British GT Donington Decider 2022 – Ian Loggie secured his well deserved 1st GT3 Championship title, with a 2nd place at Donington Park …
Another year and another season of the British GT has come to a close. Yet again it came down to a DoningtonDecider and that never fails to entertain.
Things got interesting as soon as qualifying kicked off; within the opening few minutes of GT3 quali, the heavens opened. It was only a brief shower but enough to soak the circuit and to spice things up. The four cars in the title fight failed to get a dry lap in. With the track starting to dry during the second quali session, some teams gambled with dry tyres but it wasn’t enough to make up missing out on the early dry laps. So with Barwell, Ram, Enduro and 2 Seas, the four in contention for the titles, starting down the grid, it was going to make for an interesting start to the race. Pole position was taken by Abba Racing in the Mercedes AMG, with the father/son due of Sam and Richard Neary at the wheel.
1st – ABBA Racing – Sam Neary & Richard Neary – Mercedes AMG – 3:07.085
2nd – Orange Racing – Simon Orange & Michael OBrien – McLaren 720s – 3:08.088
3rd -Fox Motorsport – Nick Halstead & Jamie Stanley – McLaren 720s – 3:08.658
The disappointment of qualifying carried over to the race for three of those looking to take the title, with Enduro, Ram and Barwell all coming together on the very first corner. They managed to make it out of the corner but were well down the field while Loggie in the Ram AMG also spun towards the end of the lap putting him right at the back. The other championship contender had a good start though, getting up to fifth by the end of the first lap. Loggie had a good lead at the top of the championship so it wasn’t the end of the world being back down the field, as long as Barwell or Enduro didn’t win. Things were made a little more confusing having two guest cars up front that wouldn’t be claiming any championship points, which put the 2 Seas AMG in a good place early on. Unfortunately for them though, they collected a large section of Pirelli advertising at the front of the car and would need to head in to the pits to have that removed.
Yet again, it was a sad day for ABBA Racing, just like Brands Hatch, they had to retire from the race while in the lead. That allowed the guest entry from Orange Racing BMW having a success penalty in the pit-stop, slow stops for Orange Racing and the second of the 2 Seas cars, the Century BMW came out in the lead. Barwell and Enduro had managed to get back near the front again with the help of safety cars but they both had longer pit-stops due to success penalties as well, allowing the Ram Racing AMG, now driven by the charging Jules Gounon up into second place, Sandy Mitchell in the Barwell Lambo in third and Marcus Clutton in the Enduro McLaren in fourth.
Clutton managed to get past Mitchell for third but Gounon wasn’t going to risk an incident with second place being enough for his co-driver to take the overall title, leaving Alexander Sims to bring the Century BMW home for the first win in the UK for the new M4.
1st – Century Motorsport – Darren Leung & Alexander Sims – BMW M4 – 2:00:19.821
2nd -Ram Racing – Ian Loggie & Jules Gounon – Mercedes AMG – 2:00:20.379
3rd – Enduro Motorsport – Morgan Tillbrook & Marcus Clutton – McLaren 720s – 2:00:21.657
Ian Loggie – Ram Racing – 162 points
Adam Balon & Sandy Mitchell – Barwell Motorsport – 128.5 points
Morgan Tillbrook & Marcus Clutton – Enduro Motorsport – 123.5 points