2007 Season Opener on Easter Weekend

2007 Season Opener on Easter Weekend

This weekend (7-9 April) sees the 2007 British GT Championship get underway at Oulton Park in Cheshire with Ben having made good progress in his pre season test programme.

Following a brief outing in Paul Drayson's car at Paul Ricard in February Ben and the team have tested twice at Silverstone in April and more recently at Snetteron last Friday. Each of these days were seen as an opportunity for Ben to gain some valuable time behind the wheel of the 550bhp DBRS9 which is a big step away from the lightweight Caterham he has been racing for the past 2 seasons. “The main changes I have had to get used to are the different perspective you feel when in an enclosed cockpit against the openness of the Caterham, and the effect of the aerodynamic package through the highspeed downforce corners” said Ben. ”Now that I have completed nearly 200 laps in the car I am becoming more comfortable with the handling characteristics”.

With Guy Harrington, Ben's team mate for 2007 as well as his main rival from last season's Caterham Eurocup, having spent a few days in the car prior to Ben signing with Barwell, the main objective in pre season testing has been to get up to speed with how Guy's has progressed, as the strength they are hoping to capitalise on is the comparable closeness of their lap times. In the first test at Silverstone Ben was losing time in the highspeed corners where downforce plays a big part in corner speeds and by the second time they were out together that margin had been closed slightly.

The third test, however, saw the most improvement and consistency with Ben just stealing the quickest time from Guy by the end of the day. Both drivers felt that the final test had gone well and are confident for a good result at the first meeting.

Oulton Park is not renowned for its high speed corners but rather for its twists and turns and changes of camber on a narrow track which will all make for interesting race between the large GT cars in this championship. Qualifying is at 1345 on Saturday followed by Race 1 at 1720 the same day with Race 2 at 1400 on Easter Monday.

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