Race victories for Balfe Motorsport and Stellar Performance, but TF-Sport take both GT3 and GT4 Drivers' Championships.
An incident behind in the GT4 pack at the end of the formation lap which led to a safety car start meant that the pole sitter McLaren of Balfe Motorsport had an easy run into Redgate when the green flag was finally shown. Due to finishing second last time out at Brands Hatch, the Balfe Motorsport had an extra 15 seconds to serve during their pitstop. This though was soon overcome as by the time the McLaren pitted, it had a healthy lead of almost 30s.
Behind the rapid McLaren it was all action. Adam Balon in the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini was the first to hit troubles in pursuit of the title. After losing second on the road to the RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG, Balon then fell further behind when Angus Fender in his Century Motorsport M6 GT3 made a move. It then got worse for the Lamborghini driver when he made contact with the KTM that allowed Graham Davidson in the TF-Sport Aston Martin and the sister Century Motorsport BMW to pass him. The contact also resulted in a damaged toe link to the Lamborghini.
Davidson was doing everything possible to make co-driver Jonny Adam's job a bit easier in pursuit of the title. While trying to pass the recovering RAM Mercedes he put couple of the Aston wheels on the grass, such was his eagerness. Unfortunately this move didn't work, but a few laps later it did and he was up to third.
With the lead that Balfe had built up, when he came to hand the car over to Rob Bell they emerged back in to the lead despite the success penalty. With no success penalty the RAM Racing, now with Callum Macleod in the hot seat, came back out in second. Third after the stops was the Century Motorsport of Jack Mitchell, who had taken over from Angus Fender, despite stopping for an extra 10 seconds.
The #69 Lamborghini was now the main rival to TF-Sport after the sister Lamborghini fell down the order. Such the pace of Davidson early on, he was able to close in on Sam De Haan and when the stops had taken place, Adam was able to rejoin just ahead of Jonny Cocker.
Further problems for the #72 Lamborghini effectively meant it was championship over. The damage that was sustained early on in the race meant that Phil Keen was sent off the track at the Craner Curves. A second visit to the pits and a few laps while they sorted the problem meant after leading the championship for so long, Keen would have to wait another year.
A safety car period towards the end of the race, caused by the GT4 pack, soon bunched everybody together. With just over 20 minutes of the race left, Adam was being hounded by the Lamborghini's of Cocker in the Barwell version and Dennis Lind in the WPI. Lind soon got his way past Cocker and was sitting comfortable behind the TF Aston of Adam.
With mere minutes left on the clock, Lind was trying to find his way past the Aston. Contact was made to the rear of the Aston, Lind was alongside but it was Cocker who profited the most as he dived passed them both. Lind also completed the pass and Adam was back in sixth, but the #69 Lamborghini was now in contention for lifting the title.
Back to the front, Bell took the flag for the McLaren's maiden victory just under three seconds ahead of the RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG. Completing the podium was the Century Motorsport BMW of Jack Mitchell securing back-to-back podiums.
De Haan and Jonny Cocker, by finishing fourth and with Adam and Davidson finishing sixth, were provisionally the 2019 Champions by 0.5 points. The contact between Lind and Adam would be reviewed and investigated after the race by the stewards so all celebrations in the Barwell camp were on hold. The stewards decided that Lind had gained from the contact and was handed a five second penalty and pushed him down to sixth, which duly promoted Adam to fifth and therefore Champions by 2.5 points. This would be Adam's fourth title.
Barwell Motorsport missed out again on the Drivers' title again, but do hang on to their GT3 Teams' title beating TF-Sport by 47 points.
Because of the safety car start, pole sitter Stellar Performance and Richard Williams had unchallenged start to the race. Tom Canning in the TF-Sport Aston Martin kept close tabs on the Audi and not far off the hour mark made his move. With the TF-Sport Aston in a battle with 5 other fellow pairings for the GT4 title, this certainly helped their cause.
At the pitstop, the TF-Sport Aston had to serve an extra 10s due their success penalty from last time out. This enabled Sennan Fielding to retake the lead for Stellar Performance in his Audi. Ash Hand now behind the wheel of the Aston Martin resumed the chase for the lead.
With the Audi not one of the crews fighting for the title, second for Hand would secure the Drivers' Championship for TF-Sport. With just over 30 minutes left to run, the safety car was sent back out again as Connor O'Brien spun down the grass at the Craner Curves in his Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin. Aaron Taylor-Smith in his Race Performance Ford Mustang made contact with the errant Aston and both drivers walked away from a heavy hit.
The safety car allowed the #15 Multimatic Ford Mustang of Seb Priaulx to close the gap to Hand. Priaulx made his move not long after racing had resumed and was now second after starting back in fifth. This still meant that Hand was leading the championship despite being back in third. Priaulx needed a win to claim the title with Scott Maxwell and set off in pursuit of the Audi. Hand couldn't do anything but watch as the Ford set off to chase the Audi down.
Priaulx did all he could but ultimately Fielding held on to the win by a mere 1.5s. With the Ford driver in second place, this meant that with finishing third Hand was the GT4 Drivers' Champion alongside Canning. Fourth was the pairing of Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman and this result meant they were the Pro/Am class champions.
TF-Sport also claimed the GT4 Teams' Championship beating the McLaren's of Tolman and HHC.
So, thats it for 2019. The 2020 season starts up again at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend.