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Double delight for Duckhams at Oulton Park on British GT debut

Duckhams Yuasa Racing enjoyed a winning start to its maiden British GT Championship campaign as Adam Smalley recorded two wins in the Silver/Am class with teammate Shaun Balfe at Oulton Park.

After title-winning success last year in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, it was time for a new challenge with Adam taking on endurance racing for the first time in his career. Partnered with experienced Am racer and former British GT winner Shaun, the duo are pairing up in a Garage 59-run McLaren GT3 EVO for 2024.

They had a strong start to the season, with a double pole position during Saturday’s dry qualifying sessions, where each driver had just 10-minutes to set a representative time.

Lining up fourth overall in GT3, it was wet as racing began on Easter Monday, though Shaun did well to hold position off the line as the new season roared into life through a ball of spray, before a Full Course Yellow was shown after 21 minutes of the one-hour contest. Racing resumed with 15 minutes left on the clock and Adam behind the wheel, but with a healthy class lead he focused on bringing the car home for victory on his debut weekend.

The sun came out for race two, drying the track quite quickly once proceedings were underway. Adam started the contest and initially dropped a place but regained it before another Full Course Yellow period. Once the circuit was cleared Adam came into the pits, handing over to Shaun who set some good sector times before another caution period was required. However, with barrier damage and a stranded car, the race would finish under Safety Car conditions, handing the pair a second straight success.

With two Silver/Am wins and two strong overall finishes, Duckhams Yuasa Racing has its championship charge off to a good start, leading the class standings by a comfortable 14 point margin. Full focus is now on the next race, the jewel of the calendar – the three-hour Silverstone 500 – taking place over the weekend of April 27/28.

Adam Smalley

G1 – 1, R1 – 1
G2 – 1, R2 – 1

Championship: Silver/Am Cup – 1 (50 points) Overall – 5 (22 points)

“The weekend was pretty good. I can’t complain as we had two races and two Silver/Am wins, so I’m really happy with it. Qualifying was strong and Shaun did a good job because we qualified fifth for both races.

“The weather on Monday was very different to the first day. We’d done a little bit of wet running, but our pace overall was good. It’s still a learning curve for me but it’s nice to have Marcus [Clutton] in the Garage 59 awning, as he’s a lot more experienced in this form of racing and more used to the car, so he’s a good yardstick.

“Shaun started race one in pretty miserable conditions but did a great job, handing over to me in a good spot as we were leading Silver/Am and P5 overall. There was no real pressure from behind and our pace was strong, so I knew I didn’t have to do anything silly and just bring home our first trophy. The team and Shaun did a really great job.

“Starting race two was a new experience for me as I’ve never had a rolling start before. I lost a position off the line but regained it, but we just missed out on a podium finish due to the Full Course Yellow. Shaun was setting good times before it came out and had the race resumed, I think we could have been up there. For a first weekend it was promising and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”


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