© Ryan Ratcliffe 2017
Produced by Abbott Designs Ltd
GULF 12 HOURS
Yas Marina -
This year saw the running of the third annual Gulf 12 hours at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. The whole team worked extremely hard to achieve a good result for the Optimum Motorsport Team.
Due to the SRO Balance of Performance regulations we had to carry full ballast, which put us at a disadvantage. Our competitors were running smaller engines, which meant they had to carry less weight. The Yas Marina circuit has two long straights followed by lots of tight corners, therefore we lost time to the lighter cars in the braking zones. Despite this we put in an amazing performance to secure pole position for the race.
During the race disappointment came early. In my first stint, 2 laps before I was due to come in, a wish bone snapped and I had to drag the car back to the pits. Including the repair, this cost the team 15 minutes, giving the leaders a massive 6 lap advantage and dropping us down another place behind the circuit entered Aston Martin.
We were determined to make up this time and hunt down the leaders for the win. This was no longer an endurance race; it was a team sprint. Pushing the car and drivers to the limit, we managed to pull in two laps from the leader and pass the Yas Marina Aston Martin for second position in class.
It was disappointing not to come away with a win, however considering the circumstances the team did a fantastic job to finish second after being so far behind. It was a pleasure to drive alongside Joe Osborne and Lee Mowle, and I hope to be part of the team again in the future.