The Team Bullrun Evora GTC managed to finish first in class and third overall at Lotus’s ‘home’ track, Snetterton. Round 7 of the championship saw sweltering heat which saw several drivers wilting with exhaustion. Bullrun went into the weekend under pressure, with just a single-point lead in the overall championship.
Qualifying was textbook, putting the Evora P1 in class and seventh on the grid. David Green started and pitted for his first stop under a safety car around the one hour mark. This worked out perfectly, and team-mate Martin Byford was able to emerge on the same lap as the leaders. He went long on this second stint, eeking the most out of his tyres and fuel load, before fortune prevailed again and the Evora stopped under a safety car, leaving Martin to finish the race comfortably best in class.
Team rivals Mosler spun out on the final lap, while Bullrun as able to keep a resurgent Ferrari 458 at bay in the closing laps and take its place on the overall podium.
The team enjoys a five point lead going into the final round, at Donington.
David Green: “On what was officially the hottest day of the year, conditions for endurance racing were far from perfect! But a perfect pole, win and fastest lap puts us in a great position going into the last race. I almost feel we can afford the extra 14 kg for air conditioning, the only flaw in what was a faultless performance for the Evora.”(See updated gallery below.)
Images courtesy © Garry Fuller.
Team Bullrun Snetterton
Team Bullrun and their Lotus Evora have wrapped up the Class 3 Championship with two rounds to go. They’re also leading the overall championship, but by a single point so the pressure is firmly on.
After an intense qualifying session on Saturday, they qualified the Evora P2 in class by one hundredth of a second. There may have been a chance to improve the time, but rain towards the end of the session put paid to that. Martin Byford started the race and had a terrific getaway, quickly moving from sixth on the grid to second overall and leading the class after only two laps. At the 45min marker Bullrun stepped up to lead overall before a safety car saw a lot of teams pit early, shuffling the pack. The good fortune gained from the safety car at Oulton Park last time out did not come Bullrun’s way at Brands, and despite pitting under a second safety car the Britcar success penalties cost them an extra 30 seconds in the pits, resulting in them not being able to get out on the same lap before the safety car passed the main straight and closed the pit.
Agonizingly, the team had to sit at the pitlane exit while the whole field streamed through. When they finally got out, they had gone from being nearly one lap up over the opposition to being two laps down. They eventually finished the race fourth in class but with enough points to guarantee the Class Championship and hold onto the overall lead by one point going into the last two rounds.
David Green: “The silver lining is that we lose our success penalty for the next round at Snetterton on the 18th August. Overall, it was an unlucky race for us which has seen our lead in the overall championship diminish. But we have secured the class title, and this is a great achievement. The car was really quick all weekend so we go into the last two rounds with plenty of confidence and a clear goal: to win the championship overall.”
Team Bullrun qualified best in class and fifth overall for Round 5 of the Britcar championship. Having highlighted its wet weather skills in the practice session by beating the field across all classes, the team was a little miffed that race day turned out dry. Nevertheless, the Lotus’s superior fuel consumption came to the fore and Bullrun’s strategy fell perfectly into safety car windows. Despite a rear end shunt from a TVR 45 minutes in, the car held strong and constantly ran in the top four. With 40 minutes to go the Evora slipped through into the overall lead and stayed there to take the chequered flag.
The team dominated their class, set the fastest lap and took the overall win by a clear lap. Team Bullrun now leads the Class 3 championship by 21 points and the overall British Endurance Championship by five points.
Richard Adams: “What a brilliant weekend. We are just starting to get the best out of the car and the team, and the Lotus package we have put together is starting to show it’s perhaps the strongest in the championship. Bring on Brands Hatch in three weeks.”
Team Bullrun’s Lotus Evora GT4 finished second in its class on Saturday at the Snetterton 300, just up the road from Lotus’ headquarters in Norfolk. Martin Byford’s qualifying lap was enough for third on the grid, and team-mate Richard Adams did the first stint of the three hour race. There were six safety car periods during the race, and two were particularly costly for Team Bullrun as they, with third driver David Green, had to unlap themselves twice. Nevertheless, they adapted their strategy and managed to move up a position, scoring the fastest lap along the way, to finish second. The team now leads the championship.
Richard Adams: “Our nearest rivals finished fifth, so this second place is really great news and now we lead the championship, which obviously feels fantastic. It wasn’t an easy race and we lost out twice behind the safety car, having to unlap ourselves. What really got us this result today was the Evora’s excellent fuel consumption. Driving behind the safety car for so many laps meant we were able to take a gamble and pit one time less than we ordinarily would have, and the gamble paid off.”
Team Bullrun’s Evora GT4 crossed the line first in their class at the Donington Park endurance race and is leading the way at the top of the table after the second round.
David Green: “We are delighted with the win at Donington in difficult weather conditions and against strong opposition. The Evora performed very well with the constantly changing levels of grip and gave us added flexibility to adjust our race strategy accordingly. With a quarter of the season already gone we are exactly where we want to be - leading both the Class and Overall Championship."
Claudio Berro, director of Lotus Racing: “A fantastic weekend for Lotus Racing and well done to all the teams involved – the Lotus F1 Team, Lotus GP and Team Bullrun. It’s such a thrill to see a pair of Lotus drivers back on the podium. It’s been 33 years since we’ve had two F1 drivers up there, in their black and gold suits, and we’re all very proud. There’s plenty more to come from Kimi, Romain, and the Lotus E20 so stay tuned. Congratulations to our GP2 drivers, we saw some really spirited racing there. And it’s wonderful to see our Evora GT4 show the rest how it’s done in the Britcar series.”