Having secured a solid finish in seventh at the last round in Rockingham, Aleksander Schjerpen was hoping to make a return to the podium in Silverstone for the Championship’s longest race of the year.
A pre-event test at Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit, left the Norwegian feeling very confident coming into the weekend along with British teammate, James Birch.
Saturday’s free practice running got off to a good start for the team. Both drivers really benefitting from the pre-event test, getting their Century Motorsport run Ginetta G55 suited to the conditions early in the session.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race was, like Rockingham, decided based on the combination of both drivers’ fastest times from qualifying. At the end of the session, Aleksander and James placed their car in tenth place on a 17 car GT4 field.
Sunday’s race got off to a superb start with Aleksander getting the race under way for Century Motorsport. By lap eight, the Garage15.no supported driver had climbed five places just before the first Safety car period of the weekend. A quick call from the team brought Schjerpen into the pits for their first driver change of the weekend. With the Safety Car continuing to circulate on circuit, the team quickly started to evaluate a move to slick tyres. Some nine laps later, a last minute call from the pitwall placed Aleksander back in the car, this time on slick tyres. Now in the running for the class lead based on pitstop strategies, Schjerpen was set to suffer some cruel luck as contact with a back marker sent him into the pits to replace a front right puncture.
Aleksander returned to the circuit in 11th to complete his stint before handing the car over to James Birch to complete the race. After a brief stop to repair his damaged bonnet, Birch climbed back up to fifth, but heavy contact from another car in the closing stages of the race meant he would take the #43 Ginetta G55 home in eighth position.
Aleksander Schjerpen – #43 Ginetta G55 GT4:
“We came to Silverstone pretty well prepared so we had high hopes at the beginning of the weekend. It was a bit of a struggle with the weather to find the right setup. We qualified 10th in the middle of the pack which was Ok. I was starting the race and had a really good start. We were running fifth at the end of my stint when I went into the pits during the Safety Car. James did a short stint then during the safety car before I went back out on slicks just before the race went green again. Unfortunately I touched with another car when I was passing a back marker that destroyed the rest of the race for us. We were running for a podium but I had to go into the pits to fix the bonnet and the puncture. It was a shame really. All in all I had a really good weekend. My times were good and James did a really good job. The strategy was really good so hopefully we can bring that pace to Spa-Francorchamps.