Team LNT once again proved their might in round five of the V de V championship from Aragon, as they claimed their fourth front row start from five races, securing pole position with a combined time of 1:58.716.
The regular pairing of Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson and Factory Driver Mike Simpson were joined by current Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup leader Charlie Robertson, with the young rookie putting on a sterling performance in what was his first race in the GT3 machinery, and indeed his first European outing.
Starting from pole position and with a four way battle for the lead as the lights went out, race winner at the Le Mans 24hour Tomlinson held firm to emerge in the lead once again by lap four, pulling out an advantage of almost four seconds over the ensuing laps. Dropping to second after 20 minutes, Tomlinson stuck with the leader over the remainder of his stint, doing a great job handing the car over just behind the GTE Ferrari with a comfortable 22 second gap over third place throughout the first hour.
With Robertson at the helm and the car emerging fourth on track, the teenager got stuck in, setting the teams fastest lap after fastest lap as he chased down those ahead and reclaimed the lead. Dropping to sixth by the midpoint of his stint, Robertson pushed on to climb to third by the two hour mark, moving into second place by lap 70.
Following Team LNT’s second driver change and with Mike Simpson in the car, the factory driver pushed on, once again claiming the race lead. Looking strong for their second win in as many meetings, Team LNT charged towards the three hour mark, but the aggressive nature of the circuit – which sees the cars slow from a top speed of 170mph – had taken its toll on the brakes, and after 84 laps, excessive brake pad wear forced the team back into the pits and the car to be retired; a bitter disappointment following another dominant outing.
Tomlinson commented; “It’s a great shame for us, the Ginetta G55 GT3 car has been really good, strong and reliable all weekend, and we were looking to take another trophy back home to our factory in Leeds. In short, we ran out of brakes, and as the team were replacing the pads, the piston popped out, leaving us with a lengthy repair time, which would have ultimately cost us a podium, so it made sense for us to retire.
“I now look forward to getting back on track at Magny-Cours, it’s a circuit I know and given the performance of the car thus far, I am sure once we have some bigger brakes in, we will be on the top step yet again!”
Team LNT have proven to be a force to be reckoned with in V de V, taking a win at the previous meeting in Dijon with former Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup champion Tom Sharp sharing driving duties, whilst Tomlinson and Simpson claimed front row starts at four out of the five rounds as well as fastest lap at the world famous Le Mans circuit, at which Tomlinson claimed victory in the 24hour race in 2006.