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2 Seas Mercedes sails to British GT victory at Donington

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Jonny Adam and James Cottingham grew to become the primary pairing to say two wins in British GT this season, their success permitting them to regain the lead within the championship as simply 12 factors cowl the highest 4 crews.

The two Seas Motorsport entry by no means dropped out of rivalry through the two-hour contest at Donington Park, crusing via to a different victory as different main protagonists made errors both out on monitor or within the pits.

Initially Cottingham misplaced floor on the opening lap as an tried transfer across the outdoors of polesitter Shaun Balfe into Redgate allowed Andrew Howard’s Beechdean Aston Martin Vantage to get a greater exit, with Fortunate Khera’s Race Lab McLaren 720S Evo virtually demoting Cottingham’s Mercedes-AMG additional.

Navigating GT4 site visitors quickly grew to become a difficulty for the leaders, with Howard taking the chance to maneuver into the lead at Balfe’s expense into the Fogarty Esses after simply 9 laps. The 2-time British GT champion quickly started to tug clear as Cottingham took an additional 14 laps to drive his method into second, whereas Balfe started a downward spiral via the pack.

A spot of greater than 4 seconds between the main pair quickly started to scale back approaching the top of the primary hour, and finally they discovered themselves nose-to-tail with Morgan Tillbrook’s Enduro Motorsport McLaren in tow after a outstanding rise from ninth. Any area remaining between the leaders quickly evaporated as a security automotive was deployed simply earlier than the hour mark after Mike Worth’s Mercedes crashed and rolled onto the boundaries exiting McLeans.

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The next restoration of Worth – who was taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks – the retrieval of his Greystone GT machine and restore to the barrier all led to a warning interval lasting in extra of half-hour.

With the pack collectively because the GT3 pit window opened, it got here right down to a race between the pitcrews, all three main automobiles with none compensation penalties from the earlier Silverstone spherical. However, whereas Adam rejoined on the head of the pack, there was a 7s delay for the Beechdean machine, Howard admitting that he’d made a mistake reattaching the security internet after team-mate Ross Gunn had jumped within the automotive.

The error dropped them to fourth, however worse was to befall the Enduro McLaren as Marcus Clutton, in for Tillbrook, discovered he had no throttle when leaving the pits and was compelled to carry out a grasp reset, relegating him to eighth.

Balfe’s Barwell Lamborghini began on pole however slipped again throughout opening stint

Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey

As soon as racing resumed, with fewer than 25 minutes left, Adam remained in management all through, taking his British GT win tally to 18 and is now only one behind the outright document at the moment held by Phil Eager. “The championship is coming alive,” mentioned Adam, who initially had been as a result of miss the Silverstone spherical final month, earlier than the European Le Mans Sequence occasion at Imola was known as off.

The brand new championship chief’s closest challengers had been Euan Hankey and Khera, the pair rewarded for staying out of bother with the latter pitting from fourth having moved forward of Darren Leung’s Century Motorsport BMW M4 and Balfe in his stint.

Probably probably the most stunning end result was that of reigning champion Ian Loggie and co-driver Jules Gounon, the second 2 Seas Motorsport pairing finishing the rostrum regardless of struggling for tempo all weekend.

After beginning seventh, Loggie noticeably dropped again from the automobiles forward as he fought with a normal lack of energy. Having discovered a bit extra tempo because the Mercedes’ gas load lightened, he too demoted Balfe for sixth earlier than the security automotive negated any hole to the pinnacle of the sphere. A clear pitstop ensured the pair took their second podium of the season, and now path their 2 Seas team-mates by 7.5 factors.

Behind, it was a case of what might need been for Howard and Gunn, the Aston duo benefiting from the newly laid floor on the Donington Park circuit, which lowered lap occasions by greater than two seconds.

Fifth was a robust end result for the BMW of Leung and Dan Harper, who got here into the weekend as championship leaders having received final trip at Silverstone. Serving a 20s compensation penalty dropped Harper right down to seventh after the pitstops, however he instantly moved into sixth with a tough however honest go on Martin Plowman’s McLaren into Redgate.

And he gained one other place with a transfer on Chris Froggatt, the Sky Tempesta Racing McLaren driver and team-mate Kevin Tse ending sixth, whereas Sandy Mitchell was unable to make floor from seventh after Balfe’s unexplained and important drop in tempo.

Clutton’s day went from dangerous to worse after the pitstop mishap, a collision with Plowman’s Paddock machine exiting the Melbourne Hairpin pitching the Enduro automotive closely into the concrete boundaries. They joined the RAM Racing Mercedes of John Ferguson and Raffaele Marciello on the sidelines, after the previous hopped the Fogarty Esses chicane on lap three and cracked the sump.

British GT4 victory at Donington Park has provisionally gone to Brown and Clark

British GT4 victory at Donington Park has provisionally gone to Brown and Clark

Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey

Jack Brown and Charles Clark provisionally claimed victory in GT4 at Donington Park, the pair’s second success of the season pending following an enchantment by Raceway Motorsport from the earlier British GT spherical.

The Optimum Motorsport crew’s yet-to-be confirmed victory got here after Clark grabbed the lead approaching the ultimate 20 minutes, getting the higher of Tom Wrigley into McLeans. The duo, who additionally received final trip at Silverstone, needed to give finest to the DTO Motorsport McLaren Artura of Josh Rowledge/Aston Millar and Raceway Motorsport Ginetta G56 of Freddie Tomlinson/Stuart Middleton in qualifying and will solely handle third.

However Brown was in a position to carefully shadow the main pair throughout his first stint, with Tomlinson having acquired the soar on Rowledge initially after his radio lower out simply as he rounded the ultimate flip and the unsighted inexperienced lights went out. The younger Ginetta driver put up a powerful defensive show for the opening stint, rebuffing Rowledge on quite a few events and surviving heavy contact with the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Mark Sansom into Redgate.

Rowledge’s strain finally advised, although, with the DTO driver getting the place on the within into Goddards earlier than eking out a small lead whereas Brown moved into second at Redgate a number of excursions later.

With the sphere introduced collectively by the warning for Mike Worth’s accident, and having to serve much less time as a result of being a Professional-Am pairing, Ian Gough handed the Racelab McLaren over to Wrigley on the head of the pack having been in seventh previous to the stops.

Millar rejoined second and was arguably in prime place for the win, however his McLaren suffered a whole lack of energy behind the security automotive, coming to a cease on the high of the Craner Curves. It allowed Clarke a free run at Wrigley as soon as racing resumed because the entrance two pulled away from an amazing scrap for third.

Middleton, in for Tomlinson, was compelled to proceed his stablemate’s defensive driving as Lewis Plato challenged for the ultimate podium place. A greater run out of Coppice finally gave the Century BMW racer the place earlier than the Fogarty Esses, with Darren Burke – sharing the Enduro McLaren with Harry George – additionally demoting Middleton an additional place within the closing 5 minutes. Nonetheless, the Ginetta driver’s race got here to an finish on the penultimate lap on the Melbourne Hairpin with broken suspension, however was nonetheless labeled ninth.

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