Phil Burgan scored two second place finishes during rounds 16 and 17 of the GT Cup at Brands Hatch this weekend (15-16 August).
The United Autosports-run Audi R8 LMS ultra started third on the grid for the 20-minute sprint race on Saturday and the 50-minute pit stop race on Sunday.
With a changed format to the weekend, track time was limited, meaning Phil had to get on the pace right from the start of the qualifying session on Saturday. The grid for race two was determined by the fastest race lap – again, leaving Phil starting on the second row of the grid.
At the start of race one, Phil took second place on the first lap and was chasing Richard Chamberlain for the lead. Unfortunately, while Phil was making a move to take first place, he had a coming together with Chamberlain at Stirlings, knocking them both down the order. Phil then suffered a puncture as a result of the Audi’s broken bodywork and had to pit for an unscheduled wheel change. A second in class was a good result to end Saturday with.
During the start of Sunday’s 50-minute pit stop race, Phil had a great getaway and took second on the first lap. He was battling with Paul Bailey for the lead of the race, but after making the pass, Phil was hit from the side, bumping him down the order. He recovered well and rejoined the race in 19th just before a safety car was called out as a result of the Aston Martin’s contact with Phil’s Audi. As the safety car was called in, racing resumed and Phil set about making up places. After one lap of racing, Phil was up to 11th, and then eighth two laps later. As the pit window opened, Phil took the lead while the cars in front made their stops. Once Phil completed his mandatory stop, he rejoined in sixth and hunted down the cars in front. Two laps later Phil was second overall, 1.4 seconds behind Chamberlain. A red flag with four minutes to go brought the race to a premature end, meaning Phil was unable to continue catching Chamberlain, putting an end to his chances of gaining his maiden GT Cup win. Phil clinched his second podium place of the weekend, as well as second overall – a great recovery drive by Phil.
The next GT Cup race will be at Donington Park on 19-20 September.
Phil Burgan, driver, United Autosports:
“I got two great starts in both races but unfortunately when making a move I got taken out. Luckily I didn’t get too much damage in race two, and the damage I got in race one was fixable. I knew where I could pass both Chamberlain and Bailey but it wasn’t to be – that’s racing. I’ve had fun but I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the win as I thought I could do it here and it was looking good, especially in race two. We’ve had a tough year but with two rounds to go we will keep positive and see what we can finish the year with.”
Max Gregory, Project Manager, United Autosports:
“Two podium finishes by Phil is a good result for the weekend. We had the pace to win on both occasions, but unfortunately luck wasn’t on our side. We know the Audi and Phil both have the speed, but that win keeps eluding us so far. The Audi is strong at Donington, and we have had some good results there in the past, so we will come back positive and on the hunt for the maiden win.”