2019 Intelligent Money British GT Championship winner Graham Davidson has said his surprise return to the series for last weekend’s round at Oulton Park is an opportunity to show he’s still interested in motorsport after a few years away.
BRITISH GT OULTON PARK: SEASON PREVIEW | ENTRY LIST | LIVESTREAM | PRACTICE REPORT | QUALIFYING REPORT | QUALIFYING VIDEO | JULES GOUNON INTERVIEW | RACE ONE REPORT | ADAM CARROLL INTERVIEW | RACE TWO REPORT | GRAHAM DAVIDSON INTERVIEW
Davidson, who won the title in TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3, tackled the two 60-minute races over the Easter weekend in a Team Rocket RJN McLaren 720S GT3 as a late replacement for Simon Watts, who caught COVID-19 in the build-up to the opening round of the season.
For the Scot, who hasn’t raced in British GT since he took the crown alongside Jonny Adam, the opportunity is perfect to get his name back in the ring for future drives.
He said: “It’s great to get the opportunity from the team, and unfortunate for Simon with catching COVID but for me it’s a chance to get my name back in the ring and show that I am still interested and hopefully I can still drive! Then we’ll see later in the year if there’s maybe another seat available with a longer-term view to come back for a full-season.
“I’m not quite there financially and in that position at the moment, but hopefully this time next year I will be able to do something.”
While he’s got eyes on the longer-term, for now he had the task of ensuring full-season Pro James Kell and a fourth in the second race meant they got points on the board after being crashed into in the season-opener. The fourth in the second encounter was also a Silver-Am podium – a trophy not a bad result considering he only got the call to race on Tuesday afternoon.
“I got a call from Bob [Neville] asking if I was available for Oulton Park and I gave him the same response initially as I’ve given a couple of others: ‘I don’t have the money to go racing just now, thanks but I really appreciate the offer.’ But he said: ‘we just need you to get yourself here and drive’ so I got my medical and licence in place on Wednesday and came down Thursday,” Davidson explained.
“I managed to squeeze in two hours on the simulator at home, so that was good! All a bit last minute and in at the deep-end with a new car to me but yeah it’s been great.”
While it’s a big change for Davidson, he’s certainly not lost the speed that took him that title. In qualifying, he set the fourth-fastest time to put himself on the second-row for the opening race of the season – just three-tenths off Shaun Balfe’s pole-winning time.
He added: “The McLaren is a more agile car, it feels more racy, more like a go-kart, than the Aston. The Aston was a great race car but probably more suited to bigger circuits and bigger endurance races – it’s a more comfortable car to be in for a longer race probably is the best way to put it.
“I think the McLaren will make a great sprint car, it’s really good around tight circuits like this. I did test one a couple of years ago at Silverstone and it was great. I’m comfortable with the mid-engined layout.”
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