Generation AMR Macmillan Racing battles to its first finish in the British GT Championship at Rockingham.
After the crashing disappointment of Brands Hatch, drivers Jack Mitchell and Matty Graham brought delight to Generation AMR Macmillan Racing by wrestling the no. 42 Aston Martin to the squad’s first-ever race finish, at Rockingham Motor Speedway, this afternoon, despite power-steering failure early in the race.
British GT Championship, Round 2 - 2 hours, Sunday 24 April
Aston Martin Racing and the Generation AMR Macmillan Racing team had rebuilt their wrecked machine into a new brand chassis and fitted a new engine in a superhuman six days, to ensure the no. 42 would make the race at Rockingham.
With no time for testing or a shakedown run, Free Practice was used to iron out some minor new-car niggles, as they also tried to find a good race set-up - focusing on Sunday’s two-hour enduro, rather than Saturday’s qualifying runs.
Jack Mitchell was denied the chance to drive when the car was involved in a major accident in the first stint of the season-opener two weeks ago, but the youngster from Kent took the rolling start to Round 2.
“That was a real eye-opener. having only done standing starts before,” said Jack. “Very different… and a lot more spread out than I’d expected. I managed to pick up one place in the first corner and another shortly afterwards, latching onto the battle for 4th. I was really starting to enjoy myself when the steering started kicking in corners, getting heavier and heavier.
“It was clear the steering was starting to pack up but I knew I had to get the car into the fuel window, before pitting, so there was no option but to get on with it.”
Jack hauled the car into the pits after 55 minutes of the 2-hour race, just inside the Aston Martin Vantage V8’s fuel window.
“When I opened the door and pulled Jack out, he was bright red and bathed in sweat,” said Matty Graham “and I thought ‘this is going to be a fun hour and five minutes’…”
”To begin with, the assistance was clicking in occasionally – you’d be wrestling it around a corner, really hanging on, then it would come back in, kicking the car into a big slide. But then it went altogether, which was at least more predictable. Every time I was coming towards the pits, I’d go ‘just one more lap’ and somehow we made it to the flag. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired.”
UPDATE: Following post-race penalties for two rival GT4 cars, the no 42 machine’s finishing position was improved to 6th.