Gordon-Colebrooke Scores Superb First British GT Win In Silverstone Finale
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke rounded out his British GT Championship season in the best possible style with a sensational maiden GT4 class victory in the final race of the season at Silverstone this past weekend (7/8 November).
In front of the Sky Sports cameras for the first time this season, Gordon-Colebrooke saved his best result until last after a tactical early stop under safety car conditions paid off handsomely to pave the way for a first GT4 class victory of his British GT career.
The Buckinghamshire racer entered the season finale entered as part of four Pro-Am pairings represented in the GT4 class, sharing the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 with Rob Wheldon.
Gordon-Colebrooke was buoyed by a strong start on Saturday morning with some consistent pace in the brace of hour-long free practice sessions on the full Grand Prix circuit. The team found some key set-up modifications to bring the car towards the front of the Pro-Am field and into the top 10 of the highly-competitive GT4 class overall.
Qualifying was held under colder November temperatures than initially planned in the original British GT calendar - prior to changes brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic - and Gordon-Colebrooke took the wheel of the BMW for the second part of the session.
The 10-minute run to decide the grid ended with the car sealing second in the Pro-Am class in GT4, although Gordon-Colebrooke rued an error on one of his hot laps that subsequently flat-spotted a tyre in the dying stages of his main run.
With just half a second separating him from combined driver pole position, Gordon-Colebrooke knew the extra time was available, and put the moment firmly behind him to focus on putting that right in the three-hour curtain-closer the following day.
Foggy conditions thankfully cleared up by the time the race geared up to get underway, and it would be Gordon-Colebrooke who benefited from a dramatic opening stint for the GT4 class contenders
A crash between the BMW driver's Mercedes and McLaren rivals suddenly gave Gordon-Colebrooke the chance to grasp the lead of the Pro-Am class and move into the top three of the overall GT4 field, and the Century driver benefited from strategy differences created by the subsequent safety car interruption as he dived to the pits in the opening 10 minutes - unlike his rivals.
The result was that Gordon-Colebrooke gained a march ahead of the safety car train, and effectively enjoyed a pit stop in hand for the rest of the contest. Handing over to Wheldon still with the class lead, Gordon-Colebrooke later assumed his place at the front after the final pit stops played out, fending off the chasing rivals to lead the GT4 field across the line.
It was a double success also as the Pro-Am class honours went the way of Gordon-Colebrooke's BMW, rounding out a fantastic season with a second podium of the year and a victory to his name.
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke: "What an end to the season. It couldn't be better could it?
"We've been saying all year that we've waited for the luck to come our way as it's gone against us for much of the season, and today it did. As well as the little bit of luck it was really also down to a fantastic call from the team.
"We saw an opportunity and took a gamble on it working, and fortunately it did - just! I don't think I could have cut it any finer; I just got out in front of the safety car train and even saw the marshal getting prepared to switch the pitlane light to red.
"From then the car was brilliant and really allowed us to maintain that lead. Saturdays have been a case of often practice looking good and then qualifying sees it fade away, but this time it came back to us, the strategy gave us the lead and we had the pace to maintain it."
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.