Heading to the second event of the British Endurance Championship (BEC) at Brands Hatch, Daryl DeLeon Taylor was supposed to be driving the #34 Audi S3 BTCC touring car of Team HARD Racing. But that plan quickly changed on Friday night. He was given an opportunity of a lifetime to fill in an empty seat in the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car. And his way of showing his gratitude is by putting the #28 entry (and its owner Brad Thurston) on the overall podium with a class win in tow.
Team HARD Racing was left scratching their heads late Friday evening as the supposed co-driver of their GT3 car couldn’t make it to the track. That’s when the team thought that it would be a good idea to give Daryl a go.
“Turning up to race day having not ever driven a GT car before, I didn’t know what to expect. I was so exited to have my first outing in a GT car and was even more exited about it being a Porsche GT3,” he shared.
The Filipino-British driver turned his first laps in the black-and-green liveried Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car during Free Practice on Saturday morning. Daryl’s lack of experience in sports cars, however, didn’t really show in the time sheets. As a matter of fact, he ended the 20-minute session 4th overall and 1st amongst the Class C entries around the 1.944 km Brands Hatch Indy course.
Brad Thurston then took over for Qualifying and come Sunday, would start the 2 hour race from the 4th row of the grid. A clean getaway allowed him to gain several places and rub elbows with the heavyweights at the front. He managed to hold position and maintain P3 in Class C during his 30-minute stint before handing the car over to Daryl.
With zero racing experience in a Porsche 911 GT3, the 17-year-old made the most out of his 60-minute stint to familiarize himself with the new machinery. It was also a real test of skill and endurance as he fought for position and even managed take the race lead.
Brad had the privilege to drive the closing stages of the race onto a spot on the podium. But with only 15 minutes to go, the #28 car suffered a rear suspension failure that affected its handling and lost them time. Luckily, it was not terminal and they had a big enough gap to hold on to 2nd place overall when the chequered flag dropped and take 1st in C Class.
The British Endurance Championship (BEC) resumes on the 27th of May for the 3 Hours of Oulton Park. It will be confirmed which entry Daryl will be driving with Team HARD Racing at later date.
Daryl DeLeon Taylor: “Overall, I’m incredibly proud of my performance at the British Endurance Championship. It was an unforgettable experience, and one that I’ll cherish for years to come. Driving a Porsche 911 GT3 around Brands Hatch is something that few people get to do and I would just like to thank everyone who made it possible. Bradley, Dave, Matt, and all involved at Team HARD Racing.”
Brad Thurston: “Absolutely over the moon with the result and I think it was fully deserved. Racing with Daryl was brilliant. He picked up the car very quickly considering he only drove it Saturday morning in Free Practice. I’d like to say thank you to Matt, our race engineer, who got the strategy perfect. Our #1 mechanic Alex who worked non-stop all weekend and the guys at Team HARD Racing for the faultless pit stops. It’s nice to reward the guys at Grace Engine Developments, Berkshire Bodyshop, and the team with a class win and an overall podium.”
Daryl DeLeon Taylor is supported by Train Maintenance Services (TMS).