British GT

Jenson Team Rocket Grabs Pole for Donington Race 1

2 Mins read
Credit: SRO Motorsport Group.

Championship leaders James Baldwin/Michael O’Brien will start on pole for race 1 of the Intelligent Money British GT round at Donington Park after a scintillating lap from Baldwin in session 1.

The #2 Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren 720S had been languishing at the back of the pack during both free practice sessions but both drivers delivered when it mattered in qualifying.

The new double header format of a two hour endurance race and a one hour sprint race also saw a new look qualifying session.

Session 2 deciding the grid for the one hour sprint race 2, but the combined times of the two sessions would make up the grid for the two hour endurance race 1.

Baldwin, the winner of the World Fastest Gamer series, was the fastest of the Silver drivers who dominated the top six places ahead of the Amateur contingent in session 1.

Baldwin set a time of 1 minute 27.097, 0.499 seconds faster than Ollie Wilkinson in the #96 Optimum Motorsport McLaren, as the British marque dominated the first three places, with Angus Fender in the #9 2Seas Motorsport example taking third position.

While O’Brien couldn’t match his team-mate’s pace in session 2 for Pro and Silver drivers, (recording the eighth fastest time), he did enough to maintain top spot in the combined standings by 0.074 seconds from the Rob Collard/Sandy Mitchell #78 Barwell Motorsports Lamborghini.

Patrick Kujala/Sam de Haan set the third fastest combined times in the Silver #69 RAM Racing Mercedes as Silver entries filled the top four places.

Adam Balon was the quickest of the Ams in session one qualifying fifth and combined with co-driver Phil Keen third fastest time in session 2, the Barwell Motorsports duo were the quickest of the Pro-Am entries with a combined fifth position on the grid for race 1.

In session 2 Joe Osbourne in the returning #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S took pole for race 2 after holding off a late charge from Scott Malvern in the #66 Team Parker Racing Bentley.

Osbourne was only 0.030 seconds quicker than the Bentley in the session and there was little to separate the two on the combined grid, with only 0.019 seconds between the two but this time the Bentley came out on top as they occupy 10th and 11th positions.

In GT4 there was more success for championship leading McLaren entries as the HHC Motorsport duo of Jordan Collard/Patrik Matthiesen took pole for both races.

Joint GT4 Championship leaders the #58 HHC Motorsports McLaren of Jordan Collard/Patrik Matthiesen took pole for both races. Credit: Jakob Ebrey

Collard put in the fastest GT4 time of the weekend, a blistering 1 minute 35.020 seconds in session 2 to snatch pole for both races.

Patrick Kibble in the #95 TF Sport Aston Martin had denied Matthiesen quickest time in session 1 by 0.046 seconds but team-mate Connor O’Brien could not match the pace, setting the seventh fastest time in session 2 as the Aston fell to fifth in the combined grid.

The #23 Speedworks Toyota Supra of Sam Smelt/James Kell which had dominated both free practice sessions would line up alongside the McLaren in both races.

Third place for race 1 was taken by the #61 Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang of Jordan Albert/Matt Cowley, while joint championship leaders Jamie Caroline/Daniel Vaughan in the #97 TF Sport Aston will line up in third for race 2.

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