Updated: Jun 4, 2022
Victories for Enduro Motorsport and Academy Motorsport in the latest British GT Championship event, a 3 hour race round the Donington Park circuit.
Starting from pole Marcus Tilbrook tried to keep James Cottingham in the 2 Seas Mercedes behind him on the run to Redgate, but Cottingham carried the momentum and into the lead. Cottingham tried to get his head down and build an advantage but a collision of Lamborghinis at the Melbourne Hairpin and damage from the Barwell Motorsport version meant a safety car was sent out. The other Lamborghini involved, WPI Motorsport, earned a 10s stop-go for causing the collision.
With the safety car most of the teams took advantage of this and with the team performing a slick stop Marcus Clutton was able to stay out in front. He was also aided with some GT4 cars in between himself and the chasing GT3 pack and with some excellent driving soon had a lead of over 30s. With a hassle free race and with no more safety cars the Enduro Motorsport McLaren took the chequered flag just under a minute to the rest of the pack. En-route to the flag Clutton set a new GT3 lap record.
The fight for the remaining places though was a bit more frenetic. The safety car shook the order about which resulted in Euan Hankey emerging P2 as Mia Flewitt decided to pit later for a quieter pit lane.
Once the safety car had pitted Hankey had Scott Malvern, Lewis Williamson and Callum Macleod all for company. Malvern in the Team Parker Porsche made his move at Goddards and Hankey was soon another place back as Williamson got past the McLaren at Redgate. A couple of battles with the Barwell Lamborghini and the Porsche slowed Malvern a bit and then finally as Sandy Mitchell unsighted as he emerged from the pitlane contact was made. Mitchell turned into the Redgate, but Malvern was already there and resulted in the Lamborghini spinning into the gravel. Mitchell rejoined, but was now at the back of the GT3 pack.
With Malvern suffering after the contact and dropping back, it was Cottingham / Williamson who claimed P2 while the last spot on the podium went the way of RAM Racing of Ian Loggie / Macleod.
Richard Williams in his Steller Motorsport Audi made good his pole position into Redgate and off in the lead of the pack. However a few laps later all his work was un-done as he spun off at the Old Hairpin.
The mishap of Williams left Jamie Day in the lead with fast starting Will Burns, who started P7, chasing. Bit further back Marco Signoretti had a good start and was fighting with Burns and over couple laps kept swapping but ultimately it was Signoretti who was running P2 now setting about the challenging for the lead.
The Safety Car for the GT3 debris enabled the GT4 pack to pit. This is where it all unfolded for the Steller Motorsport team as they were nearly a lap behind the GT4 pack as the safety car waved passed cars to establish the correct order.
Out front though, Matt Cowley was now leading thanks to Academy Motorsport servicing the Ford quick and efficiently, with Darren Turner in pursuit. Josh Miller who had taken over from early race leader Day was now back in P5 after the shuffle had taken place.
Cowley and Turner were only 0.5s apart for the next hour with Turner doing everything he could to get past. Turner made his move for the lead thanks to the fast GT3 cars lapping. Cowley was slow through the Craner Curves and at the next chance, the Old Hairpin, Turner was past.
Turner was able to build a lead of 6s over Cowley for the next 15 mins before Cowley pitted while Turner kept circulating. Matt Topham took over from Turner and emerged just in front of Signoretti. The Mustang quickly got passed the Aston Martin but could only pull out a 6s gap before stopping again.
A drive-through penalty for the R Racing Aston Martin dropped them out of contention. The penalty for track limits was handed out just after they passed Topham for P2 and subsequently dropped them down to P5.
Cowley was installed for the final 45 mins and was set for victory thanks to the 6s gap that Signoretti had built up, plus the success penalty that Newbridge would have to serve at the final stop. The pitstop for Newbridge was in fact longer due to the front left brake fire the team had to endue.
Century Motorsport #90 BMW had just taken P2 from Topham and benefited more with the pitstop issues that had befallen Newbridge. Burns strong stints had left an easy drive for Jack Brown to claim second. The final podium spot went the way of Toyota Gazoo Racing UK of Jordan Collard and Tom Edgar. Despite Edgar picking up a drive-through within the first 30 mins of the race, Jordan was able to chase Brown hard the final 30 mins, being denied that P2 by less than 1s.
The Championship resumes in Norfolk for 2x 1 hour races 11th - 12th June.