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Harper and Leung safe British GT title in chaotic finale

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The closing weekend of the season was eventful from the phrase go, with quite a few grid penalties that noticed the Century Motorsport BMW promoted to pole place in a single day, earlier than an attraction from Beechdean Motorsport – the unique polesitter – returned it the entrance row to its preliminary post-session look.

However this was nothing in comparison with the mayhem of Sunday’s race, the place the permutations meant Leung and Harper wanted to complete within the prime 5 to face any likelihood of taking the title. This activity, nonetheless, was made harder with a 20-second success penalty utilized following the duo’s victory final day out at Manufacturers Hatch.

This was partially negated with championship rival James Cottingham – alongside Philip Ellis somewhat than Jonny Adam – additionally having a 10-second success penalty.

Conscious of the job he wanted to do, Leung put the hammer down early on, working side-by-side with Andrew Howard by way of the Craner Curves earlier than making his transfer stick into the {Old} Hairpin.

Unrelenting, Leung shortly pulled out a five-second lead earlier than a 20-minute security automotive interval ruined his progress. The intervention was triggered after the #86 and #80 Ginetta GT4 vehicles collided on the run to Redgate, crashing closely into the tyre barrier.

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When the motion bought below means, Leung resumed his cost and this time pulled out a 19.7s lead earlier than a glut of crashes, together with a high-speed off for John Seale which pressured an extra 10-minute security automotive disruption.

With the interval taking proceedings as much as the GT3 pit window, this inflicted most ache for the BMW entry.

Photograph by: JEP

The British GT GT3 championship-winning BMW M4 of Darren Leung and Dan Harper

Regardless of Cottingham struggling an off-race, this put him because the clear favorite to safe the title. However the race took one other twist following the stops when Cottingham was revealed to have overtaken below yellow flags and was handed a drive-through penalty.

With a fired-up Harper on the wheel, the BMW M4 GT3 scythed by way of the order, holding nothing again, with the championship-deciding go coming with half an hour left. Even with one hand on the title, Harper continued to push and ultimately crossed the road in second, behind – the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Shaun Balfe and Sandy Mitchell.

“The 12 months has simply been actual heads down and specializing in getting me on top of things,” mentioned Leung.

“I’ve not been doing this very lengthy so everybody has had an enormous job making an attempt to get me there and so they’ve all finished an unbelievable job, simply serving to me to be taught issues to place us into competition.

“Our objective in the beginning of the 12 months was to mathematically have an opportunity [at the decider], so after we turned up solely 13 factors off and the one different contenders, we have been over the moon with that.

“However then we knew that we simply wanted issues to fall our means on the day.”

On his storming drive by way of the sector, Harper added: “I truly mentioned after the race that I don’t suppose I breathed for about half-hour and each time I bought to about third and there was an honest hole, I simply lastly breathed and calmed down.

The British GT GT3 championship-winning BMW M4 of Darren Leung and Dan Harper

Photograph by: JEP

The British GT GT3 championship-winning BMW M4 of Darren Leung and Dan Harper

“At the start, I got here out of the pits and there was the security automotive. We have been P16 at that time and we have been like ‘that is going to be troublesome’.

“However we had unbelievable tempo, the automotive was on rails. I picked them off one after the other and as quickly as I bought right into a championship profitable place, I simply lastly might loosen up and produce it dwelling.”

Erik Evans and Matt Cowley triumphed each on the day and throughout the season within the GT4 class, passing the vast majority of the sector after dropping to the again through the pitstop section.

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