A weekend of twists and turns delivered a well-deserved podium for Nick Foster and Attempto Racing teammate Steijn Schothorst. The result was especially sweet on the day, as it looked highly likely the car would not make the second race with just an hour to go before the start.
Steijn had started race one earlier in the day from seventh on the grid and made it only as far as Paddock Hill bend before his race ended abruptly after a first corner multi-car incident saw the pairing’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 damaged and stuck in the gravel trap. It looked like the end of Nick’s race weekend there too, but a major effort by his Attempto Racing team got the car back into a race-worthy condition for the day’s second race.
Nick Foster had qualified the Audi on the front row of the grid on Saturday in an all-out single lap shoot out as the weather turned wet on the opening lap of the session. Pushing as hard as possible, knowing the track was deteriorating, Nick put in a blinding lap to grab P2 in the ‘pro’ qualifying group and set up a podium shot for Sunday’s second race.
Given the efforts of the team to repair the car following its early exit from race one, Nick was more than keen to show his talents at Brand Hatch in race two. With four cars side by side into the first corner, Nick held his nerve and his position to maintain in an incident filled first lap.
With his car understandably not handling quite as perfectly as normal following race one contact, Nick worked hard to stay in touch with the leader Fabian Schiller, whilst defending the advances of eventual race -winner Mario Engel in the AMG behind. At the halfway point Nick brought the car in to hand over to Steijn very much still in contention.
With margins so tight, a fractionally slower pitstop and an additional lap to their nearest rivals, the #55 Audi ceded track position to run fourth as the stops unfolded. Steijn did a great job to continue to fend off the advances of the chasing pack and keep the car in touch with the podium positions ahead.
With four laps remaining the demise of the #88 AKKA AMG Mercedes promoted the Attempto Racing entry to third, where it would remain until the chequered flag, for a well-deserved podium on the opening weekend of the Blancpain Sprint Cup season.
“I have the thank the team for their efforts today,” said Foster. “Somehow, we managed to turn a seemingly futile position into a podium. Steijn did a great job in the second half of the race to bring it home after my efforts earlier in the race. I have to say the car was not easy to handle at all still carrying some effects of the shunt in race one, so this podium was certainly hard earned for us both!”
Nick will be back in the Blancpain GT World Series Europe, this time in Endurance Cup format, at Silverstone next weekend 11/12 May where he hopes to build on the fifth position achieved in the opening round in Monza last month.