Team LNT drove home a significant result in the British GT at Silverstone this weekend, as the Ginetta G55 GT3 car of Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson and Factory Driver Mike Simpson crossed the finish line in overall fourth as the flag dropped on the three hour endurance race.
Starting from the third row of the grid after qualifying sixth out of 29 cars, 2006 Le Mans winner Lawrence Tomlinson was behind the wheel for the race start, and propelled the 4.35 V8 engined power plant up into third place before the end of the first hour.
As Team LNT completed the first of three compulsory pit stops, a cracking stint by Tomlinson saw him hand over driving duties to Simpson from overall second place, and as the race passed the halfway point, Simpson set a new personal best of the race - running just 1.7 seconds behind the leader – before he took the overall race lead as we approached the second allocated pit stop.
With one hour left on the clock and Tomlinson back in the driving seat, Team LNT emerged from their stop in overall third position, until they were handed a harsh five second penalty for exceeding the track limits.
Despite making their final stop from the lead position, the closing thirty minute stint proved key if Team LNT were to finish on the podium, and as Simpson left the pit lane for the final attack, he found himself 1.2 seconds behind the third placed car on track, but with 6.2 seconds to make up overall due to their earlier time penalty.
Although the cars were only separated by the smallest of margins as the final 10 minutes counted down, Simpson was forced to settle for overall fourth place rather than risk a move on a car fighting for championship points and crossed the line an impressive 42.4 seconds behind the overall race winner.
Tomlinson said; “Fourth place overall from a grid of 27 cars isn’t bad for Team LNT’s first time out in the 2012 British GT series. In coming to Silverstone, Team LNT have proven the G55 GT3 car is highly competitive and a rival for any marque in the GT3 category – which was our long-term goal for the weekend.”
Simpson added; “We achieved exactly what we wanted to do here this weekend, in showing that the Ginetta G55 GT3 is capable of holding its own on such a highly competitive grid. Team LNT did an exceptional job of prepping the car and we had the slickest of all pit stops, and we leave here having demonstrated the potential of the GT3 in this highly regarded race series and looking forward to returning in two weeks for the Britcar 24 hour.”
Team LNT now have a fortnight to prepare the car once again before they return to Silverstone for the famous Britcar 24 hour race, which will see Tomlinson and Simpson joined by Le Mans winning drivers Tom Kimber-Smith and Richard Dean as the foursome have their eyes firmly on the silverware.
Take a look at photos from the weekend here.