Pirelli Versatility Comes to the Fore in British GT Title Decider at Donington Park

Pirelli was again at the forefront of the British GT Championship title decider at Donington Park last weekend as Barwell Motorsport’s Dennis Lind and Leo Machitski prevailed in a wet-dry final endurance race of the season.

The Leicestershire circuit, close to Pirelli’s UK base in Burton upon Trent, returned to its customary final-round place on the calendar and duly served up an unpredictable race, owing much to the inclement British autumnal weather.

Rain began to fall on race morning with teams opting to initially run the Pirelli Cinturato WH wet tyre on what quickly became a drying track. They then switched to the slick for the second hour.

The tyres

The GT3 competitors used Pirelli’s P Zero DHE tyre: an evolution of the previous DHD2, with modifications designed to make it even more versatile for the wide variety of GT3 cars and drivers that use it.

The P Zero DHB again equipped the GT4 class cars this year, having replaced the outgoing DH at the start of 2020.

Having previously used the Cinturato WH tyres in the championship, Pirelli introduced a new wet weather tyre at this year’s Spa 24 Hours race, the WHA specification. As such, all GT3 cars subsequently made the switch to the WHA tyre for the remainder of the season. GT4 cars, on the other hand, continued to use the Cinturato WH tyre.

Race: GT3

Lind and Machitski came into the weekend with an 18.5-point margin over Ram Racing’s Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie but only qualified sixth as Machitski spun off at the Esses on Saturday. The Mercedes ran strongly all race but fell just short of the victory required to steal the title, finishing second. The Barwell Lamborghini secured enough points with fourth to be crowned champion.

Race: GT4

With the title already wrapped up by Century Motorsport’s Will Burns and Gus Burton at the previous round, the GT4 race was a close-knit battle between Academy Motorsport’s Matt Cowley and Will Moore, and the McLaren of Alain Valente and Michael Benyahia. Just over two seconds split the pair at the flag.

Jonathan Wells, Pirelli UK motorsport manager: “Donington was always going to be tricky for tyres given the weather, with the overall title at stake. Almost everyone went for wet tyres at the start as the track was very damp, but likely to dry up before the mandatory pit-stops. We had expected the tyres to grain a bit but they were in better condition than we thought during the first stint, most likely due to track temperatures being quite low. Another interesting point was that, due to no intermediate tyre available, some team opted for scrubbed used sets rather than to brand-new ones at the tyre change, as grip levels were better for tyres that had already gone through a heat cycle before being used in anger.

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