- #93 Sky Tempesta Racing secures hat-trick of podiums in opening 3 rounds of British GT
- Bittersweet feeling after P3 finish in Silver AM class due to bad luck at end of 3-hour race
- Strong performance puts Tse and Froggatt less than 10 points behind championship leader
One of the most anticipated events on the 2023 Intelligent Money British GT Championship calendar was held last weekend at the iconic Silverstone Circuit in the heart of England. Kevin Tse 謝榮鍵 arrived for the Silverstone 500 weekend off the high of a brilliant double-podium in the opening two rounds of the championship. After a rollercoaster weekend, the Sky Tempesta Racing team managed to display another strong showing and secured P3, despite leading for about an hour in the GT3 Silver-Am class, to make it three out of the championship’s three opening rounds. Despite the impressive result, the team was left pondering what could’ve been knowing the #93 McLaren 720S GT3 Evo had the pace to challenge for the win but was taken out of contention due to an untimely Safety Car towards the end.
The weekend demonstrated the full spectrum of British weather with changing conditions featuring torrential downpours on the qualifying day followed by warm track temperatures on a sunny race day. Both qualifying sessions were washed out due to heavy rain and large amounts of standing water, resulting in no lap times being set. As per regulations, the starting order was determined from the combined times set by both drivers in Free Practice 2. Through Tse and Froggatt’s efforts, the team was classified P3 in class, setting them up for a great chance at another podium.
Tse was handed the responsibility of starting the 3-hour race among 42 other GT3 and GT4 cars, which is where his skills and preparation work shined as he managed to not only stay out of trouble but also make bold overtakes. Just as the race was starting to settle down, a Safety Car was brought out at the 15-minute mark due to an incident, prompting the entire grid to make the first pit stop. The #93 was handed over to Froggatt, with the car cycling out P2 in class due to a well-timed strategy call. Froggatt managed his pace and clocked in consistent lap times setting the team up for an epic finale.
It was a matter of managing tires and remaining within reach of the podium positions as Tse jostled for position with a class podium contender and eventually gained the lead. He ran comfortably in the front before a Safety Car came out once again. The Asian driver was forced to make a late pitstop to meet minimum driving time requirements as the cars behind benefited by pitting early under reduced speeds of the pace car. Tse finally handed the car back to Froggatt for a 30-minute stint at the end, however, the team lost a couple of positions as the race went back to Green Flag right as the British team decided to make the pitstop. Now running P3 in class, Froggatt put his best foot forward to make up for the deficit, however, ran out of time and had to settle for the final spot on the podium as the chequered flag fell.
It was a well-earned result despite the feeling of missing out on more points due to unforeseen events. The team took a lot of positives from its performance and a strong points haul now puts Tse and Froggatt at third in the GT3 Silver-Am Driver’s Standing, just 9.5 points behind the leaders. With 6 rounds still to go, it is all to play for as the duo looks to secure their first British GT title this year.
Kevin Tse | Driver, #93 Sky Tempesta Racing McLaren 720S GT3 Evo
“Overall I am a bit disappointed but third is third and that is still good with points for the championship. At least we have shown a good pace with the car and the team did a flawless job, we just got a bit of bad luck. On the positive side, the car is good and the set-up is good – in the end, racing is racing and it is what it is. I am looking forward to Donington Park. It might be a challenge as I have not raced there before, but we still have high hopes. Hopefully, we will have some more opportunities for testing since it is a 2-hour race. We should have a good race if the team and drivers perform well.”