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British GT: Spa-Francorchamps round-up

Text & Images: Ian Cutting

Victory for Kevin Tse and Maximilian Goetz in their 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 while Ian Gough and Tom Wrigley claimed their first victory of the season in the Championships' away trip.


Pole sitter Tse lead the way as the lights went green as behind the Mercedes driver complete melee ensured. Contact between the RAM Racing BMW, Team Abba Racing Mercedes, Beechdean Aston Martin resulted in both Team Abba and the Beechdean cars not completing the opening lap. Bit further ahead, contact between J&S Audi, Orange/JMH McLaren and the #22 Century Motorsport BMW resulted in both the McLaren and BMW exit stage left at speed and hard into the barrier and bounce back into the oncoming traffic. The safety car was immediately sent out and thankfully all drivers managed to get out unharmed, However the race was red flagged as there was damage to the armco that needed repairing and a lengthy pause in proceedings.

When racing resumed it was behind the safety car and for a new race distance of 76 minutes. Tse lead from Giacomo Petrobelli (Aston Martin), Shaun Balfe (McLaren), Matt Topham (Aston Martin) and Rob Collard (Lamborghini).

Petrobelli was pushing hard and doing everything he could to force a mistake but Tse had everything covered and stretched out a lead of 4s by the time the pitstop window opened. The 2 Seas crew serviced the Mercedes brilliantly and Goetz had a bigger advantage over Jonny Adam. A slight concern for the 2 Seas Motorsport was passing the GT4 McLaren and the two had a brief brush together.

Goetz was able to keep a safe gap between himself and Adam, but with just 12 minutes left, the Aston Martin suffered engine failure and Adam had to retire the car leaving Goetz unchallenged for the win.

Balfe had made a great start and from P8 was running P3 as the race restarted and was able to keep the McLaren in the hunt. Handing over driving duties to Adam Smalley they had their mirrors full of Ricky Collard's Lamborghini. Collard Jnr could sense the last step of the podium and duly tried his utmost to claim that last spot. With the Aston Martin retirement this now became a scrap for P2. Collard got close but lost time in traffic and settled for that last podium step.

GT3 winner #18 2 Seas Motorsport


With the qualifying being set from Pre-Qualifying session due to the qualifying sessions cancelled due to an accident for the #71 BMW. This meant that the GT4 grid was mixed and some of the faster drivers starting bit further back.

Pole sitter Freddie Tomlinson in his DTO Ginetta made good his getaway but the pack was soon scattered as they approached the GT3 accident. The Ginetta only just made it through between the McLaren and the Endurance pit lane wall! Luca Hopkinson negotiated his RAM Mercedes-AMG round the stricken McLaren GT3 and into P2 ahead of Marc Warren, Gough, Zak Meakin and Erik Evans.

The Mercedes-AMG was struggling for speed along the straights and soon started to fall back into the pack. Warren was chasing down the Ginetta but soon had his mirrors full of the sister Forsetti Motorsport Aston Martin of Jamie Day. Starting in P13, Day had a rapid first half of the race, challenging for P2 and soon past in pursuit of the Tomlinson Ginetta.

With the advantage between Tomlinson and Day getting smaller both pairs ran longer stints to try and establish a gap to try and overturn the additional time they had to serve as Silver entries compared to the Pro-Am crews.

Gough managed to keep his BMW out of trouble at the start approaching the GT3 accident and was in the top 6 as the pit stops approached. Less time to serve plus an early stop meant that Wrigley was now in the lead once all the pit stops had taken place. Warren and Will Orton pitted from P3 and had to serve their success penalty from Donington yet still emerged P2, a few seconds behind Gough.

Gough slowly extended the lead to the flag ahead of Seb Morris in the Team Parker Mercedes-AMG. Morris had got past Orton but drive-through for track limits dropped the Mercedes down to P5. This promoted Orton back into P2 and the sister Forsetti Aston Martin of Mikey Porter completing the podium.

GT4 winner #29 Century Motorsport

The next round is at Snetterton 13/14 July


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