FIA GT A FULL 2014
AN EVENTFUL BUT ENCOURAGING WEEKEND FOR M-SPORT RACING AT SNETTERTON
24 June 2014
After Steven Kane and Humaid Al Masaood took to the wheel of the Bentley Continental GT3 for the fourth event of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship last weekend, M-Sport Racing is taking the positives from the Snetterton circuit.
The event started in spirited fashion as Al Masaood claimed 12th place in qualifying on what was his first time in the driving seat for more than 11 months. Having not driven a competitive race car for almost a year, the Emirati’s performance was all the more impressive considering he had no previous experience of the Bentley or the racetrack – a feat which goes to prove the predictable handling of the Continental GT3.
Unfortunately, that is where M-Sport’s bad luck chose to show its hand. Having continued his sterling performance into the first race, Al Masaood made a small mistake on his in-lap which put an untimely end to M-Sport’s opening race.
Having incurred minor damage, the car was easily repaired for race two and Kane was fired up for a fight-back. But as the Continental GT3 developed an issue with the gearbox, the Bentley driver was unable to qualify which meant the pairing were forced to start from the back of the grid.
M-Sport’s misfortune continued into the second race as the events of the opening lap put paid to one of the Northern Irishman’s customary comebacks. The race was red-flagged due to multiple cars going off the circuit and the M-Sport Bentley suffered damage in a two-car fight into the second corner.
The second-corner impact dislodged an internal sensor on the car which meant that Kane had to endure the restart with no throttle pedal. Living up to the team’s expertise in engineering, the issue was rectified and both drivers were able to finish the race; Al Masaood gaining more vital time behind the wheel of his new charge.
The event may not have yielded the results that M-Sport and the Continental GT3 have come to expect, but the positives were clear to see. Al Masood’s impressive debut indicates the huge potential his partnership with Kane can deliver and, as the pairing gain more experience, they will be looking to challenge for the top positions.
Team Manager, Matthew Wilson, said:
“Looking at the race result, this weekend might not have appeared to be one of our best, but the positives we can take are extremely strong. It’s fair to say that we were blighted by a lot of misfortune, but the team remains upbeat and in a positive mood for the events to come.
“It was great to see Humaid [Al Masaood] behind the wheel and how comfortable he was with the Continental GT3. Having not driven competitively in almost a year, I was very impressed with his pace and how naturally he took to the Bentley. We’ve always known that we have a ‘driver-friendly’ car with very good handling, and Humaid’s performance just goes to prove that.
“We have a very promising driver pairing and I think the potential that Steven [Kane] and Humaid have shown this weekend is a sign of the things to come.”
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