Jerseyman Jack Butel got his 2019 British GT season underway at Oulton Park over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. With Irish teammate Connor O’Brien – the pair in their Aston Martin GT4 claimed two sixth-place finishes in class and leave the Cheshire venue tenth in the GT4 standings.
The young Optimum Racing duo were working together for the first time and were eager to complete both one-hour races, gather further data and learn the brand new GT4 car from Aston Martin.
After a difficult qualifying session, the Aston Martin Academy duo were fully focused on race day on Easter Monday. In race one the Channel Islander stayed out of trouble as he threaded the Aston Martin around the picturesque Oulton Park layout. As the clock struck zero, Butel and O’Brien finished sixth in class and 20th overall.
With a second high-octane race in the afternoon, the thousands of fans that flocked to the circuit were treated to an exciting race. Butel and O’Brien started towards the back of the grid but the pair strung together a competitive showing to carve their way through the pack to clinch another sixth in class at the fall of the flag.
“It was a tough weekend as we tried to dial in the new car for both Connor and myself,” explained Butel. “Qualifying was a bit disappointing, but we showed some promise in the race to move forward. Oulton Park is a really narrow track, which made overtaking difficult with these big cars, so we didn’t make as much progress as we liked. However, we ended the weekend with the car in one piece and without a scratch, so we can use this as a springboard for the next round.”
The next round of the British GT series will be held at Snetterton on 18-19 May.