Autosport Designs Aston Martin DBRS9s at Mosport 2006
Thanks to tropical storm Ernesto, it was conditions best suited to speedboats and ducks at last weekend's 2006 Speed GT World Challenge round. Despite the deluge, the two Autosport Designs DBRS9s were competitive and finished the race.
What promised to be a battle between the championship front runners in qualifying for the 10th round, thanks to the conditions turned out to be a walkover for the only four wheel drive car in the field.
The two Aston Martin DBRS9s of Autosport Designs Racing had to contend with a myriad of problems during practice, including a broken half shaft, issues with a clutch master cylinder and a leaking differential, all of which meant that the team worked into the early hours of the morning in order to have both cars ready for qualifying.
Qualifying was hampered by spotty rain showers which saw most drivers completing no more than four fast laps. Johnny Mowlem put the 44 car twelfth on the grid, while Tom Papadopoulos took the fifteenth spot for car 43.
Race day loomed dark and miserable with not a sign of any let up in the constant, driving rain. As the flag dropped and the field took off in what seemed to be one large rooster tail, Tom Papadopoulos (#43) overtook his team mate into tenth place and, despite a spin toward the end of the race, finished a fine seventh overall having lapped a good number of his fellow competitors in the process.
Johnny Mowlem (#44), despite going off track and gently brushing the tyre wall in order to avoid two cars spinning in front of him necessitating a visit to the pits and re-joining the race 35 seconds behind everyone else, drove through the field to finish a very creditable eleventh overall.
This race was a first for the Autosport Designs Racing team, in that both cars finished the race in very difficult conditions and continue to become more competitive. Tom Papadopoulos, team principal and driver said “I am very happy the way the car performed in these terrible conditions and I feel that we have taken another step forward. We look forward to Road Atlanta where we hope to have a new aero package”.
Johnny Mowlem said “A good overall team result in very tough race conditions. Tom drove a great race and I believe that at Road Atlanta with the fitting of new rear body work that lessens the opening around the rear tyres both Tom and I should be in a position to finish in the top five”.
2006 Speed GT World Challenge Calendar -
Sept. 27-31 - Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta
Oct. 19-22 - Monterey Sports Car Championship, Laguna Seca
For the latest news please visit www.world-challenge.com and of course Autosport Designs homepage: www.autosportdesigns.com where you can also view Tom and Barry's extensive inventory of automobiles.
Story: Classic Driver
Photos: Autosport Designs/Richard Prince - Strictly Copyright
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