Early woes for Ecurie Ecosse GT3 duoposted in GT07 | 08 | 2016

    BLACK BULL ECURIE ECOSSE duo Alasdair McCaig and Rob Bell endured a miserable outing in the penultimate round of the British GT Championship at Snetterton.

    Hit by an extra 40kg ‘success’ ballast, bolted to the passenger floor of their Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 650S GT3, the pair qualified fifth and sixth for the two one-hour races on the 2.9-mile Norfolk circuit.

    But a first lap incident, involving an Aston Martin as the pair battled for second place, ultimately put paid to the car for both races.

    Starting the opening race from fifth, Edinburgh racer McCaig had moved to third before the impact at the left-hand hairpin at Agostini.

    The contact, though initially minor, dislodged the wire mesh on the grille protecting the McLaren’s radiator. Having dropped to 11th, McCaig then battled back to sixth.

    Then, just before he pitted to hand the car over to Newcastle racer, McLaren works driver Bell, a stone thrown up by another car punctured the radiator.

    The team took the decision to retire the car seconds after the duo had completed their compulsory driver change.

    “It’s just one of those unfortunate things in motorsport,” McCaig explained. “It was a nothing bump, and the car was fine afterwards, but the stone going through the radiator finished the race for us.”

    With a new radiator fitted, the #79 McLaren took the grid in sixth for Race 2, but again, on the opening lap, trouble reared its ugly head.

    “I did the outlap and everything felt fine,” Bell explained. “Then, just after I got up to full running speed once the race started, I went for the brakes on the opening race lap and nothing; it wasn’t there.

    “The pedal was long, which isn’t what you want at those speeds, and in race conditions. Then it started feeling strange in a straight line, and it quickly got progressively worse to the extent I knew we had a significant problem.

    “We pitted to see what it was, and discovered the wheelbearing had failed. We believe the failure was caused by a knock-on effect of the impact from the race this morning.”

    Related: Ecurie Ecosse GT3 duo eye top three at Snetterton

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    Jim McGill


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