GT4 SERIES EUROPEAN NORTHERN CUP
15-16 July 2017
5.9km / 3.6 miles
After such a successful weekend with our podium finish at Austria, the team arrived at Slovakiaring motivated and raring to go.
During both free practice sessions, the team tried various setup options for the new track to gather data for the race engineers. This meant that the #33 Bullitt Racing McLaren 570S GT4 finished FP1 P17 and FP2 P9.
Q1 started at 10:15 am local time and Stephen was straight out of the garage and onto the track. He put in some very impressive times, much faster than expected by the Bullitt Racing engineers, which was fantastic to see.
However, on the last flying lap, there appeared to be a problem with the car which frustratingly caused a spin just two minutes prior to the end of the session. This brought out the red flag and ended his run and session.
The car was brought back to the pits but due to the quick turnaround between Q1 and Q2, the #33 was unable to be repaired.
This meant that Andy was unable to set a time for the Pro Qualifying and will start at the back of the grid.
“The weekend started well during the practice sessions, we found some setup changes that helped improve the handling of the car and ultimately the lap times.
“Qualifying was frustrating for me but it’s all up for grabs now as the KTMs have been disqualified due to a technical infringement. They will be starting at the back of the grid.
“I’m looking forward to progressing through the grid tomorrow in race one.”
“The improvements we made to the car through both the practice sessions is really encouraging. We are starting P16 for today’s race and I’m sure we have a good car to go forward”.
Race one started at 5:30pm local time. The Bullitt Racing #33 McLaren 570S GT4 lined up on the grid in P16 after the issues in qualifying.
The lights went green and Stephen made a fantastic start to the race. Within just a few laps on the track, he was up two places!
However, for reasons yet unknown at this stage, the McLaren went into ‘limp home’ mode, reacting just like the technical issues that seemed to plague the race weekend at Brands Hatch.
Stephen rapidly pulled over and restarted the car on the side of the race track and then rejoined the race. The #33 McLaren seemed to be fine, but then after just a few laps, Stephen had to stop and restart the car once again.
At this point, the pit window opened and Stephen boxed. He handed over to Andy who rejoined the race, now 3 laps behind and in last place.
By pure luck, Andy had an issue free stint and was able to make up a couple of places for the Bullitt team, he drove extremely well and nursed the car home to the finish line.
The Bullitt engineers are working hard to trace the cause of the the issues in preparation for the next race.
Race two starts tomorrow at 11:05am.
Andy was in the car for the first stint, he started race 2 at the back of the grid due to being unable to qualify after technical issues that plagued qualifying.
Within the first lap, Andy managed to get the Bullitt Racing #33 McLaren 570S up to P16, however, the race was quickly neutralised due to the deployment of the safety car after a collision at turn one.
After the restart, Andy continued his hugely impressive drive and quickly made his way all the way up to P3 in class!
The pit stops arrived and Andy handed over to Stephen who quickly rejoined the track after an impressive pit stop.
Stephen continued Andy’s good work however out of nowhere he was collected by a Porsche and the collision sent the Bullitt Racing #33 McLaren off the track. Due to damage Stephen was unable to rejoin the track ending a frustrating weekend for the team.
Andy Meyrick said:
“It was a weekend of learning and progress for us. The track was not ideally suited to our car but despite this, I was very pleased with my stint climbing to third in class from the back of the grid.
“Stephen put on a great performance behind the wheel too, I’m proud and thankful to the team despite all the issues we faced, the car was competitive too.
“I can’t wait for the next race at Zandvoort on 19th-20th August”.