Monza Misery for Snowdon

29th June 2007

Peter Snowdon
FIA GT3 European Championship – Monza

Hampshire sportscar driver, Peter Snowdon, suffered a frustrating and dramatic weekend in the latest rounds of the FIA GT3 European Championship at Monza last weekend.

The MCD Developments backed ace was hoping to be in with a chance of stepping onto the podium at some point over the two-race weekend. However, a last minute change of team-mate and a series of tyre failure’s left him on the sidelines as the chequered flag fell over meeting.

Snowdon’s first drama was just before the second free practice session on Saturday afternoon, when it was found that his team-mate Tom Haines had the wrong licence for the series and was forced to withdraw from the event. A swift move by the Tech 9 Motorsport team meant that Peter almost had former Le Mans 24 Hours winner, Jurgen Barth, alongside him, but he was too qualified to partner Snowdon, so in the end, it was Howard Spooner who filled the second seat, just ten minutes before the pair had to qualify for the races.

The next drama for Peter happened in Race 1 when the left rear tyre failed, at nearly 170mph into the ultra fast Parabolica corner. Fortunately, on this occasion, Peter was saved by the gravel trap. A better grid slot and a strong start in Race 2 bode well initially, but frustratingly the same problem returned, this time with the left rear tyre failing at the 160mph Curva Grande.

Only a handful of laps later, Peter was joined by fellow Tech9 driver Tom Ferrier and a little after that by Hans Knauss’s S-Berg Lamborghini Gallardo, both cars suffering the identical Michelin failure with the S-Berg team now matching Tech9’s tally of four such failures over the weekend.

It was a taxing way for the weekend to go, when Peter and the team had high hopes of a good result.

“I’m disappointed, especially to have suffered the same problem more than once,” said Peter. “We realised as soon as the qualifying sessions ended that we would struggle over the rest of the weekend, as the Corvette’s in have a huge power advantage over the rest of the grid.”

“The team worked really hard to give us the best car possible, but we were always going to be chasing the middle of the grid, rather than pushing for the lead. It’s a shame, as the organisers are supposed to have the cars equal on the grid, but it appears they’re not. It’s something they need to look at before the next round,” he added.

Peter now has a break of almost two months, before the next round of the series at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic although a non-championship outing at the Spa 25hrs is being mooted.

Words – Adam Proctor

Photos – David Lord

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