Andrew Jarman retook the lead of the British GT Championship on Sunday with a fine podium finish at the Silverstone 500.
At his and team TX Motorsport’s home race, Jarman and team-mate Devon Modell had to battle through mechanical problems to salvage a dramatic third place in the three-hour endurance race.
Lining up on the grid live on Motors TV, Jarman took the start in his GT4 Aston Martin V8 Vantage and by the famous Maggotts-Becketts complex on lap one, he was already up two places into eighth and chasing down the pack in front.
By the end of lap one the #49 TXM TF Sport Aston Martin was up five places and closing in on the front pack.
Heading past the new Silverstone F1 Paddock into Abbey Jarman was up to third before disaster struck exiting onto the Wellington Straight, as an electrical fault caused the engine to cut out.
After pulling to the side of the circuit and a hard reset of the Aston Martin GT4’s electrical systems Jarman was able to get underway again but had lost over 40 seconds.
Determined to claw a result from what had so far been a difficult weekend, by the mandatory driver change on lap 12 to take advantage of a safety car deployment, Jarman was back up to seventh out of the 14 car GT4 entry.
The race was underway again by lap 15 and team mate Modell appeared from the pits in third position after a reshuffle of the grid due to the safety car and tasked with reinforcing Jarman’s pace and ascendance further up the timing screens which he gladly rose to, holding third as the race past the hour mark.
After a strong 45 minute stint, Modell had moved within two tenths of a second to second-placed GT4 Beechdean Motorsport before handing the car back to Jarman with 90 minutes of the three-hour contest to run.
Jarman back on track, he was soon under threat from the fast-approaching Ginetta or Rick Parfitt Jnr but an optimistic passing attempt at Chapel resulted in Jarman being tipped into a spin, Parfitt Jnr subsequently receiving a drive-through penalty for causing an avoidable incident, while Jarman was fortunate not to receive any damage and able to continue his race, albeit having lost 25 seconds in the incident.
By lap 38 Jarman was back up to third and made the final mandatory pit stop, giving Modell a race to the line to keep a much deserved podium place for the TF Sport Team, but the excitement wasn’t over yet as Model was soon under pressure as the battle for third became a three way fight.
But three became two when the #42 Century Motorsport Ginetta suffered a brake fire which forced them into retirement.
This left Modell to fend of fellow title contenders Beechdean Motorsport to the flag to take a well-deserved podium for Jarman/Modell and four out of four in the British GT Championship.
Speaking after the race, Jarman said: “Third place is a fantastic result considering where we began in free practice, it’s been a tough weekend for us with a few unavoidable dramas in the race.
“But the team did a fantastic job and Devon drove a superb final stint to keep us in third.
“I’ve never driven the Silverstone GP circuit and the problems in practice put us on the back foot all weekend but the championship is all about consistency and we have secured some good points and retaken the championship lead which is important at this stage of the season.
“It’s been a really important weekend all round with so many sponsors and guests here, I wanted to get a good result and delighted to be back on the podium.”