A dramatically weather affected British GT race brings home the results for two Aston Martin crews

Monday, May 27, 2024


Whilst the SRO lead the way in balancing the performances of all the makes and models that compete within the GT racing series globally, the entity that is Mother Nature surely rules the roost as the introduction of sudden downpours always influences the results.

That was absolutely the case on Sunday as the British GT Championship prepared to get their third round underway from Donington Park.

Definitely forecasted ahead of the race, the rains arrived just as the thirty-eight strong grid were halfway around the lap, forcing Race Control to abandon that starting procedure to allow all to fit wet tyres ahead of its resumption.

For the three Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 powered teams from both Blackthorn AMR and Beechdean AMR, the rain mattered not to them considering their lowly Qualifying position from the Saturday’s dry sessions as the race eventually started from behind the Safety Car.

The two Forsetti Motorsport AMR Vantage GT4 cars were however, quickly on a charge with Jamie Day quickly pushing the leading McLaren and Ginetta’s for the class lead as the rains again stopped and the track appear to dry rather quickly too.

Having eventually taken the lead within GT4, the rains again returned – this time with a vengeance as Day’s efforts proved to be in vain as chaos at the opening corner involving at least eight cars saw the race being red flagged. That was bad news for the three Vantage GT3 cars of Giacomo Petrobelli / Jonny Adam, Matt Topham / Josh Rowledge and Andrew Howard / Jessica Hawkins as all had improved upon their respective Qualifying position positions. The two Forsetti GT4’s were holding P1 overall. For tehir #7 car and P1 in Pro-Am for their #47 car of Marc Warren and Will Orton.

All of this had happened with just one hour of the scheduled three-hour race having elapsed upon the race clock.

Eventually getting back to green after another length delay, the #7 car of Mikey Porter and Jamie Day had come to the attention of the stewards for an irregular pit stop requirement that would cost them both a sixty-four second stop and hold penalty and a shoot at the class win as a result.

Whilst Petrobelli’s #87 car got shoved around at the hairpin (through no fault of his own) and dropped down the order as a result, the #97 Beechdean Vantage GT3 had been slowly climbed the order still further to attain a top ten position overall with still an hour left to go.

The race then hit a period where lots of track action saw lots of Full Course Yellow and Safety Car restarts as others became stranded around the circuit. These of course help to close the gaps so that the #87 car was P9 overall (P8 in GT3 Pro-Am), the #97 P10 overall (P2 in Silver-Am) and the #10 car P15 overall (P6 in Silver-Am). The #47 GT4 was holding the lead of the overall class but had at least three rapid all silver crews bearing quickly down upon them with Porter recovering their position on track up to P8 overall.

With the extremities of the circuit still damp, there was little excitement that could be consumed by the viewer/spectator as the three-hour race was eventually concluded under bright and warming Spring sunshine.

Needing to dig deep after their Qualifying results on Saturday, that is precisely what the three Vantage GT3 crews did with the #87 finally finishing at the head of the trio for a deserved P9 overall finish (P8 in Pro-Am), the #97 Beechdean crew earning their first visit to the podium this season with a P11 overall (P3 in Silver-Am) finish with the #10 car eventually coming home P16 overall (P6 in Silver-AM).

The #47 Forsetti GT4 eventually came home P2 overall and P1 within their own Pro-Am class for a double podium celebration whilst their sister #7 car finished P7 overall (P5 in Silver) for yet more valuable Championship points.

A totally brilliant round, full of incident and sometimes accident but national GT racing at its best as the Championship now looks to its annual jaunt abroad to Spa Francorchamps towards the end of June.

Photo credits – AMR / Jacob Ebrey



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