Promising pace for GKR in Silverstone test

Promising pace for GKR in Silverstone test

The GKR team enjoyed a promising day on track at Silverstone as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season kicked off with the annual season launch.

The multi award-winning, Essex-based motor dealership was able to give a public debut to its new look Audi S3s during the event, featuring a stylish livery representing new title sponsor GKR Scaffolding and second-year supporters Oodle Car finance.

The launch event provided drivers Bobby Thompson and James Gornall with their only opportunity to measure themselves up with the rest of the field in an official test, with all 29 cars due to contest the 29 season taking to the track around Silverstone’s International layout; which will be appearing on the calendar for the first time later this year.

The opening three hour session in the morning saw James make like of his status as the only rookie driver on the grid to set the sixth best time; his fastest times coming in a late flurry as he completed an impressive 63 laps.

Bobby’s morning running was hampered by a differential issue on the sister car, and with his transponder not recording all timed laps, he would end up classified 26th on the times.

A busy afternoon for both drivers saw the two Audis complete a combined total of more than 90 laps, with Bobby going a second quicker than he had done in the morning en-route to the 14th best time – albeit just three tenths of a second off the top six.

A series of set-up changes for James didn’t work as expected and meant he ended up just behind Bobby on the times, with a best lap slightly slower than he had managed in the morning session.

On the overall times across the day, eleventh for James and 15th for Bobby marked a positive result from the test, with the team now looking forward to the start of racing, which is currently scheduled for early May after the ongoing coronavirus pandemic led to the series postponing the first three rounds of the season.

Bobby Thompson, #19 GKR Audi S3, said:
“I’m over the moon with the way the day went. We didn’t get much running during the morning because of a differential issue, but the afternoon went really well. The lap time was good but I know it could have been better as there is still time to come from me.

“On my qualifying run, I made a mistake at turn one that cost me a few tenths and without that, we’d have right up in the top six or eight. However, that’s how it goes sometimes and it’s better to come away knowing that we still have more to come.

“The team has done a great job with the car and I’m confident about our chances when racing gets underway.”

James Gornall, #180 GKR Audi S3, said:
“It was a bit of an up and down day as we made some changes over the course of the day that didn’t quite have the impact we hoped they would, but that is what testing is all about. I’m still learning the car but I’m pleased with how the morning session went and I think we could also have gone a little bit quicker, which is really positive.

“For me, it’s good to have had the chance to line up against the rest of the field as my only running so far has been when there has only been one or two other cars on track. It was interesting to see what other people were doing and seeing how other cars were performing and I’m really excited to now getting going whenever that may be.”