11 JUN 2012
DOUBLE PODIUM AT ROCKINGHAM FOR SIMMS Gary Simms made a great step forward in his bid for the Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge Title this year, with pole position, a race win, and a 2nd place finish.

The Leasedrive- backed racer was very much the pace setter over the weekend in his Optimum Motorsport prepared Ginetta GT5 car. “This weekend has provided us with a lot of positives. The pace was there from the start in Friday practice, and the car felt incredible in the wet, where we were comfortably quickest. Optimum Motorsport are a very experienced team, so set-up issues between myself and our Race Engineers are always dialled out very quickly.
Qualifying on Saturday however was dry, so a bit of an unknown quantity after the wet test on Friday, but again we were fast, taking the pole by 0.1 of a second, but these margins are usual in a series this competitive.

Race 1 on Saturday afternoon was as any racer plans it, a ‘’lights to flag victory’, I received a strong challenge for the lead at turns 1 & 2 but was able to defend this successfully, then comfortably lead the race for victory. 

Race 2 on Sunday morning however was a great deal harder! My competitors were somewhat more determined to pass it seemed, and by the half way mark, I had slipped back to 5th position. I managed to fight my way back thorough however with some determined driving and a bit of lady luck, finding myself in 2nd position on the final lap! The leader was too far ahead to be caught, but I’m happy with another strong showing.

Race 3 was very difficult from the outset. Again my competitors were able to take advantage of Rockingham’s massive ‘slip-stream’ effect into turn 2, where I dropped back to 5th place. Again I re-grouped and fought back up to 3rd position, and began to catch the second place driver at over a second a lap. I then experienced some braking issues caused by Rockingham’s unusually high demand on brakes, and unfortunately they failed on the final lap, and I coasted the car home in 9th place overall.

A slightly disappointing end, but I’m not letting overshadow what has been a fantastic weekend’s racing. We have had representatives from Leasedrive here this weekend, enjoying the winning celebrations with the team, and enjoying our hospitality, and fantastic progress has been made on track too. 

Next stop is Brands Hatch in just two weeks time, where again we will be joined by Leasedrive and guests. It’s a fantastic venue, the most iconic on the calendar perhaps, Motorsport Vision do a brilliant job at all of their circuits, and I’m looking forward to another successful weekend very much!”

Article provided by Gary Simms