“It Was Our Best Weekend Of The Season So Far” – Ben Wallace Enjoys Solid Weekend At Silverstone (12.06.18)
Ben Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55, enjoyed his best weekend of the season so far with a solid seventh place finish in class and making up eleven places on his qualifying position for Round Seven of the 2018 British GT Championship.
Driving for the first time in 2018with Alex Reed, Southport-based Ben Wallace was very pleased with how the new driving partnership developed over the course of the Silverstone weekend,
“It was the first time I had met Alex and we got on very well,” said Ben. “He has a lot of experience both race-wise and testing so I felt he was the ideal person for me to gain experience from. As this was the first time I had raced on the Silverstone GP circuit, Alex’s experience and advice helped me a lot.”
Ben prepared in his usual meticulous way with extensive time in the simulator as well as two track-walks around the 5.89kmsNorthamptonshire circuit.
“I walked the track twice on the Friday and the Saturday just to get a feel for it and I saw things that I hadn’t seen on the simulator and while I was driving,” said Ben. “That preparation paid off as I got quicker as the weekend progressed.
Due to a drive-shaft failure, Ben only had limited time in the car during practice and qualifying was a challenge.
“I didn’t do as well as I wanted in qualifying but Alex did a mega job, especially as Silverstone is not the greatest tack for the Ginetta G55 GT4 and performance balancing was not in our favour.”
“However, for me, morning warm-up was where all the preparation, hard work and Alex’s advice paid off,” said Ben. “I set a lap-time of 2:13.790, nearly two seconds a lap quicker than I had gone previously and I felt very comfortable and confident in the car. It showed a lot of improvement.”
The #88 Team HARD Ginetta started from 34th overall on the grid and 18th in the GT4 category.
The race had its challenges but the crew of the #88 car battled hard and had made up nine places at the end of the first hour and went on to finish 23rd overall and, most importantly, seventh in the GT4 Silver category.
“I took the start and pushed very hard in the opening stint, taking a lot out of the tyres in the process,” commented Ben. “I had contact with a GT3 car going through Maggots and Beckets which pushed me down the field. Our race wasn’t helped due to penalties for track limit infringements but that’s racing.”
Overall, Ben was delighted at the way the weekend had progressed.
“Alex and I worked really well together,” said Ben. “‘I was really happy with the weekend because finally everything came together. Alex did a top job and in the end we got seventh in the GT4 Silver category and tenth overall in the GT4 class. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
The British GT Championship now moves to Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on July 21 – 22 for Round Seven.
“I’m looking forward to Spa-Francorchamps as I’ve raced there a few time and had some success there. With the confidence that I’ve gained from Silverstone, I think we could do very well.”
Practice begins for the Round Seven at Spa-Francorchampsat 09:00 local time on Saturday July 21.
Photos by Ian Cutting
The 2018 British GT Championship visits Silverstone on June 9 – 10 for Round Six of the nine-round series. The three-hour race is the blue-riband event for the UK’s premier GT series and all eyes in the endurance racing world will be focused on the historic 4.00km Northamptonshire grand prix circuit as the Championship reaches the mid-point of the season.
Although Southport-based Ben Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Racing Ginetta G55 GT4, has not raced on this circuit before, he is excited about the challenges that the three-hour race, with multiple driver changes and a recently resurfaced track, will bring.
“I’ve been working hard in the simulator to prepare myself for the weekend as well as focusing on my fitness,” said the LIPS Reifendahl-backed driver, currently lying twelfth GT4 drivers standings. “I’m very much looking forward to racing on the Silverstone GP circuit.”
Performance balancing measures, guided by the SRO, the series organisers, meant that the Ben and Team HARD were unable to demonstrate the full potential of the Ginetta at the previous rounds at Snetterton. Those measures have, however, been eased for Silverstone and Ben is confident that the car will be a lot more competitive for Round Six.
“The ride height has been lowered and weight taken out of the car which is certainly better than we had before,” said Ben. “It will be interesting to see how much quicker the car feels around the GP circuit. My preparation work in the simulator suggests that the circuit is not as intimidating as it looks. Once you’ve become familiar with it, it’s a fast and very enjoyabletrack, even more so after the recent resurfacing.”
Ben’s teammate for the weekend is Alex Reed.
Practice for the British GT grid begins at 09:30 on Saturday June 9 with the four-part qualifying session starting at 15:25. The lights go out for the race at 13:10 on Sunday June 10. Live timing throughout the weekend can be found at www.tsl-timing.com and the race will be live-steamed via the British GT Facebook page.
Ben Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4 with teammate Joshua Jackson, got the best they possibly could from Rounds Four and Five of the 2018 British GT Championship, held at Snetterton, Norfolk over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Consisting of two one-hour sprint races around the 4.82km Snetterton 300 circuit, Jackson and Wallace qualified the #88 entry in eleventh place in the GT4 Silver class for both races. A pair of ninth place finishes means that the young duo added an additional four points each to their tally in the GT4 Silver Drivers standings.
Southport-based Ben Wallace is now in twelfth place in the standings, just 3.5 points off of breaking in to the top ten.
Recent success for Ginetta G55 GT4 in the GT4 European Series encouraged the series organisers to apply performance-balancing to the car, meaning that it became very difficult for either of the Team HARD Ginettas to compete for podium honours in the glorious Norfolk sunshine.
Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey Photography
Despite the disappointment, Ben Wallace was determined to find the find the positives which he can take to the next round.
“I learned a lot about the car because, in extreme cases like this, you learn more about the car when it is difficult to drive than you do in easier circumstances,” said Wallace. “It helped me gain a lot more confidence in the car.”
“I had two off-track moments from which I recovered and it taught me more about the car than I would have normally learned,” continued Ben Wallace. “Again I showed I can make a fantastic start and made up a number of positions. I was driving the car on the absolute limit and beyond! I was pushing and pushing and the team was great in letting me know how far the next car was in front.”
The British GT Championship now moves to the Silverstone GP circuit on June 9-10, a venue that Ben Wallace has some experience of.
“I’ve raced on the National circuit in the Ginetta Juniors but this will be my first time on the Grand Prix circuit,” said Ben Wallace. “Assuming that the Balance of Performance issues are addressed, and I’m sure they will be, I am confident that we can show the true pace of the Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4 over the three-hour race. I’ll be spending a lot of time preparing for the weekend in the simulator and I can’t wait to convert all our hard work into results on-track!”
After a positive start to the British GT Championship season at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend, 18-year old Southport-based Benjamin Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4, is looking forward to Round Three at Rockingham International Motor Speedway on April 29.
The Lips Reifen-backed driver recently competed at Corby circuit in the opening roundof the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship, with team-mate Graham Roberts, finishing fifth and seventh in class over the two races.
“Competing in Britcar definitely benefited me in learning the track in the Ginetta,” said Benjamin. “The VW Golf I had driven before at Rockingham was a very different proposition so it was interesting driving the circuit in a rear-wheel drivecar. It complimented the simulator training that I’ve been doing so I feel that my preparation for this important race has been good.”
Benjamin will be keeping a close eye on tyres this weekend, given the weather forecast of changeable conditions.
“There is a risk that it might be raining throughout the whole weekend so tyre wear may not be as much of an issue’” said Benjamin. “It could all change in the next few days however. Even if it’s wet we still have to manage the tyres so it will be interesting.”
Round Three of the British GT Championship will be Benjamin’s third two-hour race.
“Aside from Britcar two weeks ago, my previous two-hour race was at Brands Hatch last season,” said Benjamin. “However my recent experience at Rockingham has increased my confidence hugely and I’m feeling very positive about returning to Corby with Team HARD. The grid will be packed and there are a lot of good drivers in the championship but I’ve prepared well and I’m looking forward to a very productive weekend.”
The lights go out for Round Three of the 2018 British GT Championship at 13:10 on April 29.
“The Car Felt Really Strong” – Team HARD’s Benjamin Wallace Pleased With The Opening Weekend For the 2018 British GT Championship.
Southport-based Benjamin Wallace enjoyed a confident start to his 2018 British GT Championship campaign despite the wet weather at the opening rounds of the series at Oulton Park. Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4 he shared with William Phillips, left the Cheshire circuit full of optimism for the rest of the season. The weekend, and especially race-day (Bank Holiday Monday – April 2) had been hampered with rain which ultimately led to the abandonment of the meeting shortly after the delayed start for second race of the day for the British GT grid.
The #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4, piloted by Phillips and Wallace, had qualified eighth in the GT4S class for Monday’s first 60-minute race, which itself had a delayed start and ran behind the safety-car for the first three laps due to the wet circuit.
Despite the challenges of the damp track, Ben Wallace, and co-driver William Phillips, finished seventh in the GT4 Silver class in Round One of premier national GT series.
Benjamin Wallace was pleased at the outcome of the weekend.
“It was the second time I had driven at Oulton Park in the Ginetta so I was still getting familiar with it. William and I worked on finding a good set-up for the car and we were pleased with how the car improved, and the lap-times we set, as the weekend progressed,” said the Bolton College student.
“The team had continued to work on the set-up after the first race and, going into Round Two, the car felt really strong and a great improvement on where we had been on Friday on Saturday so, yes, it was frustrating to drive behind the safety-car for thirty minutes. However the safety of drivers and marshals is paramount so Will and I completely understood why the decision was made to red-flag the race.”
The British GT Championship now moves to Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby for Round Three on April 28 – 29, a circuit that Benjamin Wallace is familiar with from his time in the VW Racing Cup and the VAG Trophy, in which he finished third in 2017.
“I’ve raced at Rockingham in the VWs and I had a good weekend there, finishing second and third,” said Benjamin. “It’s now about getting used to it again in the Ginetta G55 GT4, a rear-wheel drive car which is very different to the front-wheel drive Golfs I drove there previously. I’m looking forward to it and I’m taking a lot of confidence to Rockingham Motor Speedway.”
Photos: Ian Cutting Photography