Zandvoort in The Netherlands, one of Europe’s most iconic racetracks, hosts the final round of the Blancpain Sprint Series this weekend, 10th/11th October, where Oxfordshire racer Sean Walkinshaw aims to sign-off his maiden season in the category with another exemplary performance.
Along with Always Evolving Motorsport team-mate Craig Dolby, 21-year-old Sean has been one of the most consistently competitive drivers in the championship and the pairing’s current position of 10th in the driver standings is far from representative of their true pace.
All things being equal, the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 duo should certainly be closer to the top of the championship ahead of the final weekend and with several more podium finishes to their credit, rather than the sole rostrum visit from Brands Hatch earlier in the campaign.
Last weekend’s penultimate event of 2015 at Misano in Italy is the perfect case in point. Having secured a front row starting slot for the Qualification Race, Dolby held second place throughout the first stint but some misfortune in the pit stop cost the squad a richly deserved podium and, with it, the chance of a repeat result in race two.
Since the JRM Group linked-up with AEM over a month ago to bring even greater engineering and preparation strength to the ‘Godziller’ Nissan, the podium finishing and race-winning potential has been clear to see and all are hoping for a suitably strong conclusion to the current campaign.
“It’s great to be back in the car so soon after Misano”, said Chipping Norton-based Sean, “We were very unlucky not to be on the podium last weekend, fastest lap in both races tells the story of what was possible and just how good the car was. The team is doing an incredible job and making big strides each time we’re on track, I know we’ll have a great package again at Zandvoort.”
Sean has competed at the Dutch track previously, one outing back in 2011 – his maiden season of motor racing – in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup. While that experience will be useful, the event was blighted by poor weather so this coming weekend’s race meeting looks set to provide his first ever experience of Zandvoort on slick tyres.
“Zandvoort is a great track”, he added, “I haven’t raced there for a few years, and that was in a single-seater, but I’m confident of a really strong finish to the season. Craig and I have both had really good pace during the last few rounds, we’re hungry to get back on the podium and feeling confident we can.”
Blancpain Sprint Series free practice at Zandvoort will take place tomorrow, Friday, 9th October, with qualifying and the Qualification Race following on Saturday, 10th October, at 09.15 (UK time) and 13.15 (UK time) respectively.
On Sunday, 11th October, the Main Race will get underway at 12.00 (UK time) and in addition to live streaming at http://www.blancpain-gt-series.com/sprint/live the encounter will be screened live in the UK on BT Sport.
Provisional 2015 Blancpain Sprint Series Driver Standings:
10th Sean Walkinshaw/Craig Dolby, 30pts