Martin Kodric takes third place after exciting Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup finale

October 2018
Martin Kodric
Croatian driver Martin Kodric took third place in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup after an exciting season finale in Barcelona this weekend (29-30 Sept).

"But every time I got in the car this weekend it was heavily damaged, so it was tough.

“Performance-wise we showed we were really good – probably the most consistent team out there overall - but things just didn’t go for us at crucial times.”

The #78 crew of Martin, Sandy Mitchell and Michele Beretta took second place last time out in the 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The young Croatian racer put in some lightning-quick stints in the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 car.

The podium place came hot on the heels of their stunning win in the previous round at the Paul Ricard 1000kms.

And while car problems left the team with DNFs at Monza and Silverstone, the excellent third and fourth rounds had propelled them into title contention.

The team looked good during the free practice sessions at Barcelona and were full of confidence heading into qualifying.

Beretta put in a good spell in the first session to finish in P9, before Mitchell took his turn behind the wheel. However, heavy traffic stopped him from putting in a good lap and then contact left the car damaged.

Martin went out for the third qualifying session, but with issues effecting the car still from the earlier contact. However, he managed to do a great job with a P18 overall.

Beretta began the three-hour race in P16 and third in class, putting in a excellent stint and moving the team up to second in class.

Mitchell got off to a good start during his stint and when one of the contenders dropped out of the running, it left the title wide open. Unfortunately, Mitchell then made contact with another car.

During a safety car period, the team opted to bring the car in early in an effort to make up some crucial time - gambling that the safety car period would go on longer and to make some repairs while minimising the time in the pits.

But when Martin took over for his stint, the car was heavily damaged still - although the racer did well to get ahead of one of their rivals, with the two leaders still needing to pit.
Unfortunately, a number of safety car periods didn’t help proceedings and with the leaders gaining time during their pits, the team had to be content with P4 on the day – and P3 in the Championship overall.

Martin added: “It was hard to take, missing out on the title like that. After the opening two rounds we had put ourselves in such a good position and even here, we had got ourselves into a winning position.

“But every time I got in the car this weekend it was damaged from earlier contact, which made things really difficult for me. Then we tried to find time by pitting early, but it didn’t work out and we lost time in the end.

“However, we’ve had a really strong season with some amazing highlights and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot, so want to take this opportunity to thank Barwell Motorsports for all their support.”

A stunning win in the Paul Ricard 1000kms in June and a second place at the Total 24 Hours of Spa had fired the Barwell Motorsports team into Silver Cup title contention going into the final round.

And when one of their rivals pulled off the road after looking so solid, the Championship suddenly opened up further still.

However, with the team trying to make up time after an earlier accident, the strategy to pit early to try to minimise the repair time in the pits didn’t work in their favour.

And while the ADD Management supported driver, 21, was disappointed not to finish with the title, he was determined to remain positive after a hard fought campaign.

He said: “It’s a really disappointing end to the season, especially when we came so near. Third place is still a good achievement, but I won’t lie, we wanted to win this. From a personal point of view, there are plenty of positives - I have shown what I can do and my pace has been excellent throughout the season."