Jerseyman Jack Butel and English teammate Dominic Paul put together a strong weekend in the UK LMP3 Cup with the British team taking a brilliant second place in the opening encounter before an electrical problem robbed them of their first win in the second race at Snetterton (30/1 June/July).
After tasting champagne in Belgium last time out, Butel and Paul were keen to repeat the feat and take their first win together in the sports prototype series. The championship returned to the UK and Jack and his Speedworks team set about taming the 3-mile Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.
On the opening day of the event on Saturday, Butel and Paul put the rapid Ligier LMP3 machine onto the front row. Butel’s English teammate started the race and instantly looked to fight for the lead. Making a solid start, Dominic defended from attacks behind, allowing the leader to charge into the distance. Once he stamped his authority on second, the Speedworks driver caught up with the leader as the pit stops took place. Jack took over and assumed second position, and he too hunted down the lead car. With the Channel Islander trying everything, he couldn’t get past and the St Saviour resident just missed out on his first win of the year by 4.9 seconds.
On the second and final day, the Speedworks team were keen to take victory on the final race of the weekend. From pole position Paul led coming into the pit stop. Butel took over and stretched the lead until three laps from the finish when the Ligier developed an electrical problem – cutting the power to the LMP3 machine. Persevering, the Jerseyman drove around the problem to bring the car home in fourth.
“In the first race I was catching the leader as much as I could, but we just ran out of time and the tyres started going off at the end of the first race,” said Butel. “Amazing performance by the team to prepare a great car and to Dominic for great driving once again. To lead pretty much the whole of the second race to then have the problem was so gutting. I always take the positives and we are really gelling as a partnership. This was our best weekend together and that win is not far away. If we keep chipping away and pick up the podiums, that first win together will soon come.”
Jack, Dominic and the Speedworks team will now enjoy a summer break until the next round. The UK LMP3 Championship will head to Donington for rounds nine and ten in early September.