Gearbox issue robs Daryl DeLeon of British Endurance podium at Silverstone GP

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Whilst running 2nd in class, Daryl DeLeon Taylor and teammate Maurice Henry were looking good for a strong finish on their British Endurance Championship (BEC) debut. The new pairing were easily punching above their weight all weekend against a 20-car grid mostly made up of GT3 and GT4 machinery. That was until a technical problem dashed their hopes for a spot on the podium at the Silverstone GP 3 Hours.

This was Daryl’s first competitive outing in the #34 Audi S3 BTCC touring car after winning Team HARD. Racing’s driver scholarship last month. So it’s quite impressive how the 17-year-old managed to find so much speed in such little time, considering that the reigning Radical SR1 Cup UK champion has never driven anything like it before.

He and his teammate were able to gain a ton confidence behind the wheel as they clocked up valuable seat time during testing. It was also an opportunity for the team to further develop the car ahead of the 3-hour endurance. Their efforts translated well on track as they logged the 2nd fastest time in class and 6th overall during Practice.

Things got even better during Qualifying for the Filipino-British driver. Wrestling every second out a half wet-half dry Silverstone GP Circuit, Daryl put Team HARD. Racing’s entry on pole position in Class C out-running a Ferrari 458 Challenge and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. This put the #34 entry 5th overall and starting from the 3rd row of the grid. However, anything can still happen in a 3-hour endurance.

Daryl was first in the driver’s seat when the lights turned green on Saturday afternoon. He managed to kept the class lead for a number of laps ’til the much faster Ferrari 458 Challenge eventually passed the #34 Audi. Maintaining P2 for the rest of his stint, he then handed over the car to Maurice for the first driver change who rejoined still in the same position. But after only 1/3 of the race distance completed, the gearbox began to overheat. There was nothing the team nor Maurice could do to save the ailing #34 Audi S3 BTCC as the problem proved to be terminal, forcing Team HARD. Racing into retirement.

Although it was a tough pill to swallow for everyone at Team HARD. Racing, Daryl and Maurice’s performance at the Silverstone GP 3 Hours showed a lot of promise. The team will be working hard to resolve the gearbox issue in time for the next event at the Brands Hatch Indy 2 Hours on the 22nd of April.

Daryl DeLeon Taylor: “The first round of the British Endurance Championship was a mega weekend well spent. Just being able to drive the Audi S3 BTCC touring car in mixed conditions at the home of British motorsport was an indescribable feeling. Me and my teammate had a lot of seat time and therefore we had developed a further understanding for the characteristics of this car. We were on our way towards a podium finish when the gearbox overheated forcing us to retire. Unfortunate way to end but a mega first race weekend with Team HARD Racing showing what we are capable of. I cannot wait for the next outing and I would just like to thank everyone in the team for their support. Let’s get it at the next one.”

Daryl DeLeon Taylor is supported by Train Maintenance Services (TMS).

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