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Mallock Seals Return to the British GT Championship

Successful Northampton based driver to challenge for GT4 Class...
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Vice champion Mallock wins the last one

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Tough start for GT4 Cup - 4th May 2009

The first rounds of the GT4 European Cup saw a tough start to Michael Mallock and RSWilliams' 2009 campaign.

With a grid of 18 car for the first 2 40 minute races of the year, to be held on Silverstones Grand Prix Circuit including 6 of Ginettas G50 sportscars, results were always going to be tough to get.

A spectacular performance in qualifying saw Michael place the Aston Martin GT4 second on the grid in Q1, and take pole position in Q2. The team however had serious concerns over the Astons ability to match the considerably lighter Ginettas over a race distance.

Michael made a strong start in Race One, taking the lead into Copse at the start and immediately pulling an advantage over the following pack, at the end of lap two, however, the Astons tyres were starting to struggle already and the following Ginettas had a chance to close the gap. The third lap saw Michael unable to hold off Joe Osbourne and drop to second position. What had looked likely to be a great scrap at the front was cut short, as the Aston Martin lost power and shortly after retired with a spectacular engine failure.

The mechanics, assisted by Aston Martin Racing staff immediately took the car to Aston Martin Racings Banbury headquarters, and worked solidly until 6.30am to get a new engine fitted for Sundays race.

Starting the race from Pole Position, Michael was cautious in the first lap, mindful that these were the first kilometres to be put on the brand new engine, and dropped to 3rd position. An immediate safety car period to clear up a startline incident offered an opportunity to put some stress free miles on the motor, and at the restart Mallock pushed hard to stay with the leaders. After one lap of 'Green racing' the pit stop window was open and the RSWilliams crew took the opportunity to call Michael in for the mandatory pitstop, hoping to rejoin in a clear track and get an advantage over the competition.

Unfortunately as the car stopped in the pit box large amounts of smoke and small flames could e seen coming from the front brakes. A low speed exploritary lap confirmed the teams fear that this was a recurrance of last seasons continuing brake issues, and Michael had no option but to bring the car into retirement.

"This weekend has been a huge disappointment for all," Said Michael after the second race, "The guys have worked extremely hard pre season to give me a car capable of winning races, and made a huge effort overnight to just have the car on the grid today, but circumstances outside of our control have meant that wasn't possible. I want to thank them hugely for their efforts and hope we will be at the next race with a car capable of getting the results the guys deserve."

The GT4 Cup resumes at Adria International Raceway, Italy on May 16th

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