An Unlucky Silverstone Weekend

The #90 team looked like they were set to have a strong weekend at Jack Manchester’s second home race in Silverstone, but it turned into the toughest of the year after an engine issue and a tyre blowout saw the team unable to finish the race.

Jack, along with teammates Nico Bastian and Jules Szymkowiak, enjoyed two productive practice sessions on Saturday finishing fastest in class. Jack was feeling positive, looking forward to the upcoming qualifying session.  This confidence transferred to Sunday’s qualifying with Jack setting a lap time to help the team secure second in class, 17th overall.

Even after being handed a five-place grid drop for speeding in the pit lane, the team were still in a positive position for the race, holding onto second in class but starting 22nd on the overall grid.

It was at this point the weekend started to slip away. In the break between qualifying and the race it was discovered that there was damage to the engine and the team had to change to the spare car if they were to participate in the race. The AKKA ASP Team mechanics did an incredible job to get the spare car ready to race just before they had to line up on the grid.

The team opted to start from the back of the grid and take a stop/go penalty rather than starting from the pit lane, leaving them with some time to make up to catch the back of the grid. Jack had a good start, making up a couple of places quickly, and continued to drive well as he set about his recovery drive, hoping to get into a good position to hand the car over to Jules.

He was just two laps into his race, having just pitted to serve the team’s stop/go penalty, when disaster struck. The rear left tyre blew out, throwing Jack into a spin which ended in putting the car out of the race. The tyre failure was completely out of Jack’s hands and he became a passenger as the car took a hard and high-speed hit into the tyre barrier. Jack was a little shaken by the crash but fortunately uninjured.

After a hard weekend, Jack Manchester said: “It was a shame the weekend ended the way it did as the car had showed a lot of promise in practice. Silverstone was a strong track for us, with the team and I doing a great job in qualifying, so it’s disappointing to walk away with no points. A complete tyre failure is rare and unpredictable and there was nothing I could do, but that’s racing and another new experience for me to learn from. We’ll put this race behind us and are already fully focussed on getting prepared for the next race.”

Jules and Nico both stay in the car for the next race, with the team hoping for a more successful weekend at Paul Ricard for the third Endurance round. This race marks Jack’s first 6-hour race, which will present a different challenge to what he has experienced before. He will concentrate a lot on endurance training in the next two weeks to be fully prepared for the longest race of his career to date.

Championship Standings
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Silver Cup - 5th (15 points)
Blancpain GT Series Overall Silver Cup - 1st (60 points)

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