Frustrating Final Round for Bentwood

Cheshire-based racing driver, Michael Bentwood was frustrated to score a DNF in the final round of the 2008 Avon Tyres British GT Championship.

Bentwood had been confident going into the weekend with the 22GT racing team having prepared well for the 2-hour mini-endurance race. Free practice had given Bentwood and the telecoms tycoon and team owner, Tom Alexander cause for optimism. The DBRS9 was just four hundredths of a second off the fastest time, giving them great confidence going into qualifying.

The weather was not kind to Bentwood for qualifying, with light rain severely hampering the Aston’s performance. The big V12 GT car is more heavily affected by rain with its wide rear tyres and front engined layout. Bentwood’s skill allowed him to put the car fifth, with only mid-engined cars in front of him and the closest front engined car a distant 12th.

The decision had been made for Tom Alexander the gentleman driver of the pairing to start the race and hand over to Bentwood for the final half of the race. Unfortunately just 40 minutes into the two hour race, all plans and tactics went out the window when the normally reliable DBRS9 coughed to a halt and started to catch fire. The fire didn’t cause severe damage, but the engine could do no more and the race was something of an anti-climax.

Bentwood was disappointed with the race after it had shown so much promise, commenting: “We had such a great build-up but as soon as it got a bit wet we were struggling in qualifying. Those rear tyres are so wide compared to the mid-engined cars and with them having the weight of the engine over the driven wheels we have no chance. It was very disappointing for the race to end the way it did.”

He continued: “Really it was a bad end to a very up and down season with us having lead two races and qualified on average 4th or 5th most of the year. It has been a tough season for Tom having lost his mother and going down with pneumonia during the year. This has meant I have had three different team mates this year and that is not necessarily ideal, despite the substitute drivers doing a great job. My high points were leading two races until the handover and getting a pole position at Thruxton, it has been a real learning experience for me running 22GT racing with Nathan, and I am pleased with how we have performed.”

Bentwood will be racing again in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship in 2009 and would welcome talking to anyone looking to sponsor a front-running and distinctive GT car.

More information on this event will appear soon.

Check back closer to the event date for an update.

Thank you for your interest in 22GT Racing.

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