British GT round 6 Spa – Belgium
The Barwell Motorsport pairing of Adam Balon and Sandy Mitchell got the fastest combined time in qualifying ahead of the race at Spa-Francorchamps, just 0.023s from Nick Halstead and Jamie Stanley from Fox Motorsport. It went down to the wire though but a stunning final flying lap from 2020 champion Sandy Mitchell recorded the session’s best and fastest-ever British GT lap around the Ardennes circuit. The 2 Seas Mercedes-AMG of Williamson and Cottingham started in second place, with Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton third in the Enduro Motorsport McLaren 720s. Championship leader, Ian Loggie, started in forth with Jules Gounon.
The qualifying lap record also tumbled in GT4, whose combined speed of Academy Motorsport’s Marco Signoretti and Matt Cowley, saw them claim their second pole of the season. Sennan Fielding from Steller Motorsport got the fasted lap in GT4 but on combined times, the Steller Audi R8, which also featured Richard Williams, was 1.1 seconds down. Third place in the grid was held by Miller and Day in the R Racing Aston Martin.
After qualifying and during scrutineering, issues were found with the McLarens from Paddock and Fox Motorsport, where the engine mapping did not comply with the BoP rules set by British GT. Despite this being out of the team’s control, as it is set by McLaren, both teams weere excluded from qualifying and sent to the back of the grid. After raising an appeal though, they were allowed to start in the original positions, meaning the result at the flag would not be confirmed until the appeal was heard at a later date.
After starting on pole, the Barwell Lamborghini struggled a little with race-pace, coupled with a 15 second success penalty from Snetterton, the best Michell and Balon could do was 4th, clinching that towards the end after Michell had a long battle with James Dorlin in the Redline Porsche 911.
Early on, the battle towards the front was frantic, with many changes of position, with Paddock, Enduro, Fox and Redline all fighting up at the front. Halstead in the Fox McLaren dropped to 5th at one point as they all swapped positions.
Clutton and Tillbrook showed good race pace and were in the hunt for podium positions, until contact at the last chicane spun them around. They fought back well and were back in contention until a puncture saw them pull over to one side. As a result of that contact, Davidson in the Paddock Motorsport McLaren was given a stop-go penalty, putting them out of contention.
So after two hours, it was Stanley and Halstead in the Fox McLaren who crossed the chequered flag first but celebrations were marred by a regulation stating that any team racing under appeal may not take part in post-race celebrations, including podium presentations.
In GT4, it wasn’t the best start for Academy Motorsport, starting on pole but dropping to sixth by the end of the first lap. In stark contrast, Jordon Collard in the Toyota Gazoo Supra, started in sixth, ended lap one in second place but then relieved the Steller Audi of first place the next time around. A safety car settled things down briefly but as soon as that ended, things heated up again quickly. The R Racing Aston martin, a recovering Academy Mustang and the Parker Porsche all showing good pace and all getting past Williams in the Steller Audi.
After the pit-stops, Cowley in the Mustang re-joined in eighth after a success penalty, Hopkins in the Parker Porsche elevated to a possible podium, R Racing’s Jamie Day in second and Tom Edgar leading the way. These were all caught rapidly by Fielding in the Steller Audi which was then given a stop-go penalty for a pit-stop infringement. The battle up front allowed Team BRIT driver Trundley to close down the gap with the leading trio. Trundley benefited from a shorter minimum pit-stop, the Team BRIT McLaren came in to the pits in twelfth but left in fifth. Trundley did an amazing job defending from a hugely experience Darren Turner. Trundley went on to battle through to third overall and first in class, a very popular result. Team Parker finished second, with the R Racing Aston Martin having another great race, finishing first.