The third round of the British GT Championship lived up to the two previous meetings of 2020 so far by delivering another action-packed weekend at Brands Hatch in Kent.
Barwell Motorsport and Academy Motorsport prevailed in their respective GT3 and GT4 classes at the end of the second two-hour endurance race of the year.
After topping qualifying on Saturday, the Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren of James Baldwin started from pole position and duly led Rob Collard’s Barwell Lamborghini for the first hour before the first of two safety car interventions came just as the pit window opened.
A second safety car appearance with 20 minutes remaining bunched the pack up once more, with Collard’s team-mate Sandy Mitchell having to fend off the attentions of Michael O’Brien’s McLaren, who had taken over from Baldwin.
Fitted with fresh Pirelli DHE tyres, the young Scotsman held a slender margin of just over half a second, which was momentarily extended to one-and-a-half seconds before catching GT4 traffic.
O’Brien closed again onto the back of the Lamborghini but was unable to find a way by, eventually finishing runner-up by just six-tenths.
Mitchell and Collard now lead the Drivers’ standings on 90.5 points, 16.5 ahead of Ram Racing Mercedes’ of Patrick Kujala and Sam de Haan, who finished fourth.
The battle for GT4 honours was action-filled from start to finish, with the in-form team TF Sport missing out on another win following a late-race collision between team-mates Patrick Kibble and Jamie Caroline.
That gave the initiative to the Speedworks Toyota GR Supra GT4 of Sam Smelt, but the championship newcomers lost out at the first pit-stops to Matt Cowley and Jordan Albert’s Ford Mustang.
Andrew Gordon-Colebrook’s BMW eventually finished second to Cowley.
Pirelli UK motorsport manager Jonathan Wells
“Once again, British GT has proven that it’s one of the most exciting and competitive GT championships in the world. Even with a two-hour endurance race the action was close right until the very end. The Pirelli P Zero DHE (for GT3) and DHB (for GT4) tyres also displayed its class as a durable, high performance racing product. While not the most demanding of circuits on our tyres, the Brands Hatch GP layout and close competition across both GT3 and GT4 classes pose their own problems, particularly during a race of this distance. Typically, during a British GT weekend, we bring around 700 tyres to supply 22 cars, which means that we always have to be on top of our game to provide the best products for the track. The action-packed battle in the GT4 class in the closing stages was not only thrilling to watch, but also proved that our tyres could be pushed 100% right until the chequered flag.”
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