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Fulbeck team car racer Jan makes debut in GT Cup at Silverstone

It was a busy weekend for the Fulbeck-based Balfe Motorsport squad, splitting resources between the British GT Championship at Donington Park and the GT Cup at Silverstone.

It was Swiss-based businessman Jan Klingelnberg’s debut in the GT Cup, sharing a McLaren 570 with former British GT and F3 star Warren Hughes at Silverstone.

They qualified third in class and 11th overall, but Hughes pointed out what they were up against. “Our car is the Pure McLaren Series spec and we are up against GT cars with a greater power advantage,” he explained.

The Balfe Motorsport McLaren 570 of Jan Klingelnberg and Warren Hughes. (40751522)
The Balfe Motorsport McLaren 570 of Jan Klingelnberg and Warren Hughes. (40751522)

In the early laps of race one, Klingelnberg was chasing Neil Garnham’s McLaren and Simon Orange’s Ginetta for fifth overall, but started to lose ground.

He finally settled in 13th overall and fifth in class, having shadowed Chris Murphy’s Aston Martin for much of the second half.

“It was so frustrating, I have only been racing for two years and although I have been to Silverstone before with Pure McLaren, I have no experience in the wet. I was all over the cars in front of me through the corners, but I seemed to have no straight line speed or power,” Klingelnberg explained.

“I explained to Jan that those cars pulling away had a huge power advantage, as he has not experienced that in in single class races,” Hughes added.

It was damp for the second race and Klingelnberg took the first stint, ending the opening lap ninth and chasing the Porsche 997 of Ben Clayden.

By lap nine, it was a seven car train for fifth place, with Klingelnberg making his stop from seventh. Hughes took over for his first race in five years, but was immediately on the pace.

The interruption of a safety thwarted the chase, but Hughes followed the class rival Porsche of Clayden/Sam Randon into fifth overall and second in class.

For Sunday’s races, they qualified sixth overall and second in class in a damp session, but Klingelnberg’s confidence had grown.

In the morning sprint race, he was into fifth on lap two, but could not hold off Clayden’s Porsche after a safety car intervention.

The Ginettas of Chris Hart and Orange both threatened too as they challenged him for fifth place during the second half. But the defence held firm and he gradually consolidated the place, before reeling in Warren Gilbert’s Marcos Mantis in a duel for second in class. At the flag, they were only 0.183sec apart.

The final race of the weekend only got to six laps before the heavy rain and a car off brought an end to the proceedings.

The result was still declared with Klingelnberg fourth and second in class again.

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