The weather was fantastic, the car was ready, Matt Hamilton was ready and the THM Racing team were looking forward to racing after Saturdays solid and promising qualifying session. Track temperature at a weekend high of just over 39°C.
Lining up P12 on the grid, the car was looking great and performing well. The front suspension having undergone some set-up changes overnight to counter the understeer suffered in qualifying as a result of the new engine power set up on the car. Sat on the grid waiting for the green light, the team were ready, the car was ready and #98 Matt Hamilton was ready and raring to go…..
The lights went out and after an initial slow get away, Matt was off and running.
Matt started to overtake from the outset, gaining back places he had lost at the start and was making real progress. The understeer issue resolved and the power performance really kicking in – the team were on it!
Unfortunately disaster was just around the next corner……#98 Matt Hamilton was behind #9 Fairbrother, who took the outside racing line, with #98 Matt Hamilton lining himself up for a move up the inside. Matt made the move, but as both cars entered the corner, Matt on the apex, both cars collided and heavy impact was sustained to the O/S/F of the THM Racing Golf. The car came to an immediate halt.
A safety car was deployed to allow for the removal of car #98 THM Racing’s Matt Hamilton.
The car was returned to the pit garage at the end of the race and immediately inspected by the team……..
The damage was considerable and the understanding of just how big the impact was became clear. The front wings, front bumper and vent panels all sustaining considerable damage. The driver’s door and sill sustaining damage from the wheel of the other car and the drive shaft twisted and snapped, the brake disc cracked, the rose joint bent and snapped, along with damage to the steering and potential damage to the suspension……what an impact!
After discussion with all the technical team and detailed evaluation of the damage, Technical Director Trevor Humphrey made the decision that for safety reasons we could not continue into the second race. With only a 1.5 hour turnaround time from race 1 to race 2, it would be impossible to complete all the repairs to the level required…..the THM Racing team were so dis-appointed. The belief was there for a very strong race finish in race one and even greater potential for race 2, but it was not to be.
Steve Parkinson, Racing Director, commented “Motor Racing is an emotional roller-coaster and unfortunately today we this is not the best part of the ride. The team have done a fantastic job since Rockingham and the upgrades and developments on the car have delivered great results, it is so disappointing that we were not able to make full use of these for more than the first lap. As always we shall study and review all elements during our race de-brief, which is what this team is so good at. We have considerable damage to repair, so when the car gets back to team HQ tomorrow, the work will begin”.
Matt Hamilton commented “I am so disappointed, as we were looking so strong and the car was feeling the best yet. The team have done so much over the last few weeks and it’s hard that it was all over within the first minute of the first lap”.
On the incident, Matt commented “I knew the move I was going to make and lined up from the previous corner in readiness, as soon as the gap opened I went, with at least a 2 car width gap between myself and Fairbrother. I got to the corner apex on the inside exactly as I had planned. I’m not sure if Fairbrother didn’t see me, but he turned in and I was there. The contact was hard and immediately the car came to a stop”.
For the race the winner, Joe Fullbrook crossed the line 1.6s ahead of rookie Orrock, with Morgan third and delighted to score his maiden podium finish. Panayiotou came home fourth, his best finish of the year. Said victor Fulbrook, “Aaron had the pace to win, so things have worked out pretty well for me. This is really good news for me and for the team after all the hassles we have had with the car this season. We’ve been trying hard and it’s a result which is deserved.”
Partners & guests:
A number of the THM Racing Partners and guests joined us at Silverstone, with a great time had by all, despite our very limited race time. There were presentations by the Technical Director Trevor Humphrey, Matt Hamilton and the Racing Director Steve Parkinson…