With recent bad weather hampering testing Alex Drabble opened his campaign in the Ginetta GT5 Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Weekend with only one day’s dry testing under his belt! Despite this Alex went on to two strong finishes for his team Scuderia Vittoria.
“With no experience of front engined GT driving this opening meeting was always going to be a big learning curve for me,” said Alex “However I have positives to takeaway – I was improving all through the weekend and the racing is close with big grids.”
The usual two days qualifying and racing was condensed into a single day so there was no margin for error and with the limited testing every qualifying lap was going to count.
Qualifying started well for the Aspen Gold sponsored driver from Hampshire and the times were coming down until the last third of the 20 minute session when he was tapped into a spin going in to the second chicane. After a check over in the pits Alex went back out, but with little time left to improve his time, qualified 11th for the first two races.
“Being punted off at that stage really ruined my rhythm,” said Alex. “It was a shame not to break in to the top ten as my theoretical lap based on my sector times would have put me in 7th place on the grid.”
After a chaotic first corner of the first race Alex managed to climb up to 6th where he ran for the majority of the race until a spin on the penultimate lap resulted in a loss of two places to finish 8th.
“It was great to finish in the top ten and obviously better than I qualified. I am however annoyed I went into Island too hot when I had clear road ahead and behind. It’s mistakes like that I need to iron out to become a consistent front runner.”
The second race was a much tighter affair. Alex again made a clean start gaining a place to 10th where he spent half the race hunting down the 4 car pack ahead. Taking a second a lap out of them Alex made his way onto the snake. Once there, there was no clear overtaking opportunities and after the disappointments of the spin in race 1 Alex kept his head and didn’t take any risks. The gap between 6th and 10th across the line was a mere 2.5 seconds.
After having brake problems during race 3 Alex had to retire to the pits.
“I hope to learn a lot from this seasons racing and get on GT teams’ and potential sponsors’ radars. The front runners are, as expected, the drivers who have returned to the championship. However by the time we get to Rockingham 4/5 May I hope to have more testing under my belt and be in a good position to battle with them and be in the running a for top 5 finish.”
You can follow Alex on Twitter (@adrabbleracing) or through his website at www.alexdrabbleracing.com