10 June, 2013
Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium was host to the third round of the European Supercar Challenge Championship this weekend. Under unusually clear and sunny skies, the United Autosports McLaren MP4 12C of Jim and Glynn Geddie went into the weekend with a slender one point lead in the championship, with the aim of extending it further.
Friday afternoon’s qualifying session was always going to be a challenge for drivers to get a clear lap, with an incredible 68 cars on track. Glynn was the first car to take on the famous Belgian circuit and stunned the pit lane with an opening lap good enough for pole position. It was game over for theopposition, who took too long to get up to speed, finding themselves dealing with the traffic of slower cars as the 30 minute session came to an end with the rest of the field unable to respond.
For Saturday’s race, Jim took the start and held the lead at the first corner. It was short lived however as the Volvo of Dutch driver HenryZumbrink made contact with the McLaren through the high speed Blanchimont corner, resulting in an off-course excursion for Jim, losing several positions. The resultant damage to the front left corner took out the front aero wings. With the handling of the car impaired, Jim did well to recover several positions before the compulsory pit stops. Jim pitted at the half way point in fourth position for Glynn to take the wheel and, in what is now becoming a trademark effort from the flying Scot, he was the fastest car on track. Another last lap battle with the team’s main championship rival, Jan Versluis in his Ferrari 458 GT2 car, saw Glynn secure second position at the flag to the delight of the team.
Sunday morning’s weather was much more typical for Spa. Sure enough, as the race approached, the heavens opened. The cars ventured out under thesafety car as for the first two laps the conditions were deemed too treacherous to start the race. Although no noticeable improvement in the conditions from the pit lane, on lap three the pace car peeled into the pits and the race was underway. The spray and standing water caught several drivers out and cars were seen spinning up and down the field. At the front, Jim settled into P2 behind the Ferrari of Versluis, the two of them pulling away from the pack despite the horrific conditions. Jim pitted after 30 minutes having had a truly brave and skilful stint behind the wheel. As the team changed drivers and fitted a new set of wets for Glynn, the series regulation success penalty – a result of three consecutive podiums for the team – of 25 seconds stationary seemed like an age. Glynn joined the track down in 7th place with lots of work to do and only 30 minutes to do it. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Glynn set fastest lap after fastest lap in pursuit of another podium despite the conditions worsening. Another grandstand finish was in store and the final lap saw Glynn secure third place, within touching distance and tantalisingly close to the Corvette in P2.
This fourth consecutive podium means the team inch further into the lead of the championship and adds to their impressive tally of three pole positions and four fastest laps after just three race weekends. The next round will be at Zolder, Belgium in just two weeks’ time (22nd and 23rd June)
Jim Geddie, Driver, United Autosports:
“I’m really pleased with how this weekend went. The team did a great job and the car ran really well yet again. Obviously, it’s great to still be leading the championship and hopefully we can continue our good pace into the next race at Zolder.”
Glynn Geddie, Driver, United Autosports:
“I was really looking forward to this weekend at Spa, especially following on from a successful weekend in Slovakia. The car was great, the team were great and it all seemed to work really well. It’s a shame we had such a long success penalty, it felt like ages sitting in the car waiting to be let out, but I’m pleased with our performance and I am now looking forward to the next round in Zolder.”
Richard Dean, Managing Director and Team Owner, United Autosports
“We are loving every minute of this European championship and the weekend’s fourth consecutive podium was a great reward for the fantastic drives both Glynn and Jim put in at Spa. The McLaren is improving all the time and is turning out to be the car to beat, hopefully we can extract more than our rivals before the next round in just two weeks’ time.”