the Trackspeed Porsche that had hit the barrier there earlier in the session, hadn’t been moved and a heavy impact for the Triple Eight-run BMW followed.
“Due to extensive damage caused in a freak accident with the #12 Trackspeed Porsche, we won’t be racing on Monday,” said Lee after the accident.
“I got the right rear on the grass as I approached the braking zone, and the back just snapped round and swapped ends on me. As the Porsche had been left sitting at the corner, I had nowhere to go and I literally went into the front of it with the passenger side door. It’s destroyed the roll cage, so there is no chance of us getting out on Monday. Even if we did, we’d be starting right at the back of a 34 car grid on a track that is notoriously difficult to overtake on in these big GT3s. It’s a massive shame as Joe was quickest in the session and I was about to improve on my previous lap; all this on a circuit that is probably our weakest. We’ll get the car back to the factory and assess the damage, but we will be at Rockingham in a fortnight and look to get a good haul of points with both cars.”
Lee’s team-mate Joe Osborne was quickest of anyone at the end of FP2, in a field that included the new BMW factory driver, Alexander Sims.
The #888 car of Luke Hines and Derek Johnston will take part in Monday’s pair of 60-minute sprint races, with Derek qualifying fifth for race one and Luke qualifying tenth after a red flag halted the second session early.
Coverage of the first weekend of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship from Oulton Park will be available on Channel 4 on Saturday 26th April at 7am, with further coverage on Motors TV and BT Sport.