Intercontinental GT victory for Nick Foster in the California 8 Hours
Nick Foster, along with fellow countryman Tim Slade and Miguel Molina took a sensational win for HubAuto Corsa at the weekend in the Intercontinental GT Challenge. A perfect display of pace and consistency which saw the Taiwanese entered Ferrari 488 GT3 all but untouchable at the front of the field for most of the 8-hour race, in the Laguna Seca sunshine.
For Nick, this is arguably the biggest result of his fast-developing career, having taken victory over a quality field of the finest GT drivers, assembled from around the world by leading GT manufacturers.
Having been entrusted by the team to take part in the Pole Shootout (qualifying session) ahead of the race, where the top ten fastest cars vie for pole position in a 15-minute all-or-nothing session, Foster put his Ferrari on the second row of the grid, in a field separated by just a few tenths of a second.
Molina took the start of the race, moving up to third off the line and biding his time before first picking off the Honda NSX and then the Nissan GTR, to take the Ferrari to the front, before handing the car over to Slade for the second stint of the race. Tim continued the great work and kept the car in the lead, extending the advantage to nearly 20 seconds to then hand the car over to Nick.
By now the field was starting to fall a lap behind the Ferrari and Nick had to work hard to keep up the frenetic pace, whilst starting to lap the back of GT3 field; a task which he did to great effect as the car was given back to Miguel, to take the car to the half way point of the race.
A small equipment problem in the next pit stop saw the Ferrari lose the lead to the Porsche 911 as Tom got back into the car, but normal service resumed as he put the hammer down and the Porsche fell by the wayside.
Further relentless shifts by Nick and Tim took the car to the final hour, where it was then over to the former to bring the car home. A great final stint enforced a win by 15 seconds from the Mercedes of Raffaele Marciello and the Porsche of Roman Dumas, who both tried hard in the closing stages to attack the Ferrari, but on the day were no match for Foster.
“I’m stoked,” said a jubilant Nick Foster, “We had a great car and pace today and went lights to flag flat out for this win. Tim, Miguel and the guys delivered a perfect race and a great car which gave me the chance to push hard the whole time and get the win.
“I want to say thanks to the team, especially Morris [Team Owner] and Phil [Team Manager] for having the faith in me to firstly take pole position superpole and then to bring the car home. It means a lot.”
The next round of the Intercontinental GT challenge is the legendary 24 hours of Spa in May, where Foster and HubAuto Corsa will be looking to mount a challenge for the title, having now moved up to second in the drivers’ standings and third in the manufacturers’ championship.