Melton racer Craig Dolby on top Silverstone form in Blancpain GT Series

Craig Dolby and the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 in action at Silverstone EMN-150527-094946002
Craig Dolby and the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 in action at Silverstone EMN-150527-094946002

Melton racing driver Craig Dolby was in scintillating form as he showcased his exciting race skills to the full at Silverstone on Sunday.

Dolby and MRS GT-Racing team-mates Sean Walkinshaw and Martin Plowman fought back to record a thrilling top five finish at the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series

Dolby launched a stunning run through a world-class field as the German-based team ran as high as second overall in the three-hour race before finishing in an eventual fifth.

More bad luck in qualifying saw the team’s Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 start in 22nd position in a packed 61-car field, and the Melton driver was entrusted with the first leg to make rapid progress up the order.

Dolby did this in spectacular fashion to eventually hand over to GT newcomer Walkinshaw in seventh.

The young Scot was instantly on the pace and set the car’s fastest lap, posting a string of quick laps times as fastest man on the track in the middle part of the race before handing over to Martin Plowman for the final stint.

Rapid pit work put the Nissan back into the race in a fighting fourth position with Plowman pushing hard for a podium finish.

With minutes to go, Plowman found the pace difficult to sustain as a braking issue bit hard, and a chase for third became a fight to retain a hard-earned fifth place.

The race was won by a factory-backed McLaren with a trio of Audis the only other cars to better the efforts of the Nissan.

The result puts the drivers fifth in the drivers’ standings while the team move up to fourth.

Dolby said: “Qualifying was disappointing, but our race pace was excellent and as highest-finishing Nissan GT-R, and to finish ahead of factory-backed efforts from Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and high quality efforts from BMW and Ferrari teams, too, it’s a result for everyone to be proud of.

“Now we need to continue to improve and achieve the podiums we deserve.”

James Walters, partnership manager at JRM Group which produces the car, said: “The fact that the team are already front running contenders is amazing considering this is only Martin’s second race event in GT’s and only Sean’s fifth and this is the first full season campaign for Craig since 2010.

“They are proving to be world class drivers and will keep getting better.”

Dolby and Walkinshaw now shift focus to the Blancpain Sprint series which resumes in Belgium at the Zolder circuit on Saturday, June 6.