October 1999 - Autumn Gold Cup Silverstone
was invited to contest the last round of the Privilige GT Championship
in the Marcos Mantis Class on behalf of Brookspeed Racing.
It all happened at the very last minute and although it is a two driver
race it was decided Justin would drive the complete 50 minute race on
is no problem with this, the only down side is the mandatory timed mid
race stop, if there are two competitors racing the driver change is
undertaken as fast as possible. If one driver is to compete the whole
race a mandatory 45 second stop is imposed regardless, this eliminates
any advantage gained by a team using one fast driver. This meant that
things would need to go well if Justin was to have any chance of winning,
he would need to build up a serious advantage by mid distance.
Having not driven since July, only one hours testing on Friday afternoon
was not a great deal of time to get re-aquainted with the car, and get
up to race speed.
But as they say, if you can drive, you can drive and qualifying went
Justin put the car on pole.
The start went well and Justin steadily pulled away from the rest of
the class and by almost half distance had created a 10 second lead.
We knew that to win he need at least a 12 second margin by the time
he came in for his stop, as the race progressed everything was working
to plan, and then disaster.
Coming through the complex Justin felt the steering shudder and the
brake pedal went almost to the floor.
He came into the pits, early, and at this point obviously no one knew
Justin explained the problem and started to go through the stop procedure.
Out of the car, both feet on the ground, take a drink, back in the car,
belts on, and wait until the pit marshal flagged him away.
Unfortunely it was not to be, the Team discovered the problem, a broken
front nearside hub.
Justin climbed from the car and shrugged his shoulders, "That's
racing," he said, but the dissapointment was clearly evident.
The whole Team was devastated.
After studying the time sheets from race control the lap times showed
certain victory had just been snatched from his grasp.
But in motor racing as in many things nothing is ever certain.