Two more hours to decide just who will be Champion this time around in British GT

Saturday, October 15, 2022


It’s all over now bar the final two-hour race of the 2022 British GT Championship that has two Aston Martin Racing powered crews in immediate contention for the overall GT4 Championship title at the now infamous #doningtondecider from, well Donington Park of course!!

With the #27 Newbridge AMR Vantage GT4 crew of Matt Topham and Darren Turner leading the charge with a 12.5 point lead over the #42 Stellar Motorsport Audi of Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding behind, there is still the #23 R-Racing AMR of the youngest set of drivers on record in Jamie Day and Josh Miller behind them but they need to chase down a 20.5 point deficit to their stablemates in the #27 if they are to lift the crown at the end of tomorrow.

All the teams were present at the circuit on Thursday for some private testing before the officially timed sessions started in earnest with the #42 Audi leading the charge within the three championship’s contending crews through this morning’s two Free Practice sessions.

Just as the first GT3 session was getting underway, this featuring the return of the #97 Beechdean AMR Vantage GT3 of course with Andrew Howard this time partnering Lewis Proctor within their Silver-Am Class entry this time around, a band of squally rain passed over the circuit making for some treacherous track conditions for cars that had departed on slicks. Needless to say, there were ‘casualties’ as car slid off track for the opening ten-minute session to be red flagged twice as a consequence.

Eventually getting just a sole lap time in, Howard passed the car over to former McLaren racer Proctor for his first Qualifying session only for the car to end up P14 overall and P6 in class ahead of tomorrow’s race.

Whilst the GT3 cars had the hardship, the GT4 cars benefitted from a rapidly drying track but still the Audi was quicker than the two Astons as they hammered in the lap times from the off. Topham again looked nervous within the car and sacrificed several minutes of his session as no doubt, he had already done what he knew he could achieve in P12. Day meanwhile had had more fortune and pace to end his final Qualifying session of the year fifth quickest.

Then it was all down to the cars second drivers to do their stuff as again, Fielding placed the #42 Audi towards the head of the pack as Day and Turner struggled for pace on their slicks despite the greasy outer limits of the track. Both Astons were again five to ten seconds off the pace as the minutes counted down.

Whereas Day would eventually have a decent end to his session in fourth overall, the #27 car and despite the knowledge and experience of Turner behind the wheel would only mirror Topham’s placement in twelfth.

With pit stop minimum times and success penalties still to factor in over and above anything that Mother Nature can offer on top, two hours around Donington Park will last like a lifetime for some and especially so after handing over the cars to their second drivers as the final race to the flag will ultimately decide the overall, Silver Cup and Pro-Am classes.

Photo credits – Jacob Ebrey / D Gibson
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