Aston Martin Racing's Jonny Adam and Andrew Howard took Beechdean AMR to a double podium at the opening weekend of the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Oulton Park, giving the reigning champions a better start to their 2014 campaign.
While the result was enhanced by Adam also picking up the Mobil 1 Service Centre 'Master of the Weekend' accolade - awarded to the driver who best reflects a combination of outstanding effort and exceptional sportsmanship over the course of the race weekend – the sweetest part of the event was the fact that the pair had overcome one of the most competitive fields ever seen in the British GT championship.
After an accomplished performance in qualifying from Howard, the Scooby Doo-branded #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 started second on the grid for race one and ran consistently until a safety car period prompted a driver change. Rejoining fourth on the road, Adam then held off the charging Matt Bell before benefitting from a drive-thru' penalty for Luke Hines to take third place.
In race two, Adam started from the front row and, while chasing the Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 of Alexander Sims, opened a sizeable gap over third place. The hard work was undone as another safety car closed the field up, and even a quick pit-stop and driver change could not prevent the Beechdean car from losing places. Howard reclaimed fourth before another safety car interruption, but Howard continued to press on in the closing stages, finally passing the factory M-Sport Bentley to take another podium finish and second in the championship standings.
"Taking two strong results like this really was an ideal way to kick off the season, especially when you look at the depth of quality right the way through the grid this year,” Adam reflected, "Someone mentioned to me that we already have a similar points haul after two races as we did after five in 2013, which is promising as we managed to win the championship last year after a terrible start.
"It's a great team effort to walk away with two hard fought podiums, we've continued to make good progress pushing the car setup forward and learned a lot from these races too. We need to focus on Rockingham now and keep aiming to deliver that level of consistency."