Well sadly it's game over for Team LNT and the British GT Championship, following problems with noise limits at Castle Combe this weekend. Club members Paul Shrimpton and Simon Lunn were on hand to get this breaking news from team owner Laurence Tomlinson who has announced that he is retiring the team from the British GTs.
After a solid first qualifying in which Andrew Thompson put the number 42 T400R into second place, just 0.125 seconds off the pole sitter Ferrari 360 Modena of Nathan Kinch and with Patrick Pearce setting the third quickest time in the sister number 43 car bad news was to come. The team were told by the Race Officials that despite both cars passing the static noise tests prior to untimed practice, Thompson's car had exceeded the drive by limit of 106dB(a) with a reading of 107dB(a) and therefore would subjected to a black & orange flag to enable a further static test to be carried out. This time the number 42 TVR registered 118dB(a), the limit being 114dB(a) which is series defined. Consequently, it did not enter qualifying for the second race. Although Warren Hughes put car 43 into 4th place on the grid for that race, and passed the drive by noise test, it was we are told very close and at that point Laurence decided that enough was enough and decided to retire the team. He told our members,
"I've had enough of changing rules so I've decided to concentrate on the LMES and FIA GT series instead. I'm still focussed on Le Mans 2006.
Of course although the noise limits are set by the series organisers, Castle Combe are understandably very sensitive about noise given that they have an imminent appeal against a Noise Nuisance Order which, if not overturned, will mean that this is the last season that the F3s and GTs are allowed to compete there. The next opportunity to see Laurence and the team in action will be at Monza in two weeks time in LMES. With thanks to Paul Vaughan from the Castle Combe scrutineering team for the corrections to the noise limits and the updated series of events.
All photos with thanks to www.dailysportscar.com