Melton racer Craig Dolby brings home Blancpain points at Zolder

Craig Dolby races to the driver changeover as he takes the final stint in the Blancpain GT Sprint Series championship race at Zolder EMN-151006-094451002
Craig Dolby races to the driver changeover as he takes the final stint in the Blancpain GT Sprint Series championship race at Zolder EMN-151006-094451002
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Melton racing driver Craig Dolby helped secure more points for his team as the Blancpain GT Sprint Series hit Belgium last weekend.

Dolby and team-mate Sean Walkinshaw drove the #73 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to a pair of points-scoring finishes in round three at Zolder for the German MRS GT-Racing team.

The Nissan drivers retained ninth position in the driver championship standings and moved up to a highly competitive sixth in the team standings.

Sixth place in the Saturday Qualification Race came only after Dolby managed to avoid a multi-car melee at the first corner and Sean Walkinshaw had survived substantial contact in the final turn when defending his position from Brazilian pro Caco Bueno.

The Melton racer was again at his dynamic best as he returned to the country where he spent two formative seasons during his early racing career.

From a starting position of 12th, Dolby forced his way up to seventh during an impressive first lap, and took sixth position on lap four, holding the place until he handed over to the young Scot.

Sunday’s 60-minute Championship race saw trouble early on with Walkinshaw delayed when a Ferrari spun ahead of him. He brought the Nissan through unscathed, but with positions lost in the melee.

The car ran quickly throughout as Dolby boarded for the final stint. But his hopes of launching a late race charge were dashed by a mechanical problem.

He said: “The car felt quick. But with the aggressive curbs at Zolder we suffered splitter damage so I lost front downforce.

“We didn’t want to risk losing the entire splitter so I just brought it home.”

Dolby crossed the line in a points-scoring 10th place, but down on the third and sixth place finishes achieved last time out in the Sprint Series at Brands Hatch.

James Walters, partnership manager at JRM Racing, said: “Getting points on the board in both races was a big plus, as was the performance of the car, but it was a messy race, not of our making, and we all feel it could have been a much better points haul.”

Round four of the Sprint Series will be staged on a Moscow street circuit on July 4 and 5. Before then Dolby, Walkinshaw and Martin Plowman will return in the sister Blancpain Endurance Series on June 19 and 20 for a 100km race at Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France.