Media Release: FW Motorsport Starts Debut Season With Fifth At Brands
Brands Hatch, Kent – Sunday 31 March, 2013; FW Motorsport, the new sportscar team founded by Fergus Walkinshaw, underlined its Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup potential with a fifth place finish in round three of the series opening race weekend at Brands Hatch, Kent, on Easter Sunday.
The fledgling team battled with extremely cold conditions and snow flurries throughout its debut race weekend at the premier Kent circuit, yet a faultless performance delivered three points-paying finishes to aid Walkinshaw’s championship campaign.
FW Motorsport made a positive impression from the first qualifying session, Walkinshaw topping the timesheets within just four laps of the 1.2-mile Indy circuit. The Chipping Norton driver’s progress, however, was called short when a blue-flagged car turned in and made contact with the Scotsman entering Graham Hill Bend with 10 minutes remaining.
Despite a good start from the fifth row for the first GT Supercup showdown of the season, Walkinshaw was unable to properly challenge for a top six finish due to fuel pump failure, yet the 21 year-old still managed to salvage 12th overall.
With the second Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup race of the weekend also taking place on Saturday afternoon, the Oxfordshire outfit was afforded little more than an hour to change the fuel pump and wiring.
An outstanding effort by the FW Motorsport crew ensured Walkinshaw was unleashed to make a storming start from 12th on the grid, propelling the FW Motorsport Ginetta G55 up to sixth by the end of lap one. The new team owner/driver ran as high as fifth before slotting back into sixth spot ahead of the brief safety car period on lap six.
Holding sixth at the restart, Walkinshaw continued to battle at the forefront of the field until halfway through the 24-lap feature race. Forced to make a quick call to change to wet tyres on a dry set-up just minutes before the race, he began to struggle on the drying track but did well to hold on to 10th in class.
Race three on Sunday saw a repeat performance from the Oxford Brookes University Automotive Engineering Student, currently undertaking his year in industry at Ginetta Cars. Another awesome start, this time from 11th on the grid, saw Walkinshaw emerge from Paddock Hill Bend and head to Druids in ninth place.
He went on to take James Birch at Clearways to complete lap one in seventh spot, and picked up two further places prior to the full course yellow on lap four. With the stricken cars of Carl Breeze and Jamie Orton removed from Clearways, racing resumed on lap seven.
In another blinding re-start, Walkinshaw honed in on Saturday’s round two winner, Pepe Massot, to take fifth spot at Surtees on lap seven. Pulling one second clear barely two laps later, the 2012 series podium winner continued turn-perfect and remained unchallenged to secure his third point-scoring finish of the weekend.
Walkinshaw commented: “Overall it’s been a positive race debut for the FW Motorsport team. Months and months of hard work got us here to the opening season rounds and I’m really pleased with the way all the guys have gelled together already.
“We showed some of our potential pace in qualifying, but naturally the fuel pump failure set us back a lot yesterday. The team did a fantastic job to get the tank and wiring changed ready for race two. It was just unfortunate, due to the snow showers, that we had to opt for wet tyres three minutes before the start and we just couldn’t hold that pace on the drying track towards the end of the race.
“I’m delighted with today’s fifth place finish. The car felt great and I was able to push and work my way back through the field to finish our first race weekend on a high.”
FW Motorsport Press Office
Emma Spearing: +44 (0)7736 341828 | email@example.com