Team Parker Racing’s Scott Malvern said the decision to start the second Intelligent Money British GT Championship race at Donington on slicks was a ‘calculated gamble’ which ultimately secured him and team-mate Nick Jones their first GT3 win in just their fourth race.
DONINGTON PARK 1: ENTRY LIST | RACE DAY FORMAT EXPLAINED | LIVE STREAM | QUALIFYING REPORT | RACE 1 REPORT | RACE 2 REPORT | INTERVIEW SCOTT MALVERN | INTERVIEW CONNOR O’BRIEN | RESULTS | GALLERY | PODCAST
After a soaking first race, the conditions for the second proved to be more marginal with a selection of the front-runners, including Balfe Motorsport, Barwell Motorsport and WPI Motorsport, all taking the gamble to start on slicks on the slowly drying circuit.
Speaking to GT REPORT for the third edition of the podcast, Malvern explained that the decision to run slicks on the Bentley Continental GT3 was influenced by their relatively poor pace in the opening encounter.
He added: “Really, the gamble was a little more calculated than just putting our finger up into the wind because we all saw the result in race one when we ran wets and it wasn’t great – our pace was pretty poor. To be able to fix that between races, we only had a couple of hours, without any real testing was going to be tricky! We had a lot to lose by going on wets, potentially, but potentially a lot to gain by taking the gamble so it just made sense.
“For me, if it rained it rained so we rolled the dice and it paid off this time. I didn’t think it was going to pay off on the exploration lap I must admit! On the lap to the grid it was a little touch and go!”
After some apprehension on the lap to the grid, the multiple single-seater champion said his confidence in the decision increased after the first racing lap despite losing a handful of places to wet-shod rivals starting just behind.
“I felt like once we got round the first lap and it was dry enough to get round we were good. That was my main concern, on the lap to the grid and the green flag lap we’re not going fast enough to really know. When the wet guys came past I wasn’t overly concerned because I was able to see where they were strong and where we were strong. They were only really better than us at the chicane and the hairpin – the first one – but the rest of the lap we were stronger,” Malvern explained.
“I knew their advantage wouldn’t last for ever, I was just trying to stick ahead of the slick runners, but I wasn’t aware that Sandy Mitchell’s Lamborghini wasn’t on slicks so when that car came past I thought he was on slicks and I thought ‘how is he doing this?’
“He was driving on wet bits of the track that I couldn’t go near so I went on the radio and asked the question, and that’s when they told me that he’s on wets! I was pushing like crazy to keep with someone who was on wets at the time! That helped me actually, without that I wouldn’t have pushed so hard so that helped me in a way.”
To hear more from Scott Malvern, keep your eyes on GT REPORT later in the week when he’ll be a guest on the third episode of our Podcast.