21 April 2014
Declan Jones starts year at Oulton Park with two fifths
Liverpool-based youngster denied podium by stop-go penalty but still does well and shows potential of BMW M3 GT4
18-year-old Declan Jones began the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship positively by grabbing two fifth places at Oulton Park last weekend (April 19-21).
The Halewood Village-based youngster, who was the British GT4 vice-champion last season, in his debut year in the series, has switched to a BMW M3 GT4 for this campaign, and despite no testing, impressed at the Cheshire circuit, along with his new team, ABG Motorsport and new team-mate, Peter Belshaw.
Indeed while they had a lot of bad luck – including a ten second stop-go penalty in the second race on Bank Holiday Monday, which almost certainly denied them a podium, Declan and Peter still came away with 20 valuable points and will now be looking to build on that when the action switches to Rockingham next month (May 4-5).
“It was an eventful weekend. Testing and qualifying didn't go exactly to plan, but the races were a lot better,” said Declan, who is backed this year by Club Liv Manchester, The London Perfume Company, Chicago Soft, Twisted, Vision Tech, Taylors Fitness and Power and Fitness Gym.
“Peter made a good start in the first race. But then he got taken out at Shell Oils Corner and lost around 20-25 seconds. He also got hit by a Bentley later on, just as he had started to come back through the field. Then we did a great pit stop and when I got out we were running sixth or seventh. I was up to fifth and catching fourth, but a Ferrari clipped the front of our BMW and spun in front of me. I lost a lot of time there and so we had to settle for fifth.”
“In the second race I made a mega start,” Declan added, “and made up three or four places on the opening lap. We were pushing and just picking them off. It was looking good. Then there was a safety car and we pitted under it and Peter went out. Unfortunately though, we got a stop-go penalty for a pit lane infringement.”
“We were on for a top-three without that but if you had turned around and said to me after qualifying on Saturday, we would get two top-fives, I think I would have took that,” he continued.
“Peter drove fantastic this weekend and the team was very good as well. This weekend was a bit of test weekend for us really and we learned so much. We came away with lots of points and points make prizes at the end of the day. I know there is more to come and can't wait now for Rockingham.”
Declan's dad and manager, Kelvin Jones meanwhile, added that two fifths were very good considering the team had done next to no pre-season testing.
“The changes we have made over the weekend have all paid off,” Kelvin explained. “We have done no real testing with this car, so the team is learning it and both drivers are learning it too. It is going to be very strong and I am so pleased. This is a '09 car and it is still competitive - it is a credit to BMW. It is a proper built car.”
“As for the pit lane infringement, it can happen to most teams - and it will happen - and without that we would have had a podium in the bag.
“But it is going to be a long year with a lot of twists and turns as we know only too well from last year. In our view you take the points, you finish, you bring the car home and I think at the end of the day, we are not going to be far away.
“Finally, I'd just like to thank the team and thank Peter. Also I'd like to thank British GT and SRO - it was a fantastic first meeting of the year.”
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.