October 18, 2012

Ecurie Ecosse in Navara

Ecurie Ecosse in action
It was a strong end to the season for Ollie Millroy in the Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 at Navarra, Spain in the final round of the Blancpain Endurance Series. As one of the very few modern circuits in the world that Ollie hasn’t yet driven, he was going to have a new challenge ahead of him which didn’t seem faze him at all.
Ollie worked hard with the experienced Barwell Motorsport Ecurie Ecosse team on Saturday evening and having looked through computer data and using his feedback, they made a few tweaks before Sunday morning’s qualifying session. Ollie headed out for the 15-minute session on a brand new set of tyres, and proved just how well he has taken to the BMW Motorsport machine. Ollie set a time of 1:38.593, the fastest time that has ever been set at Navarra in the 2011 BMW Z4 GT3 car and a lap time that would have put him on pole position in the 2011 FIA GT3 race.
Andrew Smith started the 3-hour endurance race from 26th on the grid in the number 79 Ecurie Ecosse car on dry circuit but with dark clouds overhead. He put in a very solid stint and held his own against some highly experience professional drivers in the competitive Pro-Am field, and pitted to change with Joe Twyman who was to complete the 2nd hour of the race. Joe put in his best performance of the year so far and with an hour to go he entered the pit lane for Ollie to take the controls. 
However, just 3 laps into his stint he experienced a loss of control at high speed due to aquaplaning, one of the worst feelings a race driver can have. He had to call upon all of his experience and car control to keep the 510bhp car pointing in the right direction and after many other drivers suffered the same problem, the race directors deployed the safety car. The rain didn’t ease off and on the grounds of safety, the final 55-minutes of the race were completed under safety car conditions.