Epperstone's George Gambles take to track at Circuit Paul Ricard in final stage of GT4 European Series
George Gamble’s first weekend back on track was one of misfortune at Circuit Paul Ricard, reports Paul Horton.
The 24-year-old competed in the final stage of the GT4 European Series at the French Grand Prix Circuit — his first step in international GT endurance racing.
The Epperstone driver, who raced in the 762 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 for Swiss-based R-Motorsport Team, was met with disappointment in race two when he made contact with a Mercedes on the second lap, which put his Aston Martin out of the race.
It followed a 12th-placed finish in the first racing session.
Despite the shorter stint on track, Gamble said it was a good chance to get back in the car following a long break from action due to the coronavirus.
“It was really a great experience to race in the event,” he said.
“It was the first time out in the car since 13 months ago.
“It was not the result we had planned for and race two was short-lived after the contact made on lap two.
“But we want to learn and develop everything for the 2021 season.
“We (Gamble and team-mate Seb Perez) both had a strong pace throughout the weekend and we were improving with every session.”
The action began on Thursday for the R-Motorsport Team drivers with two test sessions on the 5.842km circuit.
Two 60-minute free practice sessions followed on Friday.
Gamble, who had enjoyed testing, finished in 12th place with a top speed of 147.8kph.
Perez recorded a tenth place finish while Gamble clocked a ninth place finish in the evening qualifying sessions as they geared up for Saturday’s racing.
As the lights went out for race one, Perez was in command and remained consistent throughout his stint until the pit lane window opened, which saw a mandatory driver change to Gamble who continued momentum to finish in 12th with a top speed of 154.5kph — just two seconds off the pace of fastest on track.
The second race saw Gamble open in the hot seat, but things didn’t go to plan and to the disappointment of both drivers, disaster fell on lap two when Gamble made contact with a Mercedes.
The team will now prepare for the 2021 season after its one-off outing in France.