BRITISH GT 2019
RD.7 DONINGTON GP
After a remarkable podium on my GT3 debut last time out at Brands Hatch last month, I was looking forward to hopefully building on that for the season finale back at Donington Park. Last time I competed in a race here was back in the early stages of last year's Ginetta GT4 Supercup season, and it was then where I achieved my first ever car racing podium. 8 further podiums and now in a factory supported GT3 car, I felt like a good result was definitely on the cards.
Rolling out of the pits on Saturday, the car felt as I'd expect it to, and I had no real issue getting up to speed. The long run balance seemed pretty good so I was hoping a similar qualifying to Brands Hatch would leave us looking strong for the race. I was out in the first of the two qualifying sessions and the car had a good balance, allowing me to push and not have the car feeling unpredictable. My time was good enough for 2nd fastest in my session, 0.4 seconds ahead of the car in P3. A strong showing and Jack showed the car's pace by improving my time by 0.2 of a second to put us on an accumulative time good enough for P5 for Sunday's race.
The weekend was all about the championship fight. TF Sport and Barwell going for GT3 honours, and 5 odd GT4 entries all in contention for GT4 honours. The paddock was very tense and edgy, and before the race finding time to focus. My main sponsors, Cambridge & Counties Bank were trackside supporting me this weekend, so managing my time was really important. I found a quiet place half an hour before the race and I zoned in ahead of the final race of the season.
Lights out and having spent 3 extra formation laps behind the safety car, I was itching to get going and made immediate progress, moving into P4 and then P3 within 3 laps of each other. From that point on, the car plateaued a bit as the extra 30 kilograms we were carrying due to being a Silver Cup car damaged our tyres and brakes faster than the Pro-Am cars but regardless, I managed ti sneak by the RAM Racing Mercedes when he ran wide at the old hairpin, and brought the car into the pits in a strong and satisfying 2nd place. From that point Jack took over the car and drove well, fending off two of the three championship contenders for the last hour of the race, but our 10 second pitstop penalty meant we left the pits and 3rd place and that was where we finished the race. Another podium and to add to that, in my 2 GT3 races, I obtained 2 overall podium, and 2 Silver Cup victories!
I've really loved my time in GT3, and it was important for me to get these strong results to round off my season on a high. My first season in British GT has been a huge learn but I've learnt that I can compete with the best of the best, and going into next season knowing this will be a massive confidence boost.
As always, thanks to all of my amazing sponsors, especially Cambridge & Counties Bank, The Classic Car Bank and also Helios Properties PLC who also came to cheer me on this weekend. Their support and guidance means absolutely everything and being able to compete at this level is an absolute pleasure.
That's a wrap on British GT 2019. What a season it's been! I can't wait to improve myself throughout the off season and come back next season ready to fight for victories.