Podium for Lidsey in Germany
Podium for Lidsey in Germany

Nurburgring Endurance Series racer Brett Lidsey secured his long-awaited first GT4 class podium during race three of the season on Saturday, with a fantastic drive to third place for the Sorg Rennsport team.

Northfleet-based Lidsey, and Russian team-mate Ivan Berets, finally got to enjoy the deserved fruits of all this year’s hard work – having seen podium challenges in the first two races of 2021 derailed by misfortune – during the latest four-hour encounter at Germany’s Nurburgring-Nordschleife.

Competing in a replacement BMW M4 GT4 after their original car suffered a blown engine in testing on Friday, 25th June, Lidsey qualified third fastest in Saturday morning’s session and the duo went on to retain their top three placing race-long.

“I’m obviously delighted to get our first podium in GT4, it’s been a frustrating season so far so to finally get a top three is fantastic”, said the 29-year-old, “It still wasn’t a straightforward weekend for us, after the engine blowing in testing, but the replacement car was actually better than our original BMW – it handled the same but had softer springs in the front which helped with initial braking.

“It was a tough race, learning every lap, but the car worked well and the team did a great job as usual. The race was physically challenging, as I did a double stint at the end, so the end result was even more satisfying.”

Aiming to enjoy the benefit of being involved in pre-event testing for the first time this year, quite incredibly the bad luck which had cast a shadow over Lidsey’s campaign thus far reared its head again when the engine expired.

Rather than change the powerplant and risk further issues, the team brought a sister car to the track from its base in Wuppertal for Lidsey and Berets to instead utilise. Impressively, during his first run in the purple and pink liveried BMW, Lidsey lapped third fastest of the GT4 entries.

Going on to take the opening stint of race three of the year around noon local time, following a good first lap of the immense 24-kilometre track he retained his top three position. Running very well, the Liftout, Dornack, GPL Projects Ltd and Certus Security backed driver concluded hour one of the race third in class before handing over the BMW to Berets shortly after.

Joining the track early in the second hour, Berets maintained third place and as the halfway point of the encounter neared the duo’s first 2021 podium looked increasingly likely. During the subsequent half hour of action Lidsey climbed back aboard the No.180 car to begin a double-stint.

With all working well, and the car not missing a beat, the British racer reeled off the laps in third and eventually served the squad’s third pit-stop with just over an hour of the race to go. Staying behind the wheel, he maintained his podium placing to the conclusion to secure his long awaited, and richly deserved, first silverware of the season.

Celebrations were, though, tempered to some extent due to the fact Lidsey looks set to miss the next Nurburgring Endurance Series event – the double header race meeting on 10th/11th July – unless sufficient sponsorship can be secured. He will instead return to action for the sixth race of the year on Saturday, 11th September.

“It’s disappointing we look like we’ll have to sit-out the next two races, especially after this weekend’s podium, but our budget for the year was always going to be tight – more so after the step-up to GT4”, commented Lidsey, “We’ll work hard to try and attract some more support, but I do expect we won’t be back until the race in September.”

Images courtesy of 1Vier Communication