Tania Mann’s British GT debut at Oulton brings two points finishes

Tania Mann (photo by Marc Waller)Tania Mann was at Oulton over the Easter bank Holiday for the first two rounds of the British GT championship.

She is driving a Ginetta G55 in the Gt4 championship this season with the car run by Optimum motorsport. Her team mate for the season is Matt Draper.

The GT4 field this season is the biggest and most competitive for many years and as someone new to the championship Tania wasn’t sure where they’d end up. By the end of qualifying they’d taken ninth place for both of Monday’s races. A solid start and inside the top ten but they had hoped for higher up the grid. However with both races lasting an hour there was plenty of time to make up ground with both speed and strategy.

Tania would start the race in the car for race one on Monday and she’d have the second stint for race two. For Tania, the first race would be all about the start and making up ground on the opposition to hopefully hand over the car in as a good a position as possible. For the second race, Tania would have the responsibility of finishing the race and so on takingover from Matt she’d either be trying to maintain what he’d achieved or pushing to get a better finishing position.

Tania Mann (photo by Marc Waller)Tania Mann (photo by Marc Waller)Race one was just after 11 on Monday morning and Tania made a good start and battled her way up to sixth and hung onto the next car in class in fifth. Durinjg her stint she set her best time yet, knocking another half a second off her previous best.

The GT3 class cars are considerably faster than the GT4 class and are soon lapping them. The trick is to not hold up the GT3 leaders but also not to lose time on your rivals. Tania is still relatively new to multi class racing but handled things brilliantly and by the time she came in to hand over to Matt they were still in a stong sixth place. Things were helped by an immaculate pitstop by the Opitimum Motorsport team and they rejoined still in touch with the next cars in the class.

Matt drove an excellent second stint and managed to catch and pass the next to cars up the road putting them in fourth in GT4. By now though the top three in class had built up quite a gap and despite pushing hard, Matt had to settle for fourth. It was still a great result for the first race in British GT. Tania was really happy;

“We were Just shy of a podium place but still a sensational start to the season and we are very pleased. Great work by the team in providing a great car. Bring on Race 2! “

Matt would be starting race two and so Tania acted as the team’s grid girl for this race wearing her racing overalls!

Probably the only driver in the field to do two jobs for the same race! Matt got a good start and his best lap times were in touch with the leaders. A couple of safety car periods reduced the time available to make up places and when Tania took over there was a long one to recover a couple of the GT3 cars which had crashed. She made a small error later in the race which cost them some time but despite this they managed to bring the car home in sixth place for Gt4, another great result for the new partnership, Tania was pleased;

“Overall an amazing result and so many positives to come out of the weekend given the huge and talented grid (not to mention a very precarious circuit) and I’m feeling very confident for the next round at Rockingham.”

Tania and Matt are currently 5th in the Gt4 championship out of 12 cars.

Since the race weekend she has been doing some simulator testing to learn the circuit for the next round and will also be doing some real testing at Rockingham to be as prepared as she possibly can be for the next race. She also has some new green race boots to match the Green and white colours of the car!

The Rockingham round of the championship will be held over the May bank Holiday on the 4th and 5th of May with tickets available in advance or on the door. You can meet Tania during the pit road walkabout and she’d love to see as many supporters there as possible to spur her on. By Marc Waller

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