Alexander West and Jonny Adam moved up to second place in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup standings today after taking two podium finishes at Brands Hatch. The drivers of the #188 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will go into the final Sprint Cup race in Valencia next month with a slim yet mathematical chance to take the title. Garage 59 is also sitting in a strong second place in the overall team and driver Pro-Am championship standings with everything to play for.
Making his Brand Hatch race debut, West started the first of today’s two races from fourth place in the Pro-Am class. He enjoyed a clean run at the famous British circuit before handing over to Adam who brought the Vantage safely to the flag in third place in class.
Adam started Race 2 from second place in Pro-Am and again, had a clean run, avoiding any drama, before handing the car over to West in second place. After making some changes to the car after Race 1, West went out on the attack and kept the position, bringing the #188 Aston Martin home in second place and taking the second trophy of the weekend.
“It’s great that we were able to take two consistent results today,” said Adam. “The car was a good improvement in Race 2 and Alex’s pace was strong. These results have made the Sprint Cup championship fight go down to the final round in Valencia. It was a lot of fun to race for Garage 59 today in front a big home crowd.”
The #159 Aston Martin drivers, Nicolai Kjærgaard and Tuomas Tujula, started Qualifying on the back foot after an off for Tujula in Free Practice damaged the gearbox casing, which also put them out of the Pre-Qualifying session. Limited running meant that they qualified the Silver Cup class Vantage in 11th and 10th places respectively for the two races.
The duo made good progress in Race 1 but a pit-lane speeding penalty put paid to their advances and they finished the opening race in ninth place in class.
Kjærgaard got off to a great start in Race 2, gaining multiple positions on the opening lap. Unfortunately he had to take avoiding action when the Ram Racing Mercedes left the track, which subsequently forced him to pit with radiators full of grass. Tujula jumped in at the half way mark and continued the chase, taking ninth in class at the flag.
“That was a tough weekend for us,” said Tujula. “After our gearbox change early on, we were on the back foot for the rest of the weekend. Even so, our pace was strong especially in the races, we just had some bad luck. Massive thanks to the whole crew for the work they put into this event. I can’t wait to be back in Valencia and I will do everything I can to end the season on a high!”
This is a busy time for the team as the next Endurance Cup race takes place next weekend at the Nürburgring in Germany where the fight for the overall Pro-Am championship will continue. The three-hour race will get underway on Sunday 5 September at 14:45 CEST / 13:45 BST.