Gulf Racing headed back from Silverstone early on Sunday after an on-track incident brought their first race in the 2016 WEC to an abrupt end only 2 hours into the 6 hour race.
Mike Wainwright and co drivers Adam Carroll and Ben Barker had been pace setters in the first two practice sessions on Friday – with the car finishing second and first respectively. Adam Carroll even braving the snow of practice 3 on Saturday before the session was eventually red flagged.
Qualifying saw a very cold and damp track prove difficult for all the teams and the Gulf Racing crew secured a commendable 4th position on the starting grid in GTE-AM for the Sunday race.
With improved weather for race day and a strong performance in practice and qualifying the team were keen to demonstrate their pace against the WEC competition. Starting confidently Adam Carroll took the Gulf Racing RSR through the first hour up to third place, subsequently handing over to Mike Wainwright. After a solid first Stint from Mike and another slick stop from the Gulf Racing Pitstop crew the car left the pits for the third hour session, Mike still behind the wheel.
It was shortly after that when disaster struck, contact with a rapidly passing LMP1 put both the #86 RSR GTE and the #1 LMP1 Porsche out of the race at turn 2.
Matt Beers (Team Manager) – ‘Typically tricky conditions at Silverstone presented a challenge for us all at the start of this first event of the 2016 WEC, but we had a positive initial experience in our WEC debut, posting competitive times in the practice and qualifying sessions, it’s unfortunate that the weekend ended prematurely for us but we have to take the positives from it. The team and drivers did a great job and we certainly don’t feel overwhelmed by the bigger stage, we will bounce back stronger for Spa.’
With only three weeks to the next event at the historic Spa Francorchamps circuit the team are already busy preparing the car and looking forward to proving what they can do at a circuit they all know well.