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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Hitech’s double delight on rain-affected Silverstone GB3 weekend

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Hitech GP duo Tymek Kucharczyk and Will Macintyre each scored victories on a weekend of difficult climate circumstances for the GB3 discipline at Silverstone. Kucharczyk took a double pole in a moist qualifying and the Polish racer led the opening contest whereas his team-mate Macintyre misplaced second in the beginning to Elite Motorsport’s McKenzy Cresswell.

Kucharczyk pulled out a two-second benefit by the midway stage after which romped additional clear to take a maiden GB3 victory by nearly 8s, as Cresswell light with graining entrance tyres within the chilly temperatures, however nonetheless completed 1.5s away from Macintyre.

“I’ve been ready for it since final 12 months, there’s no higher approach than to get my first win by that sort of margin, it proves it was definitely worth the work and sacrificing a number of issues,” mentioned Kucharczyk.

Having handed Hitech’s Gerrard Xie in the beginning, Rodin Motorsport’s Louis Sharp, who entered the occasion as championship chief, challenged Macintyre into Copse on lap three however suffered a sluggish exit. That allowed his team-mate Ugo Ugochukwu to attract alongside and take fourth into Maggotts, however the New Zealander instantly wrestled the place again with the pair nearly making contact coming into the Hangar Straight.

Xie quickly challenged Ugochukwu into Brooklands earlier than finishing the overtake two corners later at Woodcote as he got here dwelling shut behind Sharp in fifth. Elite’s Jarrod Waberski caught and handed James Hedley late on for seventh whereas John Bennett was pipped to ninth by Formulation 3 race winner Martinius Stenshorne, who was making a GB3 cameo for Chris Dittmann Racing to be taught the circuit forward of a return later this 12 months.

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Macintyre (l) and Kucharczyk shared Silverstone success

Picture by: JEP

Persistent heavy rain on Sunday morning led to the second contest being rescheduled till later within the day, when circumstances had improved, with all drivers becoming moist tyres on a moist however drying circuit. Kucharczyk and Cresswell have been sluggish away from the entrance row and misplaced out to Macintyre and Ugochukwu, who each made good begins from a barely drier left-hand facet of the grid.

Macintyre initially pulled out a 1.5s lead earlier than being caught late on by each Ugochukwu and Kucharczyk, however he held on to take his second GB3 win, with 0.679s separating the highest three on the chequered flag. “I used to be managing the hole after which made a mistake with two laps to go, which enabled them to catch up,” mentioned Macintyre. “[The win] means quite a bit, it’s boosted my confidence going into the remainder of the championship.”

Cresswell completed an extra 2.5s behind after resisting an early problem from Sharp, who initially misplaced out to Waberski earlier than reclaiming fifth at Village. Waberski held onto sixth regardless of an exhilarating three-wide battle into Brooklands with Bennett and Hedley, the latter sweeping across the outdoors to seize seventh. Xie completed ninth forward of Josh Irfan after making a sluggish begin from fourth on the grid.

Sunday’s revised schedule resulted within the partially-reversed grid race being postponed till later within the season, leaving Sharp with a nine-point lead heading into June’s third spherical at Spa.

Storage 59 springs a shock in British GT’s Silverstone 500

Silver-Am duo of Smalley and Balfe shone brightest in Silverstone gloom

Silver-Am duo of Smalley and Balfe shone brightest in Silverstone gloom

Picture by: JEP

Storage 59 claimed a shock Silverstone 500 victory as varied British GT groups have been left ruing what may need been, with pricey errors stopping them from successful the three-hour occasion.

Shaun Balfe and Adam Smalley rose from fourth to take the chequered flag with their McLaren 720S GT3 Evo, simply 5.3 seconds forward of fellow Silver-Am runners Richard and Sam Neary, the father-son pairing having began fifteenth. One other Silver-Am crew crossed the road third, however Simon Orange and Tom Roche have been then given a post-race penalty selling Chris Buncombe and Jann Mardenborough, on his return to British GT, onto the rostrum.

“[It was] all a little bit of a blur,” mentioned Balfe. “The precedence was to be effectively positioned in our class, so it was an actual bonus and big shock so early within the season to be general [winners] in GT3.”

Storage 59 initially appeared to have made a strategic error when, not like others, the group did not pit Balfe throughout the security automotive begin that passed off due to the acute moist circumstances.

Balfe claimed the group needed to “keep on with” the technique it had deliberate previous to the race, with 2 Seas additionally opting to do the identical by preserving polesitter Kevin Tse out. When each vehicles pitted after 21 minutes, Maximilian Gotz, in for Tse, rejoined eighth, with Smalley fifteenth as their rivals misplaced much less time underneath the security automotive.

The benefit swung to Century Motorsport, as sequence debutant Dries Vanthoor and reigning champion Darren Leung had moved up the order into third and held the online lead aboard their BMW M4. Forward, Blackthorn’s Giacomo Petrobelli and Paddock’s Mark Smith have been but to pit however they lastly stopped and adjusted drivers after 80 minutes, when the climate forecast predictions proved flawed.

As a substitute of drying, rain continued to fall which means each groups might now not try to maintain out for a change to slick tyres as they’d deliberate. Each vehicles dropped out of competition, and Century’s lead M4 proved dominant as Leung led second-placed Rob Collard by 37s approaching the ultimate hour.

However catastrophe struck when Leung pitted for what ought to have been the ultimate time and, though all the things appeared high-quality, a radio drawback precipitated Leung to lose communication and he was unaware that Century had underfuelled his automotive.

Radio woe hampered Leung's bid for a repeat victory

Radio woe hampered Leung’s bid for a repeat victory

Picture by: JEP

Again out on observe, Leung seen his gasoline hit a vital degree and he was compelled into an unscheduled pitstop. What a snug victory resulted in them dropping out of the factors, stopping Leung from changing into the Silverstone 500’s first outright back-to-back winner.

Collard subsequently claimed the lead, however all the things modified once more with 50 minutes remaining when Mark Radcliffe went large at Copse earlier than his McLaren spun again into the trail of Alex Martin’s Lamborghini – which was victorious on the Oulton Park opener – placing each vehicles out.

A prolonged restoration underneath a security automotive meant racing resumed with solely 27 minutes left, with Storage 59 effectively positioned as Smalley and the second McLaren of Marcus Clutton sat third and fourth. However they held a internet 1-2 with each 2 Seas vehicles forward nonetheless to make a remaining cease, and the pair went side-by-side on the restart. Their battling immediately left a spot down the within of Membership, which Mardenborough seized upon to maneuver forward.

However the Briton’s pleasure lasted for less than three corners, as his RJN McLaren was hit from behind by Clutton, sending him right into a spin. The incident allowed Smalley to maneuver again forward, whereas Neary Jr was instantly behind after a superb security automotive restart.

Each drivers knew Clutton would get penalised, although, so provided little defence because the Storage 59 driver claimed the lead earlier than serving a drive-through.

This left a two-way struggle between Smalley and Neary Jr, however the Workforce Abba driver struggled to get inside 2s as he claimed the McLaren “was only a lot faster”. He settled for second in his Mercedes, whereas Mardenborough’s spin and Clutton’s penalty paved the best way for Roche to seemingly declare third. However, post-race, the Orange Racing machine was given a 35s penalty for overtaking underneath the security automotive, dropping it from third to sixth.

RJN due to this fact claimed third forward of Clutton/Morgan Tillbrook, whereas Ricky Collard and father Rob have been fifth for Barwell. Petrobelli and Jonathan Adam crossed the road in seventh however have been additionally given a post-race 30s penalty for not closing the door correctly throughout refuelling. The Blackthorn Aston Martin due to this fact dropped to eighth, with Optimum’s Andrew Gilbert and Fran Rueda being promoted a spot.

John Ferguson/Raffaele Marciello (RAM Racing BMW) and Ian Loggie/Phil Eager (2 Seas) accomplished the scorers, as Smalley and Balfe now lead the standings forward of Donington Park in a month’s time.

Artura is Optimum GT4 weapon

Meakin and Brown dominated the GT4 ranks

Meakin and Brown dominated the GT4 ranks

Picture by: JEP

Optimum Motorsport boss Shaun Goff claimed that the “race was ours” after his group dominated from pole to take GT4 victory eventually weekend’s Silverstone 500.

Jack Brown and Zac Meakin completed a staggering 1m40s away from runners-up Jamie Day and Mikey Porter having impressed all weekend aboard their McLaren Artura GT4. Mahiki Racing’s Ian Duggan and Gordie Mutch trailed the Forsetti Aston Martin Vantage by simply 3.2s to present Lotus its first podium since returning to British GT this 12 months.

“We got here right here with an ideal automotive and the drivers have accomplished a improbable job,” mentioned Goff. “We as a group have executed wins on this race a number of instances, so we benefit from the three-hour races, which form of separate the lads from the boys.”

The group didn’t endure a superb begin, although, as Meakin dropped to fourth inside 5 minutes of inexperienced flag working following a security automotive begin because of the moist circumstances. However, with the tempo of the McLaren, it was not an issue for lengthy as Meakin shortly reclaimed third from Paddock Motorsport’s Blake Angliss.

An incident additional again then precipitated a full-course yellow after 21 minutes when contact with a Century Motorsport BMW GT3 precipitated Harry George to spin into the gravel on the chicane. The battle for first immediately took a flip because the Workforce CMR Ginetta G56 Evo was given a drive-through penalty after Freddie Tomlinson was caught dashing underneath the yellow flag.

There was a first podium for Lotus since the brand's British GT return

There was a primary podium for Lotus because the model’s British GT return

Picture by: JEP

Tomlinson and team-mate Stuart Middleton due to this fact misplaced an opportunity of victory with Porter assuming management of the race, however Optimum’s tempo was palpable as Meakin overtook the Forsetti driver within the second hour. The McLaren progressively elevated its hole till the late security automotive, the place a luckily timed pitstop put Optimum a lap above the remainder of the GT4 pack throughout the final hour.

“It was very lucky,” added Goff. “However the race was very sturdy for us and typically you lose out on these security automotive conditions. This time we lucked in fairly a bit however take nothing away from the group and drivers.”

Forsetti was left to take a snug second and, with it, the lead within the drivers’ standings. Behind, Mahiki accomplished its late podium cost with seven minutes left, after Mutch overtook championship contender Seb Morris’s Workforce Parker Mercedes across the outdoors of Stowe.

Morris later mentioned he offered little defence as a result of he “was simply so comfortable to have the automotive in a single piece” and bag the factors for fourth alongside Charles Dawson. The second Forsetti machine of Marc Warren and William Orton completed fifth as Academy Motorsport’s Ford Mustang of Marco Signoretti and reigning GT4 champion Erik Evans accomplished the highest six.

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Morris was happy to bag points in fourth, although Forsetti crew now leads the GT4 standings

Morris was comfortable to bag factors in fourth, though Forsetti crew now leads the GT4 standings

Picture by: JEP



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