Caygill makes big strides
Josh Caygill enjoyed a marked improvement during round two of the Blancpain Endurance Cup at Silverstone on Sunday, as he and team-mates Jon Venter and Niki Mayr-Melnhof made strong progress. Rising through from 49th on the overall grid and 32nd in the PRO class after a challenging qualifying run, the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT drivers overcame two in-race punctures and a series of Safety Car and Full Course Yellow periods to finish 31st overall and 23rd in PRO.
In only his second race in the globally renowned Blancpain category, 27-year-old Audi R8 LMS racer took the opening one-hour stint where he raced against some extremely experienced and very quick GT endurance racing drivers. Acquitting himself very well indeed, Caygill gained eight places on track during his run prior to the first round of pit-stops, his strong progress somewhat hampered by the deployment of the Safety Car during the final quarter of an hour of his stint.
On the first lap alone the British racer passed four cars as he settled into the contest quickly and he went on to hand the car over to team-mate Mayr-Melnhof in good shape from 41st position overall during the first full Safety Car period. The Austrian had climbed through to 25th position in the second hour when he was unfortunately collected by an errant Ferrari driver, resulting in one of the two punctures which certainly prevented realistic hopes of rising into the top 20 before the conclusion. Hour three was completed by Venter and the Australian racer brought the Audi home only one lap down on the outright winners.
“I’m dead happy with how things went this weekend to be honest”, said Caygill, “Although the result wasn’t what we hoped for, from a driving point of view I’m really pleased and there’s plenty more to come from us. I’m really enjoying driving the Audi and it was so nice having all of my family, friends and sponsors there, it was a mega experience being back at Silverstone after so long. I only had eight laps in each free practice and in qualifying the track was half wet and half dry, so I just did one lap in my run and took zero risk before it dried-up more. I was buzzing about doing the first hour and taking the start of the race for the first time and the first lap was really good, I picked off four cars and made some good progress.”
He added: “I was held up for a while later in my stint, another Audi was holding up a Lamborghini, but when we got past the Audi the Lambo was mega fast down the straights. I was all over him through the corners but he was too quick in a straight line. All in all, I’m really happy with my performance and I want to say the biggest possible thank you to everyone who came along to support me. Thank you.”