Coming off the back of an evident turn in pace at Spa-Francorchamps, Aleksander Schjerpen and his Century Motorsport team were keen to secure a podium finish at Brands Hatch, having narrowly missed out on a maiden visit in Belgium.
The weekend got off to the best possible start with both Aleksander and teammate James Birch topping the time sheets and the end of Free Practice one. A power steering issue cut the running short in Free Practice two so it was all to play for in Saturday afternoon’s qualifying shoot out.
Both James and Aleksander set the third fastest GT4 time in their respective groups to place their #43 Ginetta G55 on the second row of the GT4 grid for Sunday’s 120-minute race around the famous Brands Hatch GP Circuit.
Schjerpen was chosen to start Sunday’s race just after 1pm. The Norwegian made a lightening start to the race, climbing up to second just before the first Safety Car period. After a lengthy spell under the controlled conditions, the race abruptly got back under way without any notice. Schjerpen made the best getaway while others around him were left napping. Now hot on the heels of the class leading Aston Martin, Aleksander was trying to utilise the several GT3 cars around him to make a move for the lead. However, his immense pace was dealt a bitter blow, when he announced over the radio that he was again struggling to steer the car, just 15 minutes shy of the scheduled pitstop window. With the encouragement of his team, Schjerpen battled on and pitted just as the pit window opened at the 60-minute mark.
After a full pitstop and check over by the team, James Birch took over for his stint, but would soon pit to allow the team to carry out further more extensive repairs to the car’s steering system. A mammoth effort by the team allowed Birch to return to the circuit for the final 25 minutes of the race, he too setting a pace that would have easily allowed the pair to challenge for victory.
Aleksander Schjerpen – #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“All in all we had very good speed this weekend, both James and I got up to speed pretty quick in FP1. We had a great qualifying where we finished up P3. I had a great start to the race and I was able to fight for the top step. The car was brilliant, the guys in the team did a great job the whole weekend, they’re just amazing working so hard to get the car just right. The speed was there and this really could have been a podium for us so hopefully we can bring the same speed and pace to Snetterton and hope for more luck there.”