Switch of teams leads Findlay to best placing
A change of teams helped Garry Findlay to his best finish of his VdeV sportscar campaign after he came fourth in the Six Hours of Motorland-Aragon.
After a couple of frustrating outings with CD Sport to begin the season, the Fressingfield-based ace made the switch to Graff Racing to partner Franck Gauvin and Sergio Pasian in the French team’s Ligier JS53 Evo2, and was rewarded with a shot at a podium finish first time out.
With no opportunity to test as he finalised the move just days before the trip to Spain, Findlay was forced to use his limited practice time to get familiar with the Ligier, but was stymied by an oil system problem that restricted his most competitive laps to the final 20 minutes before qualifying.
Despite that, the Suffolk native helped guide his new car to a solid seventh on the grid, lapping just a couple of tenths off the more experienced Yann Clairay in the sister car.
Given the honour of starting the race, Findlay wasted little time in making a good impression and found himself in fifth position for his final stint in the cockpit.
Findlay quickly made up another position, before an accident 25 minutes from the chequered flag hampered any chance of further gains as he crossed the line in fourth.
“My new team-mates did a great job to keep the car in contention, and I really believe that we could have had a podium finish had the safety car not come out at the end,” said Findlay.
“The Ligier is a very different beast to the Norma I drove previously, and required a different driving style, but the whole weekend was promising and confirmed that the decision to change teams was the right one.”
The switch to Graff could also open further doors for Findlay as he has been invited to the launch of Ligier’s LMP3 prototype at next weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours and could get the opportunity to test the machine at some point later in the season.
“I’ve made no secret of my desire to keep moving up the sportscar ranks, using VdeV as a first step on the prototype ladder,” he added.
“While CD Sport gave me the chance to break into the series, Graff is a bigger team with cars in other championships and I’m hoping that will give me the chance to move up in future.
“The invitation from Ligier and Onroak to attend the LMP3 launch is exciting, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the car. It’s early days yet, but I have a good yardstick in Yann Clairay, who has a lot of single-seater and sportscar experience, so I’ll try to keep pace with him and see where it leads.”