Ryan Ratcliffe 2018

Produced by Abbott Designs Ltd


Zandvoort - 07/09/13

This time last week I was hoping that I would be coming out of the weekend GT4 champion. I knew it would be tough but I knew we had the pace to do it, as Rick and I were quick all weekend. Rick was unfortunate to get all the horrible half wet, half dry sessions and I had most of the new tyre runs. In qualifying I was the quickest British car by 1.7 seconds and 3rd overall in GT4, so as you can imagine I was pretty hopeful that my goal for the weekend wasn’t too far away.

Rick started the first race and sadly it was over before it began, after contact from another driver. Rick crashed out of the race on the fastest corner of the track due to a puncture caused from the contact on the previous lap. The car was a write off, so it was game over. Thankfully Rick escaped from the car without a mark on him!

There was no way we could rebuild the car in time for the race on the Sunday afternoon. This left us with only one option, to drive our spare car out to Zandvoort through the night. To do this we had to obtain signatures from every GT4 team allowing us to use a different chassis. We were hopeful that everyone would agree to sign, so we had the car loaded and ready to leave. Unfortunately we were denied the chance to race on Sunday because one driver refused to sign the form. After losing a car and gaining no points, this hit the team pretty hard!

In race one, we went from having a 27.5 point lead, to a 12.5 point lead because our closest championship rivals finished 3rd. We could not defend our championship lead on Sunday and our closest rivals won the race, giving them a 12.5 point lead over us. However luck was on our side, the car that won the race and took the championship lead was disqualified from the race for not running and catalytic converters in the exhaust!

So the weekend was pretty up and down as you can imagine. We went in hoping to win the championship, to mid-way through the weekend losing the lead of the championship and leaving coming out on top! I can safely say I do not want another weekend like this again. It’s a shame when you know you have pace to really challenge for the lead and don’t get the chance to step foot in the car.

The Optimum Motorsport crew are now working hard to rebuild the car before the next race at Donington in 3 weeks. There are a few teams who can win it, so there is everything to play for going into the last round. I just hope the driving standards are higher at Donington than they were at Zandvoort!

Thanks again to everyone who has supported myself and Rick this year, and thank you to everyone who has been in contact to check on Rick.