Melton racing driver Craig Dolby and team-mates frustrated at Paul Ricard

Melton racing driver Craig Dolby EMN-150624-115300002
Melton racing driver Craig Dolby EMN-150624-115300002
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It was a weekend of what might have been for Craig Dolby and his MRS-Racing team-mates Sean Walkinshaw and Martin Plowman in France last weekend.

The trio and their Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 headed to the Paul Ricard Circuit for round three of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

The weekend started superbly for the team with fifth and sixth quickest times from a gird of 63 cars in Friday’s two practice sessions.

But qualifying did not go to plan and they began Saturday’s day-night race in 34th – a potentially perilous position in the middle of a huge pack.

Dolby was the man tasked with the big start and he obliged in spectacular style.

The 27-year-old had overtaken 12 cars in an incredible first half-lap by the time a safety car intervened after a multi-car incident.

When racing resumed Dolby continued his foray through the field, and after 65 minutes had climbed up an incredible 11th place overall when he handed over to Walkinshaw.

The Scot was among the fastest drivers on track for much of his stint and handed over to Plowman still in 11th.

But within a lap, the Nissan developed a sudden loss of power and pitted from outside the top 20 on lap 74.

After mechanics replaced a damaged turbo pipe, Walkinshaw ventured back out at the halfway point of the race down in 44th overall after losing several laps.

He then had to make an unscheduled stop and after rejoining the action completed his run with two hours left.

With the car running perfectly, Plowman lapped at a pace matching the top three before Dolby took his second stint with an hour left and brought the Nissan home in 42nd.