Spin costs Team Viking potential podium
The racing incident marred an otherwise solid season opener for Team Viking at Brands Hatch
The first race of the 2019 season was full of positives for Team Viking, but a spin in the second stint cost the team dearly in what could have been their strongest start to a season so far.
After undertaking repairs on three cracks on the car’s chassis during the offseason, and lapping 0.75s faster than previously at preseason testing, confidence was high as drivers Mark Holme and Nick Nunn arrived at Brands Hatch, fully prepped and in fighting form.
Friday’s testing session proved to be hugely successful as Holme and Nunn charged their way to a place amongst the top of the timesheets. In qualifying, only two professional teams could outperform the Team Viking drivers as they took a third place finish.
But despite some promising pace ahead of race day, Nunn and Holme were handed a huge setback after being drawn 24th out of 26 on the grid, giving them little chance of making up time and positions. “Brands Indy circuit has 56-57s laps, and to try and pick up pace that far back is difficult,” explained Holme.
Up for the challenge and primed for a podium, both drivers picked up where they left off from the 2018 season, as Holme charged away, moving them up from 24th to 11th in his first stint.
Nunn took the wheel for the second stint and was maintaining pace, but disaster struck when Apollo Motorsport’s engine blew up at Paddock Hill, spilling some barely-visible fluid on the track. As Nunn approached the 100mph corner, he caught the fluid with his back wheel and spun. Unable to catch the car, Nunn was effectively rendered powerless as his car found its way into the gravel trap.
The trap at Paddock Hill is deep and unforgiving, leaving Nunn stranded and waiting to be recovered, ultimately costing the team eight laps. But despite such a monumental setback, and testament to their racing strategy, pit stops times and driving skill, the team drove Car 110 aggressively back up the standings, finally passing the chequered flag in 13th place.
“We can take away a lot of positives from this race,” said Team Manager Holme. “The drivers were quick, the car is spot on, we had the fastest pit stops out of any team, and our race strategy worked perfectly. If it wasn’t for us losing all that time waiting to be recovered we would have definitely been on for a podium finish,” he concluded.
Team Viking’s next race takes place at Oulton Park on Saturday 13 April.
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