Good Points Haul from Paul Ricard

Jack Manchester was, once again, joined by his teammates Nico Bastian and Jules Szymkowiak as they took on Paul Ricard for the third round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Championship. They scored some good points for the championship, managing to claim 6th in class at the chequered flag after a technical issue put them on the back foot for qualifying.

The weekend started strong, with the Team Thunderhead trio ending the practice session fastest in class. When it came to qualifying, a brake problem prevented the team from getting the full potential out of the car, leading to a difficult session. With the combination of their issue and traffic on the 5.842 km circuit, the #90 could get no higher than 36th overall, P8 in class.

Jack took the green flag for his first six-hour race and had fantastic progress off the line. He had a great start, making up places in the field as the cars began to loop round the twisting tarmac. Unfortunately his great start was brought to a premature end when he was hit by a spinning Ferrari. Jack tried to avoid the incident, but the out of control Ferrari travelled across the track and collected the Team Thunderhead car.

Jack managed to get the car back to the pits where the front-end damage was repaired by the team. The AKKA ASP Team crew did a stellar job in getting the car back onto the track. With quite heavy damage on the front of the car, it was a testament to the team that Jack only lost 4 laps on the field due to repairs.

The race quickly became one of damage limitation as the trio battled hard to make up as many positions as possible. Jack ran two stints in the car, starting the race and handing over to Jules before getting back in the car ahead of Nico, who took the chequered flag. After a hard fought race, the Team Thunderhead Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished 27th overall, taking sixth in class. Jack Manchester said: 

We learned a lot at Paul Ricard and that should put us in a good position looking ahead to the main endurance round coming up [24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps]. The team did a mega job this weekend to keep us racing and we did well to finish the race in a good position.

"It was a shame because I had such a good start off the line we could have ended really strong. Wish we could have come away with more points but now we look ahead to putting what we’ve learnt into action.”

After having races every fortnight, the Blancpain Championship takes a short break before it heads to Misano for the third round of the Sprint Cup. Jack and Nico will battle hard to retain their class championship lead in the Sprint Cup and push to secure their first class victory.

Championship Standings
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Silver Cup - 7th (24 points)
Blancpain GT Series Overall Silver Cup - 1st (69 points)

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