Suspension damage halts podium bid for Lidsey
Suspension damage halts podium bid for Lidsey

Nurburgring Endurance Series racer Brett Lidsey experienced a day of immense frustration and misfortune during the second event of the 2021 season on Saturday, 1st May, when suspension damage ended a genuine challenge for GT4 class podium honours.

Fighting a battle against serious back pain, the result of a work injury a week before round two, the Northfleet driver only made the decision to travel out to Germany’s Nurburgring-Nordschleife at the eleventh hour on Wednesday night. 

Focused on overcoming the discomfort with steely resolve, Lidsey aimed to challenge for a top three finish in only his second race at GT4 level. During hour two of the four-hour encounter though, Sorg Rennsport team-mate Ivan Berets had to stop the BMW M4 GT4 due to suspension problems.

“I’m devastated to be honest”, said an exasperated Lidsey, “It’s been a battle to get on the grid at all this year, then with the problems I’ve had with my back this past week I hoped we could just have a good, clean run this weekend. Unfortunately there was a bit of contact with a backmarker in Ivan’s stint and we think that’s where the suspension damage was picked up.”

As is the way for this season, Lidsey went straight into qualifying on Saturday morning without any practice laps under his belt and so the grid-determining session was his first opportunity to gauge how painful – or otherwise – his recently injured back would be. 

Due to a red flag stoppage, the 29-year-old was only able to complete a lap and a half of the 24-kilometre track in the fog-delayed session. Even so, Lidsey and Berets qualified fifth fastest in class for the race. 

Berets took the start and maintained the top five position early on – running within a couple of seconds of the top three. With a podium challenge within his sights, he took fourth and then moved ahead of the No.171 Toyota Supra for third position near the end of the opening hour.

Following the first round of pit-stops for refuelling Berets held third, but on only lap eight he lost significant time after slight contact with a backmarker. Dropping to seventh as a consequence, he moved back into the top six before retirement beckoned within just a couple of laps.

“I don’t know what I’m more frustrated by, the retirement from the race or the fact I didn’t get out in the race at all after working so hard to be at the Nordschleife after my injury”, said Lidsey, who is supported by Liftout, Dornack, GPL Projects Ltd and Certus, “At the start of the week I didn’t think I’d be able to travel, let alone drive the car, but after some treatment and acupuncture it did help a bit.

“We didn’t show our true pace in qualifying due to the red flags, but in the race Ivan was doing a good job and our first GT4 podium was definitely on. It’s not been the start to the new season we wanted, but we’re determined to get things back on track when we’re back at the end of June.”

He added: “I do obviously want to thank, as always, my fantastic sponsors and also the guys at Sorg Rennsport for producing a quick car again. We know what we’re capable of in GT4, we just need some better luck to fall into place.”

There is now a break of eight weeks in the Nurburgring Endurance Series calendar, with round three of the 2021 season taking place on Saturday, 26th June.

Images courtesy of 1Vier Communication