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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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Strong Return to Oschersleben - 21st June 2009

Michael claims podium on return to Oschersleben.

The FIA GT4 Cup returned to action this weekend, with Michael taking a 3rd place and 6th place finish at the German track on his first visit since last years brake failure resulted in a destroyed car and a trip to the Hospital for the driver.

After a series of issues with the braking system in the 4 races so far this year, hopes were pinned on several new developments to the system since the last time the car ran.

Despite not running the development parts until Fridays Free Practise sessions, Michael and the RSWilliams team were very pleased with the developments made by Aston Martin Racing over recent weeks.

After struggling somewhat in the dry Qualifying sessions, Michael lined up in 5th and 5th places for the weekends two races. After the sessions Michael said "'Not fast enough, but we've got much better brakes. I've now got a consistent brake package, which is great, and a big step forward from where we've been. We're really struggling with the weight though, it's relatively close to the front, but we've still got to find a few more seconds, and I think we'll get that by taking weight off the car. Because we're pushing really hard, but the scope's not there. It's good to have a consistent car and we're looking forward to the race and we'll see how we get on."

Race One started dramatically as a heavy rain shower swept over the circuit as the cars lined up on the grid. With half the field staying on Slick tyres, Michael and the RSWilliams team took the decision to switch onto Wets. This proved to be the right decision, as Michael immediately moved up to 3rd position, as the drivers on Slicks struggled to get withing 10 seconds of the leading pace.

Michael maintained a strong 3rd position through the pit-stop window, but soon after it became clear that slicks were the way forward, "The wets were right for the start, but just after mid-point the track was too dry and we started to really suffer, particularly with the heavy starting weight of the Aston at the moment we just couldn't keep the tyres fresh as long as the other cars, for the last 5 laps I couldn't even keep full power on the straights, it was all over the place!"

In the dying moments Michael was caught by the Nissan 350z of Chris Buncombe, and after a dramatic scrap lost the final place on the podium.

After the race however the 2nd place finishing BMW was judged to have commited an infringement in the pit-stops and was given a 30second penalty, promoting Michael back up to 3rd position.

Race two was dry throughout, with Michael lining up 6th on the grid.

A strong start saw Michael into 4th place on the run to turn one, before spotting a very fast and out of control Porsche flying up the inside! "Fortunately I saw the Porsche coming and moved to the outside, we lost a few positions but at least we stayed in the race!"

After moving back up to 5th place Michael maintained positions until the pit-stops.

Returning to the track after the routine stop Michael received a stop and go penalty, after a mistake in the pit-stop meant that the total stop length was 69.9 seconds instead of the required 70.

After taking the penalty immediately Michael set about reclaiming what positions he could and took the flag in 6th place.

"It was good to have a couple of finishes after the mechanical problems we have had so far this year," said Michael after the race, "I'm sorry for the guys that we missed out on a potential result in race 2 due to the mistake in the pit stop, but at the least this weekend has shown we are by far the strongest Aston Martin, we just need the SRO to change the Balance of Performance slightly to make it a fairer playing field."

The series returns to action at Spa Francourchamps, Belgium, at the end of July.

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