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British GT Brands Hatch round-up

Victories for Century Motorsport and Academy Motorsport as the Championship headed to a sweltering Brands Hatch for the penultimate round.



GT3

Starting from pole James Cottingham stayed clear of the trouble that happend behind at Paddock Hill Bend. John Ferguson made contact with Ian Loggie and when all the dust and chaos settled Loggie was last with no damage. The same couldn't be said for Ferguson recovered to still be in P5 until damage forced his retirement.


Shaun Balfe was battling title rival Darren Leung off the start and managed to demote the McLaren into P3 and set off in pursuit of Cottingham. Both drivers had success penalties to serve and set about building gaps to ensure the best possible opportunites for their team mates.


Cottingham had a lead of 8s when the first safety car was sent out after Richard Neary and Mark Radcliffe made contact. The Team Abba Mercedes-AMG retired after making a trip through the Clearways gravel trap. The closing of the pack benifitted the Century Motorsport BMW of Leung who was 20s off the lead.


Once racing resumed again, Cottingham put in the laps to try and build up another buffer. Again he was pegged back by the safety car just before the pitstop window opened, this time the result of a collision between Simon Orange and Mike Price.


With the success penalties being served in the pitstops it was Leung who made the most of the opportunity handing the BMW over to Dan Haper from P5 to P2. Indeed it was Beechdean AMR who emerged in the lead with Ross Gunn now nehind the wheel after a great drive by Andrew Howard.


Gunn and Harper moved clear of the chasing pack as Jonny Adam, Jules Gounon and Callum Macleod were busy scrapping amongst themselves. With no-one hassling Harper he was able to put pressure on Gunn but couldn't find his way past the Aston Martin.


As the last 30 minutes of the race was about to tick over, Haper made his move on the Aston Martin with some unwitting help from the GT4 BMW who held up Gunn exiting Hawthorns and allowed Harper to draw alongside and make the move stike at Westfield.


Gunn tried to get past the BMW but couldn't and finished just over 1s behind Harper. Adam completed the podium after keeping Gounons advances at bay and in process denies Ian Loggie hopes of retaining the title. Indeed it is only 13 points seperating Adam / Cottingham and Leung / Harper as the Championship heads to Donington for the Decider.

GT3 winner #91 Century Motorsport

GT4

With the GT3 chaos in front the GT4 pack was forced into evassive action. Josh Rowledge's pole sitting McLaren ran wide to avoid the melee and dropped back. Charles Clark also had to take avoiding action and the resulting avoidance meant that the McLaren Artura had a coolant leak and put the Championship leader out of the race a few laps later.


Erik Evans managed to avoid the scattering of cars to emerge in the lead with Josh Miller for company. The two safety cars meant that Evans had keep working hard to build a gap before the pit stop window opened. Academy Motorsport kept Evans out a lap longer than the rest of the field then handed over duties to Matt Cowley who rejoined back in the lead.


Chris Salkeld's shorter stop helped them clear the R Racing Aston Martin Seb Hopkins. However Hopkins put pressure on the BMW and claimed P2. Further up the road it was a win for the Ford Mustang of Cowley and more importanly P3 overall in the Championship fight. Only 16.5 points cover the top 3 with Clark / Jack Brown still leading with Michael Johnston / Salkeld 10.5 points behind and with the victory, Evans / Cowley 6.5 points further behind.

GT4 winner #62 Academy Motorsport

The Donington Decider takes place October 21/22 where titles will be decided.



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