Jarman takes the chequered flag at Silverstone

Andrew Jarman, third on the left, on the podium at Silverstone
Andrew Jarman, third on the left, on the podium at Silverstone

He may have only driven the car a handful of times before racing it, but Andrew Jarman raced to victory in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge at Silverstone on Sunday.

The Milton Keynes racer returned to the cockpit after 18 months out through injury, but immediately found his form in the car, setting a time good enough for third place on the grid.

Jarman’s team mate Olivier Bouche took the honours of starting the 100 minute race which he did in convincing style, taking the lead on the first lap and putting in a series of impressive laps to build up a healthy cushion before the first of two mandatory pit stops on lap 39.

Staying in the car for the second short stint, the number 22 car maintained its position at the front of the field before stopping again on lap 45 for the final stop and driver change.

With 50 minutes of the race still to go and another faultless pit stop by the Stratton Motorsport Team, Jarman jumped into the car for his run to the flag, still in the lead of the race. However the second placed Vantage Racing car of Chris Kemp and Tom Black were soon on the charge and closing down Jarman as he took some time to settle into driving the car on heavy fuel.

Added to this was overcoming the traffic from lapped cars, something Jarman managed quickly, putting his years of karting and single seater racing experience to good use.

Soon enough though, Jarman found his rhythm and was able to control the gap in the closing stages of the race as he continued to feel more at home in the car, improving his best lap time of the race.

By the 86th lap Jarman had pegged the gap to just under six seconds to the car behind, which he held until the chequered flag to take his first GT win much to the delighted of the Stratton Motorsport Team and team mate Olivier Bouche.

Delighted with the victory, Jarman said: “I really didn’t expect this heading into the weekend, everything was so last minute I was just happy to even be on the grid so to come away with a win is unbelievable.

“It took me a while to settle into the race, the car was heavy still with fuel and I wanted to try and look after the tyres. I knew we had a cushion but just blocked out any thoughts of winning and focused on finding my rhythm I was then able to control the gap to the flag.

“This is a fantastic result for all the hard work it’s taken to get here and I just hope we can now secure the budget for remainder of the season.”