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British GT Championships – Oulton Park

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Round 1 of the British GT Championship has just been and gone and I had the pleasure of crawling out of my bed at 4:30 am Monday to start my 3+ hour drive from South Wales to the Oulton Park circuit. In typical British weather, we seemed to have it all in one day but I still got home with a pink tan line on my forehead after the event.

I urge you to watch the race highlights from the weekend when you can, it was fantastic watching all of the different series on offer. As you will know from Assetto Corsa Competizione, Oulton Park is notorious for being a race track hard to pass on, so it made it all the more exciting when drivers were sticking their noses up the inside.

We got to witness stars like Jules Gounon make his debut, take pole position and break the lap record. A reason why RAM Racing got him in the car. We saw the new Audi Evo II of Balfe Motorsport shine in both races to lead the championship overall and GT4s were full of action too with Newbridge Motorsport shining and the Audi R8 LMS leaving Oulton with the overall lead also. 

Balfe Motorsport left the weekend leading the championship

An Interview With Angus Fender 

During the busy British GT Championship weekend, I was able to grab an interview with Century Motorsports’ brand new driver Angus Fender, who many of you will know from his sim racing escapades with BS+ Competition. 

Firstly, I just want to congratulate him on the year he has had, with joining BS+ competition sim racing, getting a degree and now back on the grid for Century Motorsport in the British GT championships, I’d say that’s one hell of a year. Angus had this to say:

“It’s great to be back on the British GT grid. Century is a team I know well from 2019 – it feels like a homecoming!! In regards to my degree, it’s the final push now so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for sure! It’s been a hell of an enjoyable hear with BS+ and we are improving all the time. From not having an ACC side a year ago to now having in my opinion the best 3 drivers in ACC in Nils, Arthur and Gregor are simply awesome.”

We then got talking about him being back on the grid for the first time in a few years, how sim racing, the British GT tracks and the BMW M4 on ACC compared to real life and how this helped his preparations? 

I was very pleasantly surprised to feel the similarities in characteristics between the real and virtual BMW M4 GT3s. It’s evident that KUNOS and BMW Motorsport alike has made a big effort in making their cars feel accurate and realistic. Small driving tricks that work on the sim work in real life too and it’s a special opportunity to be able to work with BMW Motorsport to be able to bring the ACC version of this car even closer to the real one.  I do use ACC to do a bit of pre-meeting preparation. Of course, with the limited time I had before this weekend, I didn’t get in as much sim running as I’d have ideally wanted, but having the foundations of the car now has been useful definitely.”

Century Motorsport #91 BMW in action for Race 2 at Oulton Park

We then briefly dived into BS+ Competition as I wanted to find out if racing for a top Esports team like this, helps his endeavours in the real world.

“As far as the on-track racing goes, I am the only BS+ ACC driver with significant real-world experience. Because I’m in this incredibly lucky position, racing on the sim and racing in real life is slightly separated from one another but the ability to turn any lap, anywhere at any time is priceless”

I also had to find out how he ended up on the grid in such a short space of time. It was such a short space of time that the programme had TBA next to the team entry with no confirmed driver for the weekend and the signature cards were blank with only Betty Chens photo on them (His teammate) – this didn’t stop me from getting those signatures, however.

“The opportunity with Century was a very last-minute affair. Usually, you’d plan to have these drives sorted out months in advance, to get the required amount of track time in the car. The situation with me was due to my relationship with the team boss, Nathan Freke. He gave me a call very early on the Tuesday of the race meeting with an offer I really couldn’t refuse. I suppose the phrase “good things come to those who wait” sums it up perfectly.” 

As Angus was a busy man this weekend I finished the interview by asking what his expectations are not only for this weekend but for the rest of the season also and this is what he had to say.

“This year will be one of development for sure, both myself and co-driver Betty Chen are young (21 & 22 years old respectively) and inexperienced with the car. We know the car has bags of potential, and I trust myself to be able to learn the ropes of this new car quickly. Betty has been thrown in at the deep end and has a lot to get used to this year. She has experience with GT3 machines having raced the M6 GT3 in China GT, but is new to UK race circuits, the car, her Pro (me) and the team, so the aim with her is to make her feel as comfortable as possible in her surroundings, as soon as we reasonably can. The sooner we can do that the sooner we can start chasing results!

Not the weekend they would have wanted but Angus and Betty motor on

Not the weekend the team wanted

Unfortunately, the weekend for them was hampered with issues, they didn’t make qualifying on Saturday as parts for the car were not ready and then in the warm-up session on race day, they hit even more problems which meant they had to miss race 1. They did make it back out for race 2 later on in the afternoon, starting from the pitlane, but couldn’t make headway after navigating through all the GT4s first and falling behind the main GT3 pack. I am sure they will be back better than ever at Silverstone in 3 weeks.

*Photography in this article have been supplied by King-Magee Photography