British GT Brands Hatch Round-up

Race wins for #78 Barwell Motorsport in GT3 while #61 Academy Motorsport claim GT4 honours.


GT3

Starting from pole James Baldwin the #2 Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren was off and into the distance during his stint behind the wheel.


Sharing the front row start was the #78 Barwell Lamborghini of former BTCC race winner Rob Collard who was enjoying the drive round the Kent countryside as it was all happening behind him. Ian Loggie in his RAM Racing Mercedes was doing all he can to keep the pair of the 2 Seas Motorsport's McLarens at bay. The AM driver managed to hold of Jordan Witt and Angus Fender in the #10 and #9 2 Seas Motorsport McLarens for 20 minutes before they managed to find a way past just after the clock had ticked off 20 minutes.


Out front, Baldwin had built up a healthy 30s lead over Collard and all set to hand over driving duties and the advantage to Michael O'Brien. However the safety car was sent out due to Nick Jones's Bentley came to rest in the gravel at Westfield after contact with Witt.


This then meant the huge lead that Baldwin had built up was gone in a flash. The deployment of the safety car also meant that the pitlane was soon busy as all the leading cars dived in as soon as the window opened.


Once the stops had been completed, it was now Sandy Mitchell, who had taken over from Collard, that was now the race leader with O'Brien now running second. Third was the #9 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren of Dean Macdonald. Next up was the pair of RAM Racing Mercedes of Yelmer Buurman and Patrick Kujala and Franck Perera's WPI Lamborghini.


For the remaining hour the order didn't change but a late safety car gave hope to O'Brien but Mitchell managed to hold of the advance during the first racing lap after the safety car period ended,


Mitchell held on for the win with O'Brien P2. Macdonald crossed the line in P3 but a post race 10s stop-go dropped them back. Instead it was Loggie/Buurman who claimed that final podium place.

GT3 winner #78 Barwell Lamborghini

GT4

Connor O'Brien in his TF-Sport Aston Martin converted his pole position into the lead as they all piled round Paddock Hill. The sister Aston of Dan Vaughan managed to hang on to P2 after Sam Smelt's challenge. Smelt though was not giving up his chances of trying to gain a place and did all he can to pass Vaughan.


The battle behind meant O'Brien could escape and build up a lead which by the time Smelt did pass Vaughan was 6s. Smelt then got his head down and set off after O'Brien.

Fortunate for Smelt yet unfortunate for O'Brien it was all about to change. As the GT3 cars were threading their way through, Richard Neary caught the Aston as they exited Druids and sent O'Brien into a spin and down to P4. This meant that Smelt was now leading the race.


Quietly, unnoticed, Jordan Albert was making his way through from qualifying issues which meant he started P8 in his Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang. As the unfortunate O'Brien was recovering, Albert made his way to P3.


A Safety Car for the stricken Bentley of Nick Jones just seconds before the pitstop window opened livened things up a bit. To avoid risking a penalty, the Speedworks team left Smelt out for an extra lap in order not to risk a penalty for an early stop. Everybody else though at a reduced speed made it to the pitlane. TF-Sport did a superb job in their double pitstop for their drivers. Jamie Caroline made it out first after taking over from Vaughan. Matt Cowley in the Academy Mustang completed his stop just before Patrick Kibble joined the race in his TF Sport Aston who in turn made it out before Ben Green in the Century Motorsport BMW M4.


As soon as racing resumed again, Cowley made short work in getting passed Caroline on the way through Hawthorn Hill. He then set about trying to make up a lead and managed to get a lead of 1s before the Safety Car was sent back out. This was because of the HHC Motorsport McLaren of Jordan Collard shedding debris as a result of tyre delamination.

Racing resumed with just under 20 minutes left on the clock and the top four were nose-to-tail thanks to the Safety Car. Green got past the Aston of Kibble as soon as they were lapping a GT3 car at Graham Hill Bend, but Kibble tried to fight back to no avail and Green was P3.


The battle wasn't over and as they exited Clearways on the penultimate lap, Kibble dived down the inside of Green who in turn was trying to get past Caroline and contact was made. Somehow they managed to get all pointing straight before Kibble demoted Green to P4 as they exited Paddock Hill.


As they all started the last lap, both Astons made contact and Kibble in his #95 Aston Martin ended up in the gravel. Caroline though crossed the line in P2 behind Cowley in the Mustang with Green P3.


The drama still didn't end there, the contact between the two Astons and the retirement of #95 one in the gravel resulted in the #97 Aston receiving a 40s post race penalty.


The resulting penalty meant that now P2 was the pairing of Ben Green / Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke and P3 Gus Bowers and Chris Wesemael in their HHC Motorsport McLaren.

GT4 winner #61 Academy Motorsport

The next race weekend is back at Donington Park 19/20 September for a 3 hour endurance race.