Jerseyman Jack Butel and English teammate Dominic Paul endured a mixed weekend in Belgium with the British team taking their first podium of the season with third in the opening race before a retirement in the second, put paid to their solid weekend (2/3 June).
After sizeable rare crash by teammate Dominic Paul at Brands Hatch just a fortnight ago, the Speedworks Motorsport outfit rebuilt the LMP3 machine and traveled to the iconic Spa Francorchamps. The Belgian Formula One circuit was a happy hunting ground for Jack 12 months ago as the Channel Islander claimed his first sports car podium.
On the opening day of the event on Saturday, Butel and Paul put the rapid Ligier LMP3 machine into the mix from the off. Paul started the race but suffered contact from another driver while dicing for second on the opening lap. At the pitstop, Jack climbed aboard and set about a podium result. As the race went on handling problems worked there way into the French machine with a tyre slowly coming off the rim due to the earlier incident. Try as he may, Butel couldn’t snatch second, finishing just five seconds shy off the runners-up spot.
On second and final day, from the podium highs to retirement, with the Speedworks Motorsport team retiring on lap four, with their weekend coming to an abrupt end.
“Driving at Spa is always a dream of mine,” said Butel. “We did the best we could this weekend. In race one, we noticed the vibration but didn’t realise how bad it was. There were three or four inches where the tyre wasn’t on the rim. It’s one of those, I just had to bring it home for third. We know we have the pace and it was disappointing we couldn’t show it this weekend.”
Jack, Dominic and the Speedworks team will now have a break until the next round. The UK LMP3 Championship will head to Norfolk for rounds seven and eight at Snetterton Circuit on June 30/July 1.