Published on May 25th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
AUDI ACHIEVES PODIUM “HAT-TRICK” DESPITE ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS
Audi driver Phil Burgan overcame intermittent electrical issues throughout each race to record a “hat-trick” of GTO class podiums in the latest rounds of the GT Cup Championship at Rockingham yesterday (24 May). Despite the best endeavours of the reigning GT Cup Championship winning team United Autosports, including a visit to Silverstone to collect parts from Audi “customer racing” technicians attending the Blancpain Endurance Series race meeting, it was unable to debug its Audi R8 LMS ultra of the gremlin.
Burgan’s experience of the 1.94-mile Rockingham circuit featuring a high-speed “banked” oval section and slower twisty “infield” sector amounted to a handful of laps in a test two months ago and in Friday’s unofficial practice. The electrical problem restricted Burgan’s lappery on Friday and also in Saturday’s practice. While Phil set the fifth fastest time, the Leeds-based businessman only completed 14-laps and then missed qualifying completely as the United Autosports team changed the alternator in an attempt to solve the mysterious issue that was causing the Audi to cut out and also included despatching a team member to Silverstone.
Burgan lined-up in 23rd and last place for Saturday’s opening 50mins race but had swept the Maria Mallaband Care Group Ltd Audi R8 LMS ultra into third in class at the chequered flag thanks in part to a stunning pit-stop that was within 0.4secs of the mandatory time limit defined by series regulations. Having qualified an excellent second quickest overall for Sunday’s opening race – denied his and United’s second outright pole-position of the season by just 0.107secs – Burgan went on to record third in class. An impressive second fastest lap time in the morning race which began in the dry and finished wet, meant Phil started the weekend’s third and final race from the front row of the 19-car grid.
He ran inside the top-four until the race resumed after a Safety Car period but the electrics problem intensified six minutes from the flag costing Burgan overall places although he held on for a third GTO class podium of the weekend.