Dino Zamparelli finished his first season in the ultra-competitive British GT Championship with a positive performance at Donington Park last weekend (September 14/15).
Making a return visit after the series raced there in June, Dino and team-mate Chris Car produced some of their best drives of the year, finishing the two-hour contest fifth in the GT4 Pro-Am class.
After hard work by GT Marques to find the sweet spot of the car’s set up, both drivers felt at home in their Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport and duly delivered solid results on track across both days.
Narrowing the gap to their rivals in free practice one, the pair finished fifth quickest in the second session and followed up in qualifying, aided by Dino’s time which was just a few tenths off the top ten in GT4.
Chris started the race and put in a consistent run, avoiding several incidents on track and putting in a strong sequence of laps before pitting to hand over to Dino during the mandatory pit stop, midway through the two-hour contest.
He pressed on, though his progress was curtailed somewhat when the Safety Car was called late on, neutralising the field. Nonetheless, he made the most of the balance of the car to lap quickly and finished fifth of the GT4 Pro-Am competitors, though he and the team were disappointed to be handed a 30-second time penalty for track limits violations.
Dino will now take some time to consider potential options for the 2020 season and will announce his plans in due course.
“It was a good race, we finished fifth in class, and we were competitive, which is what we wanted to go out with. Although we were a lap down in the race, we battled, and we had a good setup which is a testament to the team who have worked hard all year to get things right.
“It’s our first year with the car so there were moments where we were trying to learn and understand it, but today was a good one and our best showing in the British GT Championship.
“Chris did a great job. His qualifying lap we were happy with, because he hasn’t tested much at all. Perhaps we undervalued the need for testing, so bearing that in mind, he has driven well and developed over the course of the season massively.
“He also had a great stint in the race and his first five or six laps were some of the best he has done and the stint in general was great. We were unlucky with some bits but that is racing, and he can be proud of what he has achieved in what is a top-level championship.
“It’s a shame it is the last race because this weekend was our best showing, but we’ll take that into whatever we do next season. I want to thank GT Marques for their hard work all season and Chris for being an enjoyable team-mate to work with all year.
“I also want to thank all of my partners for their continued support. I don’t know what next year will bring but we’ll sit down, take a breath, and see what comes.”