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Le Mans aspirant Garry Findlay is keen to get back on track after being left to wonder what might have been after reliability issues stymied a possible run into the top ten on his second VdeV Series appearance of the year, at Paul Ricard in southern France.

Having been forced to miss the previous round at Mugello, Findlay and co-driver Neil Primrose were hoping to build on a promising – if ultimately fruitless – 2013 debut in Barcelona as they continued to sort the G-Cat Racing Wolf GR08 in one of the most competitive sports prototype arenas in Europe. Although there were some positive things to take away from the four-hour event, however, the race result was not one of them, as a series of mechanical gremlins ensured that outcome did not match potential.

Having qualified the #27 car on the fringes of the top ten, Findlay made further inroads as he climbed as high as seventh in the early going, and was able to hang onto the coat-tails of the more experienced crews ahead courtesy of some consistent lap times. His pursuit was interrupted, however, when a bracket securing the Wolf’s rear diffuser snapped, leaving the critical aerodynamic aid dragging on the French tarmac.

Not only did the damage hamper Findlay’s lap times, but also attracted the attention of the race officials, who ordered the Suffolk native to pit for repairs. The time lost while replacing the broken part dropped Findlay out of the top ten, and left the G-Cat crew looking to make up the deficit with a car already lacking in low range power.

“The engine map rules are different for VdeV and, not having had a chance to test the car between events, we kind of expected the issues to carry over from Barcelona,” Findlay revealed, “We were losing around three-tenths of a second on the pit straight alone so, multiplied over a full lap, we were probably dropping a full second to the fastest cars.

“On the positive side, however, the team worked hard to get the handling of the car dialled in so that it suited both me and Neil, and that improvement showed, particularly in Neil’s performance.”

Having completed an extended 2hr 10min opening stint, during which the former single-seater driver climbed back from 20th to 13th, Findlay was back behind the wheel for the final part of the race, and still with a top ten finish in his sights. However, despite making some progress, his charge was again halted, this time terminally, as the car became stuck in second gear when the linkage broke. With no time to rectify the problem, the G-Cat team was powerless to prevent itself being pushed back down the order, eventually coming to rest in 18th position.

“The result is obviously disappointing as we couldn’t fault the efforts of the team,” Findlay reflected, “Without the various problems, I am sure we would have finished in the top ten, which would have been a great result given that it was only our second outing of the year.

“On a personal level, however, I was very happy with the weekend. My lap times were very consistent and it was probably the best I have driven all year. The car definitely improved over Barcelona, particularly in its handling and, if we can get the engine mapping sorted, I really think it can be a contender for better results.”

While nothing is set in stone, Findlay’s next outing could come in VdeV’s three-hour event at Dijon-Prenois at the end of June or, failing that, on home soil, at Brands Hatch, in the rival SPEED Euroseries next month.

“We’re still working on the budget for the rest of the year, but Brands Hatch would be the ideal event to do,” Finlay concluded, “The circuit is right on the team’s doorstep, and it would present an opportunity to entertain potential sponsors, so I hope we can pull something together.”