A difficult Donington weekend was put well behind Jerseyman Jack Butel in the British GT championship last time out, the Optimum Motorsport driver set his sights on a positive result at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium (20/21 July). Fighting in the heart of the action once again, the Channel Islander was on for a good result before a serious engine misfire at the end of his stint put an end to the two-hour race.
Butel is driving an Aston Martin GT4 machine for Optimum Motorsport in 2019 with Irishman Connor O’Brien. The Jersey-Irish pairing wanted to put the early bath from Donington behind them as they strived to show their potential in the ultra-competitive GT4 category at the series’ away day at home of Belgian motorsport – Spa Francorchamps.
In qualifying, Butel and O’Brien lined the #35 Aston Martin into 14th on the grid out of the 25 GT4 teams – putting the likes of Andy Priaulx and Sir Chris Hoy behind them. Come the race, Jack was hungry for a good result to put his season back on track.
After a blistering start, the Optimum Aston Martin pairing ran as high as fifth towards the end of Butel’s stint. Sadly, mechanical gremlins worked their way into the Prodrive built machine before the driver change – with the car losing power throughout the fast and flowing lap. Connor then jumped into the car, but with the misfire not clearing, the car had to be retired once again, ending another potential top 10 finish.
After a character-building weekend, the Aston Martin Academy driver remained upbeat.
“The Aston Martin was absolutely brilliant in the race and it showed amazing pace when everything was right. We passed a couple of cars and were reeling in those ahead which was really positive. Then on the second to last lap of my stint we developed this misfire in turns six and seven and that was it really. A difficult end to a good weekend.”
The next British GT round for Jack will be on the 3-4 August when the exciting sports car championship heads to the famous Brands Hatch circuit.