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Category ArchiveHistoric Racing

My 2018 top 6…… #2

#2 – Creating history winning the FIA Historic Sportscars in a Chevron B8!

The opening round of the FIA Historic Sportscars at the legendary Imola circuit in San Marino! After what seemed like a very long winter, it was awesome to get to Sunny south Europe for some historic racing again! With my partner in crime Graham Wilson, I would share his Chevron B8 in the FIA Sportscar championship race, a 60min pitstop race in the Bonnier class, a mid grid class for 2.0 litre cars of which we would share the circuit with the larger engined Lola T70s and Lola T290s if different classes.

Imola is a super old school circuit, even with the chicanes added in. Very fast and flowing that follows the Italian landscape and has a fantastic flow of long straights, big braking zones into some medium speed corners as well as some faster flowing corners which really ask you to commit on entry! In the Chevron it was a pleasure to drive! Especially along the long start finish straight which flows from left to right and allows you to pick up some big speed before it narrows into Turn1. It made for some big slip streaming!

I hadn’t seen Graham drive this well since I have been driving with him. It was also his first time to the track, but showed his pre season preparation had paid off and he was one of the fastest in his class in both the Chevron and the Cortina he was driving that weekend. This made my job easier as Graham held his own off pole position, at the beginning of the race against some stiff competition before handing over to me at the ½ way point. We had qualified highly already, but with quite a scrappy race, there were a few incidents, mechanical problems, where we benefitted to gain track positions while still maintaining the class lead. The race continued its theme with a few safety cars thrown in as well, meaning that my team had stopped showing place in class on the pitboard but now overall positions! P5, P4, P3 and now chasing down P2 and pressuring them into a mistake gave us P2 overall as we finished the race which we were already over the moon with! Then after the race the leader was excluded for contact leaving us with the win! The first time a Bonnier 2.0 litre, class car had done this!

***Motor Legend Festival Imola 2018, Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy***

An amazing track, a beautiful car, beautiful weather and record breaking result! The perfect start to the year!

Watch my VLOG “Winning Imola FIA Masters Historic Sportscars” on my YouTube channel below:

My 2018 top 6…… #4

Reviewing my 2018 season, I have written up my top 6 highlights of the season for all the cool things I’ve got upto! Make sure you visit back in the final days of December to read up on these highlights! Enjoy!

#4 – Winning the Spa6hrs again!

With the race winning Elan being rebuilt since the last time it was raced at Portimao at the end of the 2017 season, and only having done 2 historic races all year, I was interested to see how we would fair this time in the 6hrs with it being so close last time out.

Shaking the car down on the Thursday the car was quite different to how it had been, quite a bit more understeer than previously, so with Andy Wolfe and I sharing the set up duties, we managed to get a bit more speed out of the car which was comparible to the previous year, but without the set up balance we had last year.

Going into Friday’s qualifying, the tracktime had been moved to later in the evening to allow the Masters Le Mans Legends to have the sunset slot. However this meant our qualifying took place in complete darkness which was pretty crazy! There were obviously a lot of people either not use to or couldn’t drive in the dark meaning there was a huge amount of traffic and some questionable driving standards. After a few more attempts than I would have liked at beating my time from last year, I came up .01 of a second short but with SO much more in the tank. Either way, it was pole position and time to hand back over to my co-drivers Shaun Balfe and Oli Stirling who were doing a great job at jumping into the car and turning consistent and competitive times! A strong line up!

Shaun would start the race and did a fantastic job gapping the rest of the field by running away with the GT40’s that surrounded us on the grid and put us in a fantastic position for the remainder of the race, not having to take huge risks in traffic to maintain the large buffer we had.

I would take the middle dusk to dark stint which I really enjoyed, almost driving 2 different circuits as the light drops away, as mentioned consistent laps and low risk overtakes were the order of the day and that’s exactly what we achieved, with a clean fuel stop in the middle, before handing back over to Oli to finish up in the dark.

The remainder of the race was handed to us further with multiple lengthy safety cars which neutralised any chance our competitors had of catching us, and until the final 20mins the mighty little Elan was running P5 overall, but with the green flag conditions allowing GT40s to save fuel and close the gap on us we would end up P7 overall, matching the best result for the car in the event.

A great event with some amazing cars and people. Defiantly a recommend a trip if you’re into anything like the Goodwood Revivial!

Wilson Elan wins 5th Spa 6hr in epic fashion!

The Graham Wilson Lotus Elan 26R took its 5th Class win of the Spa 6hours in 6years at the hands of veteran Oli Stirling, race debutant Shaun Balfe and now double winner David Pittard! 

The 3 drivers were run faultlessly by the Wolfe Manufacturing team throughout the weekend executing the perfect weekend with class win, pole position, fastest lap and 7th overall only beaten by 6 GT40s. 

The weekend started well with David qualifying the car in P20 overall and P1 in class by a demanding margin which set up the teams intent for the race. With Oli and Car debutant Shaun also setting competitive times throughout the session the team were confident for the race. 

“This is the first time the car has run this year after an extensive rebuild over the winter due to a heavy & successful season in 2017. So a big thanks goes to Simon and the boys at Wolfe Manufacturing for prepping such a reliable and fast car! This was apparent from the very first session of the weekend even in the pitch black we were able to match our qualifying time from last year!” 

Shaun Balfe, 2017 International GT Open champion, would start the race with a fantastic first stint to pull away from the other class competitors enough that when the first safety cars were deployed he was able to pull a half lap lead due to 2 safety cars being used on track. He would hold this lead consistently for the rest of his stint before handing over to David. 

“Shaun took a lot of pressure off me as he’d built such a gap! That way I didn’t have to take big risks in traffic and could push comfortably without taking too much out of the car! The fuel stop worked without a hitch and after that I just concentrated on building as bigger margin for Oli as possible!” 

Another faultless pitstop to hand over to Oli saw the #13 Car with over a laps lead on the competition in P5 overall, as darkness set in over the Belgium circuit. 2 GT40s overtook the Car in the final 20mins as Oli bought the car back to victory! 

“A huge thanks to Graham for the invite to one of the biggest and best historic races on the calendar once again! It was a pleasure sharing Shaun & Oli and a huge thank you to the team as well!” 

Pittard and Wolfe Engineering Elan 26R reunite to defend Spa6hr Title

David Pittard and the Wolfe Engineering Lotus Elan 26R owned by Graham Wilson, will return to one of the historic racing highlights of the year, the Spa 6hrs on September 15th. He will partner again long term driver Olly Stirling and British GT driver and International GT Open champion Shaun Balfe.

On his debut in the race in 2017, David qualified the Elan on class pole position, 17th overall and with the help of co-drivers Graham Wilson and Olly Stirling bought the car home 1st in class and 7th overall in a top class field of the best drivers and car preparers in Europe.

The race that starts at 16:00 Saturday afternoon starts in the daylight and finishes at 22:00 in the darkness, is for pre66 GT cars that attract cars like Ford GT’s, Jaguar E-Types, and AC Cobras and is one of the highlights of the Historic racing calendar 1 week after the Goodwood Revival.

“It’s awesome to have been asked back to the Spa6hr, a huge thank you to Graham for the invite. It was one of the highlights last year, starting the race in the day and going into the evening. Especially in the mighty giant killing Lotus Elan 26R owned by Graham and prepared by Andy Wolfe which has a fantastic pedigree at this event. It is a great shame that Graham has to miss the event this year, but to have such a successful driver like Shaun added to the line-up is very confidence inspiring for the race!”

The Wilson Elan has won the Spa 6hrs 4times in the past 5 years, and the team hope to make it 5wins in 2018.

Podium for Pittard at Chevron 50th Anniversary at the Oulton Park Gold Cup

David returned to the Oulton Park Gold Cup to take a memorable podium in the Chevron B8 50th anniversary race.

Pittard was asked to drive the B8 by owner and regular racer Bristol based David Smithies in the iconic event celebrating the largest model built by the British manufacture in 1968.

The Chevron B8 remains one of the most enduringly popular sports-racing car designs and was one of the most successful projects from talented designer and engineer Derek Bennett, the founder of Chevron.

The cars were built in a former mill in Bolton and were regularly tested and raced at Oulton Park. Over the ensuing half century, the B8 has claimed many victories at the Cheshire track, which is the perfect setting to celebrate this classic design.

A small teething issue limited running in the mixed condition qualifying session on August Bank Holiday Monday at the picturesque Cheshire track, however in the drying conditions, David’s best lap from only 3laps in qualifying placed him P4 on the grid for the 40min pitstop race.

Engineer for the weekend Chris Bailey and Smithies quickly diagnosed the small wiring issue meaning the car was ready again for the race. A rare opportunity of a standing start saw David hold his position going into turn 1, before moving upto 3rd by the end of lap1.

David then quickly chased down and passed 2nd place after 3laps again into the final corner before going after the leader! However David & his BMW powered Chevron didn’t have the pace to catch the FVA engined Chevron of Ex GT racer Andrew Kirkaldy, and even after a super slick pitstop, gaining 4secs on the leader it wasn’t enough to challenge for the lead. A late race safety car bunched the pack up again negating the 15+second lead David had over P3, at the restart, a 2 lap dash for the cash, David hasselled Kirkaldy without finding a way through and on the last lap missed a shift and dropped to P3.

“With the car being rebuilt over the winter, our aim coming into the event was to finish and anything else was a bonus. We were reminded of this with the small issue in qualifying, however it was clear that the car had great pace! So to come away dissapointed with a P3 result shows how competitive the car was and I’m kicking myself for my error on that last lap! It was a great honour to have been asked to race for David and can’t thank him enough for the opportunity! It was great to race such an classic car around such a classic circuit with so much history around the event!”

Pittard returns to the Oulton Park Gold Cup for Chevron 50th Anniversary race

David Pittard will take a break from his BMW M6 GT3 VLN campaign to contest the Chevron B8/B6 50th Anniversary race on August bank holiday weekend at the annual Oulton Park Gold Cup.

David, who raced to considerable success with a Chevron B8 in the Master FIA Historic Sportscar championship in 2017, has been asked by fellow B8 competitor and owner David Smithies to contest his car at the one off event!

The event will bring together a large amount of the iconic 1970’s sportscar’s around the picturesque and undulating International Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire, in a celebration of one of the most successful models Chevron produced. The event will take place on the August Bank Holiday Monday, with a 30min Qualifying & 50min pitstop race.

“It is a real honour to have been asked by David to drive his car in such a prestigious race! So firstly, a huge thank you to him. Having raced against him in the Master series in 2017, he said he was impressed with my pace as well as ability to bring the car back with minimumal wear and tear to it, which is great feedback for me to hear. I want to repay his faith in me with a win and crown his car as the winner of the 50th anniversary race! I love Oulton’s old school nature so to race the circuit in a 1970’s Chevron will be like stepping back in time! Tally ho!”

Pittard ready to tackle the Green Hell with Walkenhorst M6 GT3

26 year old David Pittard has signed with Walkenhorst Motorsport to pilot the Total Lubricants BMW M6 GT3 for the remaining 5 VLN races for 2018 as part of a 3year plan to compete in the VLN.

The Autoglym, XPEL, VBOX brand ambassador follows his success in Ginetta GT4 Supercup and British GT championships with a career changing opportunity to race at the 14 mile long world famous Nurburgring Nordschlife in Germany.

After discussions with, among others Andy Wolfe and Graham Wilson, with whom David had raced very successfully in Historics during 2017, David decided to go for the big step of both GT3 and The Green Hell of the Nurburgring Nordschleife! David acknowledged: “With the help of Graham’s law firm in Luxembourg I was able to make the contacts necessary to get me on track.”

Having completed the Nordschlife A Permit at VLN3, with Walkenhorst with a P4 in class in the highly competitive Cup5 BMW M235i Racing Cup, David now looks to this huge opportunity in his career to compete against factory supported teams and drivers.

“This is my big opportunity in my career. I’m ready to sink or swim. I’ve always won in anything I’ve driven straight away, never needing time to learn. I’m not under the impression I will do that here as quick as previous championship, but I believe I have the ability to mix with respected factory drivers and work with factory engineers. I can’t thank the people behind this opportunity that are helping make it happen, and am determined to repay their faith”

VLN4 kicks off 07/07 with a 4 hour race, David will be sharing with Walkenhorst regular young guns Alex Lambertz & Immanuel Vinke who combined have great knowledge of the M6 GT3 in The Blancpain Endurance Series and racing VLN on the Nordschlife.

“The whole team is excited with this combination. The team has many year experience competing at the Ring, the car is a proven winner around the Nordschlife, and we have 3 hungry young drivers all wanting a shot at the big boys.
I’m only here for professional & factory contracts which is at the end of our 3 year plan. If that happens sooner, then great!”

For more information on:
Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring (VLN) Championship- vln.de
Walkenhorst Motorsport – walkenhorst-motorsport.de
Walkenhorst Group – walkenhorst-gruppe.de
Total Racing – totalspecialties.com
BMW Motorsport M6 GT3 – bmw-motorsport.com/en/topics/season-2018/fahrzeuge/bmw-m6-gt3.html

W2R Motorsport enjoy success in opening championship rounds!

W2R Motorsport have enjoyed multiple success’ in the opening rounds of the Ginetta GT5, G40 Cup & GRDC championships in 2018.

W2R Drivers Adrian Cambell-Smith, Rob Keogh, Jimmy Thomson, Jack Oliphant, Paul Oliphant, Want2Race winner James Crawshaw & Want2Race runner up Stephen Docker have all tasted the champagne this season!

Cambell-Smith continues his multi-year duel with rival Richard Evans in the GT5 Challenge Championship, notching up multiple class wins!
Keogh, Oliphant X2, Thomson have all notched up podiums at every round so far in the championship with Keogh and Oliphant Jnr firmly in the hunt for the G40 Cup title!
Crawshaw and Docker continue their duel from the Want2Race competition from which they were winner and runner up in the 2017 comp have locked out the top 2 positions in every race so far this season! Solidifying the choices that David and W2R team manager picked the best drivers in the competition for the final!

David, an ARDS A driver coach of 7years has been present and almost every test and race meeting the team have taken part in, coaching both, in car, using data to extract the most amount of speed from the drivers and turn that speed into trophies!

“It’s a pleasure to work with Ben and W2R Motorsport, he does things properly and has built a great team and working environment all focused on fun and going fast! I’m looking forward to the final few rounds of the championship ahead to see the drivers develop even more!”

Wilson & Pittard make history as overall FIA Historic Sportscar winners at legendary Imola!

Luxemborg racer Graham Wilson and British co-driver David Pittard made history at the legendary Imola circuit last weekend by winning the FIA Historic Sportscar race overall in Wilson’s slower Bonnier class Chevron B8, a feat that has never been achieved before.

Wilson’s Chevron is by no means a slow car, however the 220bhp car is no match for the 600bhp+ Lola T70 monsters that share the grid, abet racing in a separate class, especially at a fast circuit like Imola!

Wilson started the weekend quickly re acquainting himself with the Chevron and learning the new circuit, guided by ARDS A driver coach David, and aided by the VBOX HD2 system installed into Wilson’s Chevron.

“Imola is a fantastic circuit, steeped in history, for good and bad, but a proper old school classic circuit, and in April it was nice to have to 20degree plus heat! The Bonnier class was well supported this year with both new cars and old cars coming out to race which made the weekend great! Graham drove fantastic in qualifying, probably the best I have seen him drive ever and his time was good enough for P2 in class which made us strong for the race!”

David put the Chevron on pole in class and 6th overall on the first FIA Historic Sportscar grid of the year to contest the 60min race. Wilson would start the race and would hold the class lead for the majority of his 30min stint, only loosing the lead after a small off track excursion before regaining the lead a lap later just as the safety car would be deployed.

Graham handed over to David in class lead, so David kept up his blistering pace from qualifying to chase down the cars ahead for overall position. In a messy 2nd ½ of the race, David mainly avoided accidents to slowly climb the overall order eventually finishing P2 overall and P1 in class! An already awesome achievement!

“Graham drove a great 1st stint and carried on his fantastic pace from qualifying. Just 1 small mistake but he put that right very quickly. In my stint it was chaos, you could tell it was everyones 1st race back in a while, with lots of mistakes! So I kept my nose clean and picked up the pieces to bring it home for a fantastic result to start the year with!”

Later in the evening, it was announced that the overall winners had been excluded from the results, promoting the Wilson/Pittard pairing to the overall win! Something that hasn’t been achieved before!

This was the pairings only confirmed outing of the 2018 so far. Watch this space for further developments!

Pittard forced out of British GT return!

David Pittard will not return to the British GT championship this year due to lack of time to confirm sponsorship funding for the 2018 Season.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I must make this announcement, however when you are at the mercy of other people and their commitments and priorities there is little more I could do.

I would like to thank everyone that supported me during our crowd funding campaign, however there was too big gap to bridge in the short amount of time that we had.

I also want to thank Nathan from Century for all the help and support that he’s given over the winter to try and put this deal together, we came so close! I wish him all the best for the year ahead and look forward to seeing how the M4s run this year in British GT”

David will compete at the opening round of the FIA Historic Sportscar championship at Imola in 3weeks time with 2017 co-driver and car owner Graham Wilson.

Hear David’s thoughts on his YouTube Channel here:

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