Brands Hatch podium for Duncan and Von Ryan Racing

Duncan Tappy earned Von Ryan Racing’s second British GT Championship podium of the season with a dogged drive at Brands Hatch.

Greg Demoustier and Duncan Tappy on the Brands Hatch podium

Greg Demoustier and Duncan Tappy on the Brands Hatch podium

As usual this season the #9 McLaren MP4-12C was one of three cars carrying a 75kg weight penalty, and this meant that Tappy and team-mate Gregoire Demoustier could qualify no better than 19th.

However, their times stacked up well against non-handicapped McLarens, so the team went into the race quietly optimistic – and Demoustier proved that confidence to be well-founded with a sensational climb through the field to take the lead.

Unfortunately, when Tappy emerged from the pits after the driver change-over he had to negotiate his way past a GT4 entrant just as the Beechdean Aston Martin came round on warmer tyres, and the chance of victory was gone.

With the weight penalty holding him back, he had no realistic hope of re-capturing the lead but produced an hour-long masterclass in controlled driving to successfully defend second place from a pair of racy BMWs that were running without ballast.

He said: “We were quite happy in practice and gave Greg a few more laps to learn the place because he hasn’t been here before. We qualified 19th, which is nothing special though fully expected given our weight handicap, but we knew that people generally put the B drivers in first and Greg could really make a move in that position.

“He had a few steady laps to start with to get settled in, then got stuck behind a Ferrari for a bit, but when he got his confidence he started to overtake everybody. He caught up the Beechdean Aston and overtook him, so we were in the lead of the race when it handed over to me.

“The pitstop went really well, with no issues, but the Aston had pitted before us and was out there on a fresh set of tyres. The Astons and BMWs were like lightning all weekend and as I came out of the pits I was overtaking a GT4 so they snatched the lead.

“Despite the ballast, once my tyres were up to temperature I wasn’t going to let that happen with anyone else and I spent the rest of the race having to defend because the other guys didn’t have the weight. But I know the place well and I held on to the end of the race.

“I’m a little bit annoyed that the win slipped through our hands but overall second was a really good result given the qualifying position and the weight. Our approach was to concentrate on the race, and it really worked for us.

“It was a fantastic team effort and just reward for everyone at Von Ryan Racing”

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