Disappointment for the Aston Martin runners after another exciting British GT race from Donington Park

Sunday, May 29, 2022


The prospect of another round of the British GT Championship with both Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 crews standing upon the overall podium looking a distinct possibility going into today’s three-hour event at Donington had it not mean for one minor track transgression and a pit success penalty for the other!!

Having qualified in overall P2 and P3 in class, the #27 Newbridge Motorsport and #23 R-Racing crews of Matt Topham/Darren Turner and Josh Miller/Jamie Day respectively still had the championship leading #42 Stellar Motorsport Audi R8 GT4 to deal with in front of them with the threatening Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang lurking just behind.

Under an overcast sky but importantly dry circuit, the race kicked off with Day taking an early opportunity to pass Topham for position as the youngster moved up to P2 but Topham down to P4 as the #42 Audi made its early escape.

Some may have feared for another dominating performance from the Stellar car except for an early mistake from Richard Williams at the Old Hairpin that saw him spin, recover and continue with an obvious performance impairment as a result but with the #23 car of Day now at the front of the GT4 field for their first time.

As the GT3 leaders passed the GT4 leaders for the first time after just twenty minutes, the top three GT4 cars had parted company with the GT4 pack, now headed by Topham just as the Safety Car was called for debris after an earlier altercation between two Lamborghini GT3’s.

With the Audi having pitted just before under green, they lost most track time as the entire grid dived for the pit lane thinking that this caution period would be a quick one, but the wave around turned into something more ‘painful’ and nearly fifteen minutes were lost to that effect.

Unseen on camera why, the order in class as cars emerged back onto track was that the #61 Mustang had now assumed the lead of the GT4 class, with Darren Turner now latched to their rear bumper but with Josh Miller now a distant third – some fifteen seconds further back and by the hour mark, the two Astons were back to their original starting positions with just a different car now in front.

Biding his time, it wasn’t too long before Turner had finally passed the #61 Mustang for control of the class again as he needed to build up a wide enough window to cover their later pit stop that would be twenty seconds longer than the others thanks to their win at Silverstone last time out.

Second pit stops complete and Topham preserved their track position but only for a short time before both the Mustang and R-Racing AMR Vantage had passed him again for position and things were shaping up nicely as the race went into its final hour.

The trouble was that at this final hour mark, the #23 R-Racing car of Day was pinged for repeated track limits and earned themselves a drive through penalty that would scupper all chances of an overall podium for them – emerging down in P6 overall afterwards.

Newbridge finally completed their final and elongated stop with just over half an hour to go in the hope that Turner could chase down those ahead to improve upon their overall class position although their Pro-Am class lead was never in doubt. Miller was back aboard the #23 car but was being caught hand over fist by about three cars as the race clock counted down to just fifteen minutes remaining.

By the end of another highly entertaining British GT Championship round, the #23 R-Racing car of Day and Miller would finish P22 overall and P5 in Silver Cup whilst the #27 Newbridge car of Topham and Turner would finish P24 overall / P7 in GT4 with another Pro-Am Class win to their name as the Championship looks to their next round at Snetterton at the end of the month.

Photo credits – J Ebrey / Teams
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