Frank O'Kelly Written by Frank O'Kelly

Sugar Rush For Ragus at Donington Park

Ragus Ecurie Ecosse GT3

Ragus driven Ecurie Ecosse GT3.

Ragus continued their hugely successful partnership with the famous Ecurie Ecosse racing team during the 2014 season, and following the team’s victory in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, the legendary Scottish team invited Ragus to sample their championship winning BMW Z4 GT3 at Donington Park in Leicestershire.

Ben Eastick kindly accepted the team’s offer, and joined the current crop of GT drivers including BMW factory-supported racer, Alexander Sims, Oliver Bryant, Will Plant, Phil Keen and John Minshaw to take a turn behind the wheel of the mighty BMW GT machine that has been blazing a trail around the tracks of Britain and Europe this year.

Driving the BMW Z4 GT3 on a wet track for the very first time, Ben showed great talent behind the wheel and acquitted himself well in tricky cold and damp conditions. Despite the weather being far from kind for Ben’s drive he drove professionally and clocked a lap time within two seconds of the bench mark set by Alexander Sims.

Ragus Umbrellas

Ragus add a touch of glamour to the pit lane.

Ben Eastick: “Despite having tested this GT3 car on two previous occasions, I was very apprehensive of driving this championship winning car in the cold and wet at Donington Park. I have to say my fears were misguided; as I immediately felt at ease once on-track. The grip generated from the modern tyres and the downforce from the huge rear wing, and front splitters, really does suck the car to the road even in the very tricky conditions I experienced.”

Adding, “You do however completely lose all this downforce advantage in the slow corners where you rely on good old fashioned mechanical (or lack of it) grip. I have to admit I did come unstuck twice exiting Coppice Corner, where the mechanical grip was lost before the modern traction control took over and I was amazed at how good the brakes remained even in the very wet conditions. This was a wonderful experience, and I offer many thanks to Ecurie Ecosse and Barwell Motorsport for trusting me with their championship winning car – and allowing me such a unique opportunity.”

Ragus Ben Eastick

Slippery conditions for Ragus’ Ben Eastick.

Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal: “We have really valued the support of Ragus again this season, and it has been a very special year for us as we won the Drivers’ title in the British GT Championship. For Ben to drive our championship winning car only a couple of weeks after we secured the crown is fantastic for him, and I must say that, again, I have been very impressed with his performance in the car.”

Alasdair McCaig, Ecurie Ecosse: “It was great to see Ben in our BMW Z4 GT3 at Donington Park. This was the third time we have seen him in our GT car, and this test was the first time that he has experienced what it is like to drive a GT in wet conditions. I think I speak for everyone involved with the team, when I say he did an amazing job. It was a pleasure to see him in the car and we all really value the support and input into our project by Ragus.”

With the 2014 GT racing season now at an end, Ragus are able to reflect on another successful on-track association with Ecurie Ecosse. Driving the BMW Z4 GT3, Marco Attard won the Drivers’ crown in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, with Alexander Sims placed third in the overall standings. Barwell Motorsport, Ecurie Ecosse’s racing partner, was placed third in the Teams’ Championship, while Alasdair McCaig, Andrew Smith and Oliver Bryant took third position in the Pro-Am class of the European-based Blancpain Endurance Series.