Youngsters Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha retook the GT4 class lead in the 2017 British GT Championship after a pair of podium finishes at Spa last weekend.
Middleton and Tregurtha finished the two 60-minute races in third and second over the finish line, but effectively finished second in race one and won the class in the second race in terms of points, as the winning Maserati of Matthew Graham and Charlie Fagg was ineligible to score championship points.
The trip to Belgium was the first-time racing at the track for both HHC Motorsport drivers, with both of the 17-year-olds showing again their pace in their debut season in the championship.
Despite suffering tonsillitis throughout the weekend, Tregurtha managed to grab the race one pole and would go on to start the car in the first race of the weekend.
After pitting the car from second midway through race one, Middleton took over the car in fourth and would go on to be part of a fantastic battle for second third and fourth in GT4 with the No.51 Ginetta of Alex Reed/David Pittard and the Macmillan AMR Aston Martin of William Phillips and Jan Jonck. Middleton crossed the line in third, just 0.1 seconds behind the second placed Ginetta.
Race two saw Middleton qualify the HHC car in sixth on the grid and pitted the car on the 10th lap of the race from eighth place in class. When Tregurtha returned to the track and the pitstop cycle settled, the pair had moved up to seventh and with work to do to earn more vital championship points.
With 15 minutes remaining, the 2016 Ginetta Junior champion began to make his moves up the order, and had managed to move into the top five with just eight minutes left on the clock.
Fifth became fourth when he overtook the No.42 car of Phillips/Jonck, only for the Aston Martin to move back ahead after contact.
However, Tregurtha on the penultimate lap sensationally overtook both the Macmillan AMR car and also the Graham Johnston McLaren at the Bus Stop corner and would go on to get past the David Pattinson McLaren to snatch second in GT4 by the end of the race.
Middleton said on the results: “We’ve had two really good results this weekend and got the points we needed to claw it back in the championship. When you discount the Maserati, which is so much quicker than anything else and they don’t score points anyway, we’ve basically come away with a P2 and P1 which is fantastic.”
“Will and I have been really strong on our first time at Spa, it’s obviously a difficult track to learn and is quite daunting to start with when you first see Eau Rouge. It’s an amazing track and I’m very pleased with the speed we’ve shown.”
While Tregurtha added: “After two non-finishes [in the previous rounds] it was great to come to Spa, pick up two podiums and move back to the top of the championship. My stint in the first race was mainly spent behind Safety Cars, but Stuart did an excellent job to bring us home third after a huge, tough, battle.”
“In race two, again, Stuart kept us well in touch in his stint and then I was able to pick my way through to second. It was a big team effort. HHC fixed the car, which was quite badly damaged after some contact in race one, and got us back out for race two just in time. Stuart did a brilliant job all weekend and now we can all focus on getting a good result at Brands Hatch.”
The next round of the 2017 British GT Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on August 5-6.