Tough end to an otherwise faultless Silverstone 500 weekend for 2 Seas Motorsport

April 29, 2024
British GT
Race Report
The Silverstone 500 weekend delivered its trademark action-packed event, as strategies were thrown up in the air at the third round of the British GT Championship. Changeable conditions and multiple caution periods shook up the grid throughout the three-hour encounter. Despite both 2 Seas Motorsport entries showing race-winning pace, and leading the race at various points, a dose of bad luck, and short Full Course Yellow periods early on, determined a strategy which ultimately dropped the team down the order at the end, finishing P10 and P12.

The weekend’s track action started well, with both driver pairings looking strong around the 5.891-kilometre Grand Prix circuit. The two qualifying sessions combined the best times of both drivers in each car, and would set the order for the 41-car strong grid. With the less experienced Am drivers up first, Kevin and Ian both looked to be well dialed into the circuit; Kevin immediately setting the benchmark time for provisional pole, while Ian set an initial time and steadily chipped away to improve over his following runs. Both drivers improved on their final runs, as Kevin extended his margin at the front of the field, while Ian moved further up the order to claim a top-5 position. Max and Phil then took over for the second quick-fire session, with both delivering solid lap times to reinforce their teammates’ earlier efforts The end result claimed the Contempo Concept #18 Mercedes-AMG a first pole position of the season, while Ian and Phil took up position on the third row.

After heavy rain, the blue riband Silverstone 500 event got underway behind the Safety Car with a wet track, and grey skies threatening overhead. An early strategy call saw Ian pit for Phil as the race went to green flag conditions, as Kevin immediately extended his lead at the front of the field. Despite having dropped back down the order, Phil steadily climbed back up through the positions, and as the race fell under its first caution period with 20 minutes passed, Kevin pitted while Phil had recovered and moved into the podium positions shortly after the restart.

With rain starting to fall on a drying track, and further cautions and Full Course Yellow periods, strategies played out across the whole field. Showing his extensive British GT racing experience, Phil was now closing down the overall race leader in the tricky conditions, while Maximillian was now at the wheel, firmly entwined in a three-car battle for the top-six which continued for multiple laps. The former DTM champion battled hard and fair as he attacked and defended in equal measure, and eventually made the pass stick.  

Further incidents led to further strategy calls, and Phil pitted from P2, while Max ran longer. Now running in clear air, he then set the fastest lap of the race, underlining the outright pace as he then closed in on the leaders. Ian was immediately forced into defending his position, while the order continued to change as the leaders pitted, promoting Max to the head of the field. Having run split strategies from the opening lap, the gap between the pair of Mercedes-AMGs ebbed and flowed, and as Max pitted to hand back to Kevin, Ian regained track position and would lead the race shortly after an extended Full Course Yellow period. Showing strong pace, and with differing strategies working out well, both the #6 and #18 looked in a good position, leading the group of GT3s which lapped the majority of the field.

As strategies played out in the final 30 minutes, the grip on the race lead started to disappear as minimum driver times had prevented Ian and Kevin making their final driver swap during the optimum time. As the race returned to full race pace, both cars stopped a final time, and set about battling for the final points-paying positions. Having served an additional 10-second success penalty, carried over from the previous race, Phil kept the pressure on ahead, and managed to make one final pass in the dying minutes to cross the line in P10. Kevin brought the #18 home in P12 at the flag.

With several invitational cars not eligible for championship points, both car crews achieved a top-10 finish of the season regulars. Ian and Phil continue their point scoring run with six points awarded for P8, while Kevin and Max score their first points of the season, claiming 1.5 points for P10.

“That was a tough race, after both cars had the pace to take the win. We split strategies, which gave us a really strong chance, and it was looking like it would be a battle between the two of them to see which strategy would come out on top at the end of the three hours, but it was snatched away at the very end. Really unlucky, but this race had everything, and lived up to the headline event that the Silverstone 500 always delivers. There are a lot of positives for both sides of the garage, and the whole team did a faultless job all weekend, but the results just didn’t go our way this time. We will regroup and now have a few weeks to get our heads down and get ready for the next round. We will be ready for Donington, and will do everything we can to bounce back to get our championship back on track.”

Isa Al Khalifa, 2 Seas Motorsport team co-owner

Round 4 of the season is another endurance event, as the British GT Championship heads to Donington Park for its first of two visits. The three-hour event takes place over the weekend, 24-26 May.

Follow 2 Seas Motorsport across the team’s social media channels to keep up-to-date with the latest news – Facebook, Instagram and X.