Up-and-coming racing prodigies Ben Green and Charlie Fagg both enjoyed their fair share of success in 2017.
Green was in the fight to win the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, taking many wins and podiums throughout the year. Fagg’s hard work and talent was rewarded with a double GT4 win at Spa-Francorchamps, in addition to taking honours at Zandvoort in the GT4 European Series Northern Cup.
However, neither of the pair had ever been promoted to race in GT3 – that is, until the final round of the 2017 British GT season at Donington Park. Fagg and Green became teammates for the first time with the experienced Team JRM running their Nissan GT-R Nismo.
Both drivers knew that their expectations had to be realistic. Fagg told Essaar that they had “no real test days with other cars around them… it was the first weekend as a team.” Green’s approach was to “gain experience rather than look too much into finishing positions”.
Prior to the race weekend, both trained on the simulator at BPS (Base Performance Simulators) and took the car for its shakedown and test day around the National Circuit at Donington. These preparatory experiences went smoothly and according to plan, and filled them with confidence for their first GT3 racing event.
The weekend came and it was off to a great start, with Fagg taking an impressive P1 in the wet. Unfortunately, he could not maintain this position as the nature of the track meant it dried up quickly and he tumbled down to P8. This is where they expected their pace to be though, and they continued to practiced long stints showing strong pace.
Qualifying saw Fagg finish a satisfying 3rd in the AM group, with Green then setting the car’s fastest lap, putting them 8th overall.
With a two hour race it was all to play for, and Fagg made a cracking start up to 5th. He then caught and overtook the Lamborghini ahead and remained in 4th, with his lap times ever improving and his tyre management on point.
Green’s stint was less straightforward as the brakes had overheated massively, causing him several issues. But nonetheless, he still brought the Team JRM Nissan GT-R Nismo home in an excellent 5th place overall and 1st place in their class.
Speaking after the weekend, both drivers were pleased with how the their first GT3 experience went.
Charlie Fagg: “I’m really happy with my performance, having the heaviest car, new team, new car to get 5th place was great. I think for any teams that watched I showed my pace, and what I can do – that’s all that matters.”
Ben Green: “Overall it was a great first weekend in GT3 and I’m very much looking forward to more racing at this level. I feel that considering the small amount of experience it was a good weekend.”