Steller Performance enjoyed a strong run at Brands Hatch last weekend in its return to British GT competition, after it was forced to skip the round at Spa due to a focus being placed on updating its GT86 GT4s, and being unable to source parts in time.
During the meeting in Kent, team principal Gary Blackham was keen to update DSC on the Buckingham-based team’s campaign, explaining that it’s back on track, with the GT86 GT4 still being developed behind the scenes ahead of 2019.
“It wasn’t easy, but we took the decision not to go to Spa because we wanted to make some updates to the car after Silverstone, and some of the parts required arrived late,” Blackham said. “Going to Spa would therefore have been last minute, so instead we took the decision to focus on development rather than rushing to Spa.”
While the team is unable to go into detail at the moment, there are multiple areas that Steller has chosen to upgrade on the GT86 GT4 for 2019. It’s not been an easy season, with lots of small issues preventing any stand-out results, but the team feels that the car itself has come on in leaps and bounds this year.
“We’ve done some updates already, and we have more to do going forward. We have parts we wish to test, and we want to make the changes to the car for 2019. We would like to run those changes before the end of this year though.
“We’re looking forward to Donington and potential some more races outside of our British GT programme before the end of the year too to showcase the car and its updates.”
At Brands Hatch, the team ran with Richard Williams for the first time this year, and Sennan Fielding, the pair showing strong pace throughout practice and qualifying, setting pole in the GT4 Pro-Am sub-class. In the race the pair looked set to score the team its best finish of the season before Williams was turned around by another car costing the team valuable time and track position.
Nevertheless, an eighth-place finish in GT4 and fifth in GT4 Pro-Am was still very encouraging and leaves the team confident that it can achieve a head-turning result in the final round of the season at Donington Park.
“We’ve had an odd season, and a lot of bad luck,” he added. “But the performance of the car has been there; you can’t be first and third in this GT4 field in a session at a place like Silverstone if your car isn’t up to the task for instance.
“The progress we’ve made with the car with our partners and the parts we’ve developed in house, has been massive.
“Because of this, going forward, we’re still as keen as ever to go ahead and sell cars to customer teams. We know that the GT86 GT4 is a cost-effective car to race compared to the others. And, just as importantly, we know we can support customers. We’ve got a history of supporting customers, we did it with the BTCC field when we were supplying the NGTC cars recently.
“Now we’ve just got to go out at Donington, where we plan to be back to racing with two cars again and show everyone what we can do.”