Croatian driver Martin Kodric was left with mixed emotions after his first foray into the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this weekend (21-24 April). The 19-year-old’s Barwell Motorsport team were involved in a series of incidents out of their control that prevented them from hitting the heights they were capable of on the opening weekend at Monza
A massive crash that saw a dozen cars taken out of the race and a puncture later on, left them ruing their bad luck. But despite the set-backs, the ADD Motorsports racer was happy with his own performance and how the team dealt with the problems as they fought back well to finish ninth in their Pro-Am category.
He said: “The result was disappointing overall as we felt we had a lot more to give. “We were one of a large number of cars involved in a massive crash that really affected how the car handled. “But the team did brilliantly to get it back on the track and despite the puncture late on, I felt we could be happy with the job in the circumstances.”
With 52 cars on the entry list highlighting its claim as the biggest GT series in the world, it was always going to be difficult to make an impact. Qualifying didn’t go to plan with times so close that 32 cars were separated by less than a second in the third qualifying session. Nine of these were in the Pro-Am category, leaving the team with a huge mountain to climb. AM driver Adrian Amstutz was first out when the racing got underway and was unfortunately one of 16 cars involved in a huge crash on the first corner. While no one was hurt, the car was damaged and the team fought furiously to get it back on the track.
While around 10 cars were unable to continue, the team got the driver back into the race - although a contact and subsequent spin saw them lose another 36 seconds. Martin took to the car next and despite car damage that saw it pulling to one side and using just two new tyres, he managed some quick times. He brilliantly pulled the team back to P5 by the end of his stint.
Patrick Kujala was last out and was looking strong – until a puncture caused by some debris meant another pit stop. The team finished ninth in the Pro-Am category in the end – a hard-fought finish after what had gone on before.
Martin added: “The drivers gelled really quickly and I thought everyone did the best that they could. “I’d also like to congratulate the team for getting the car back on the track in the time we had. “My race pace was really strong, so hopefully with a bit of better luck we can be back up to where we’d like to be the next round.”
The five-round competition now sees the team heading to Silverstone in May. Fraser Sheader, director of performance and management team ADD Motorsports, added: “It was a really tough weekend, with so much going on, it was hard to get down to any proper driving. “All the drivers performed well in the circumstances and I thought Martin really looked sharp – even driving in a car that didn’t handle properly after the crash. “It gave the team the opportunity to spend some more time working together and hopefully they’ll be able to move up the standings in the next round.”