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Double podium for Dan at Spa Francorchamps
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011

Dan came up trumps at Spa this weekend, where along with co-driver Karsten Le Blanc the pair secured a double win in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge.

The European leg of the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge was the 5th round of the Championship which Dan and Karsten now lead. After securing 2nd position in qualifying on Friday, it was Dan who took the start in the 1st of two 1 hr endurance races at 9.40 am on Saturday morning. Having just lept out of his Formula Ford Single seater Dan had to join the Aston Martin already on the start grid!

The first few laps were pretty fraught and Dan encountered some contact in the early part of the race. Dan briefly took 1st position but left the track in the process so yielded the position. He later retook the lead and shortly after an incident on track bought out the safety car. NMR took the decision to pit and changed drivers. Karsten left the pits to regain the lead and bought it home pushing right to the end to finish, just 3 secs ahead of the works run Aston Martin Lagonda car for their 2nd victory of the season.

Later the same day, in Race 2 Karsten started the race in P2 on the grid, a slight coming together with the works run Aston Martin Lagonda car driven by journalist Jethro Bovington at the bus stop, lost him some time, dropping Karsten to P3, but he received no damage to the car. At the hand-over Dan went out still in P2, but there was a big gap to the Stratton Racing Car of Mantello in P1 with over a minute to catch up. But Dan was reeling the car in over 8 seconds a lap and with 20 minutes to go, it took a few laps but a faultless drive, saw Dan take the lead with time to spare. The only danger was the chasing AMR car of John Gaw which narrowed to 9 seconds, when Dan ran into back marker traffic, giving the AMR a chance to close the gap to 3 sec. But Dan stayed focused and held his lead to give the duo a Spectacular double win.

Karsten’s comment “Dan did a fantastic job this weekend, driving a very mature race, the car was good and ran very reliably and I am pleased to say we are now leading the Championship!”

Meanwhile in the EuroCup Dan’s luck wasn’t on side as a generous portion of luck with slipstreaming is part of the recipe for success at Spa and problems in qualifying left Dan starting the race down in 15th position. In Race 1, Dan suffered at the hands of one of the European competitors who out-braked himself into La Source rear ending Dan and taking him out of the race. Friday night Dan made lots of changes to the car to make up the time, and in Race 2, at 9am Saturday morning it looked like the work had paid off as Dan set an excellent pace throughout making up places to finish 7th overall. But Race 3 didn’t go to plan as Dan was once again sidelined by a Dutch competitor pushing him into the lead pack on lap 1 leaving Dan with a damaged front end and unable to continue.

Dan is back out in his Mygale single seater just next weekend as the EuroCup moves to another Belgium track, Zolder where the Formula Ford racers will be in action at the Superleague Formula event.

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