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Tyre valve failure bursts Balfe Motorsport’s bubble at Silverstone

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The Balfe Motorsport duo of Shaun Balfe and Adam Carroll arrived at Silverstone as Championship leaders following their victory at Oulton Park — but it wasn’t plain sailing this time out.

The Fulbeck-based team’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 is the only one of its marque in the championship and therefore an ongoing development for the team.

THE AUDI R8 LMS GT3 before it was hampered by tyre valve problems at Silverstone.
THE AUDI R8 LMS GT3 before it was hampered by tyre valve problems at Silverstone.

After both drivers had taken part in their individual qualifying session, the aggregate gave them 12th place on the grid for Sunday’s race.

“We were losing out on every straight again, due the BOP (balance of power) restrictions,” Carroll said.

“The success of the Audi on the world stage caused the power to be restricted and as our championship in the UK was next to start.”

Balfe said: “It’s same rules as we had at Oulton Park, but you feel if more at Silverstone as it’s a quicker track.

“We are in the bottom 25% in every speed trap, so it’s a very small working window, with power and tyre settings to suit that.”

There was a sign of improvement and optimism during Sunday mornings warm-up, which was helped by slightly cooler temperatures and with a late morning start to the race, things were looking slightly more optimistic.

Come race time and, after 15 laps, Balfe headed into the pitlane in P6.

They rejoined in 14th but started to move up the order again as the other crews started to make their stops.

Twenty laps into the race and Carroll was up to 12th with a number of the cars ahead still to make a stop.

Poised to break back into the top six again after 25 laps, there was suddenly a catastrophic end to their race, when a rear tyre valve failed, resulting in a DNF.

The team returns to action at Donington Park at the end of May.

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