The final round of the British GT Championship, the #DoningtonDecider at Donington Park, will see 29 cars take to the track as the GT3 and GT4 titles will be decided.
In GT3, the title battle has come down to three teams – the #17 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam, the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen, and the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental of Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris.
Going into the two hour race with a 11.5 point lead, it is Keen and Minshaw in the driving seat. A double race win at Snetterton saw the Lamborghini crew overhaul Johnston and Adam’s points lead and move to within touching distance of the title at the #DoningtonDecider.
The sting of losing their lead will be ever more bitter for the TF Sport pair as their two wins out of two at the start of the season saw them leave Rockingham with a healthy lead, but a string of middling results and misfortune in other races has seen them slip to second place.
However, they are at least in a better position than Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris who, 27 points behind the leaders with only 37.5 available this weekend, will be looking for a miracle to claim their first GT3 title in their first year in the Bentley. For the Team Parker crew a number of good finishes combined with a number of unfortunate retirements has seen them near enough slip out of title contention.
Elsewhere in the 12 car GT3 field, there are a number of teams looking to use the #DoningtonDecider to take their own victory and that threat’s just from the second entries for both TF Sport and Barwell Motorsport. The #11 TF Sport car of Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes took a strong victory at Spa-Francorchamps in a car with little downforce, and the #6 Lamborghini of Liam Griffin and Alexander Sims which took victory at the first race at Oulton Park where Adam Carroll was filling in for Sims.
While both will want to take victory for their own personal glory, they are also instrumental in who will take the GT3 teams championship as TF Sport have a slender 14.5 point margin over Barwell Motorsport and will be keen to get both cars across the line in points-scoring positions to ensure the teams championship goes home with the Aston Martin team.
Other teams will be looking to take wins though – none more so that AmDTuning.com. Lee Mowle and Joe Osborne have already done great things in what is now an older generation car in the BMW Z4 GT3, narrowly missing out on victories at Snetterton, and will be looking to upset the applecart in the East Midlands by notching up their first win of the season.
Finally in the class, there are a number of teams looking to end their season on a high – namely Tolman Motorsport. The team have done sterling work in their first season in GT3 and with the Ginetta G55 GT3s getting some serious development milage under their wheels Mike Simpson and Ian Stinton, as well as Luke Davenport and David Pattison, can look ahead to a good run.
Also looking to stretch his British GT legs again is Rory Butcher. Joining Beechdean AMR and Andrew Howard for Donington, Butcher will be looking to bring his European Le Mans Series form to Britain and add some more silverware to the collection.
Much like in the top class, the #DoningtonDecider applies also to GT4 where two teams and three drivers will battle it out for the title.
In the prime spot is the PMW World Expo Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 of Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson who, with three wins to their name, are 2.5 points ahead of Jack Bartholomew in the Beechdean Aston Martin GT4 who has seen his consistent form put him in with a brilliant chance of claiming Beechdean’s third drivers championship in a row.
Thanks to the points system which scores finishers down to ninth, the title winners will be the car that can finish further up in the points. With Johnson and Robinson competing together for a number of seasons now, their relationship will put them in a good position to cut their way through the 17 car field. However, Bartholomew has a weapon of his own in the form of last year’s champion Ross Gunn.
Gunn, who has replaced Jordan Albert in the car since the last round at Snetterton, is one of the quickest drivers in the championship and getting back behind the wheel of the car he and Jamie Chadwick dominated in last year will no doubt fire up the Ginetta crew to really bring the fight to the #DoningtonDecider.
A good result for Bartholomew and Gunn wouldn’t just help in the drivers championship, it would also help in the teams championship where the Aston Martin crew – who are joined once again by Jamie Chadwick and Paul Hollywood in the #408 – are 13 points behind RCIB Insurance Racing who, in their first season GT racing, are having a string of great results with Aaron Mason and Robert Barrable in one car and Jordan Stilp and William Phillips in the other.
Elsewhere in that category, Snetterton race winners Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse will finish a successful testing season in the McLaren 570S GT4 and drivers Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty who will be looking for another win to round off the season.
Returning to the championship for the first time since last year’s #DoningtonDecider is Gavan Kershaw. The Lotus driver will be joining Stratton Motorsport in their own Lotus Evora where he’ll be racing alongside Tim Eakin. Also racing with Stratton Motorsport are on-off championship competitors Richard Taffinder and Martin Plowman.
Finally, returning to the championship after what was yet another testing year for the Toyota GT86 is GPRM who will be making yet another crack at having another clean weekend with Ollie Chadwick and Stefan Hodgetts behind the wheel.
The final round of the British GT Championship takes place this weekend, September 10&11 at Donington Park.