British GT

Team Parker Bentley Wins Donington Race 2

4 Mins read
Credit: Nicholas Smith

Team Parker Racing Bentley took victory in the second race of the Intelligent Money British GT round at Donington, to make it four different winners from the first four races.

An inspired decision to start the race on slicks allowed the Scott Malvern/Nick Jones driven Bentley Continental GT3 to get the jump on their wet shod rivals and build up a comfortable lead to the Checkered Flag.

After the opening two hour endurance race, race two would be a one hour sprint and it started on a wet but dying track.

The still slippery surface gave teams a difficult choice on what tyres to start on with some cars leaving their decision very late and started from the pitlane.

Front row men polesitter Joe Osbourne in the #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren and Malvern decided to gamble on slick tyres.

Other drivers who decided on slicks was the third place #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Phil Keen and race 1 winner the #18 WPI Motorsport Lambo of Andrea Caldarelli, but everyone else played it safe and stayed on wets.

At the start Malvern blasted around the outside of Osbourne at the start to grab the lead as Osbourne dropped back to fifth.

Yet Malvern was not in the lead for long as for the first few laps the decision to go on slicks appeared to had backfired as they lacked the grip of their wets shod rivals.

Jack Mitchell in the #10 2Seas Motorsport McLaren had jumped from 7th on the grid to 2nd by the Craner curves and then grabbed the lead at the beginning of the second lap, with Yelmer Buurman #6 RAM Racing Mercedes following through to take second.

However after only a few laps the track dried enough for the slicks to come alive and the wets started to struggle.

Malvern and Osbourne used their newly found pace blast past Buurman and Mitchell and quickly pulled away.

The two slick shod Lamborghini initially struggled to get up to pace as quickly they dropped back into the pack.

Keen eventually got his tyres to work and soon gained third place but he was unable to make any impression on the leaders, while Caldarelli was off the pace.

The quickest of the wet runners proved to be Sam Neary in the #8 Abba racing Mercedes, the young 18 year old performing some impressive overtakes on his very experienced pro competitors as he held fifth place at the pitstops.

Malvern and Osbourne continued to circulate in formation with the McLaren happy to keep within touching distance of the Bentley.

Both pitted on the same lap and with no success pitstop penalties to worry about, it was now a race between the pit crews, a battle which was won by the Team Parker Racing crew.

With the Ams now installed, Jones quickly pulled away from Stewart Proctor in the McLaren who did not have the pace to match the Bentley in slippery conditions

Newly installed Adam Balon in the #72 Lamborghini began to close upon the McLaren and when Proctor made a mistake at the exit of Coppice, it was all the invitation Balon needed to take second.

Yet Jones was too far up ahead and went onto win by 16 seconds.

Race 1 winner Michael Igoe, who had emerged from the pits in fourth position, was once again showing great pace in the slippery conditions that had proved to be the foundation of the race one victory and was rapidly catching the cars in front of him.

Yet he threw away his good work with a spin at the Fogarty Esses and dropped behind the two battling Silver McLarens to seventh.

Jordan Witt in the #10 2Seas McLaren and Lewis Proctor in the #96 Optimum Motorsport example were contesting keenly contesting Silver Cup honours, the lead swapping multiple times between the two.

Despite the battle the two Silver McLarens managed to hunted down Lewis’ dad Stewart and deprived him of his podium position, with Witt taking third eventually taking both third place and Silver Cup honours.

In GT4, the result was dominated by two cars who started from the pitlane, as the winning #57 HHC Motorsport McLaren of Gus Bowers and birthday boy Chris Wesemael made a very change to slicks on the formation lap.

Gus Bowers and birthday Boy Chris Wesemael took a dramatic GT4 victory despite starting from the pitlane. Credit: Nicholas Smith

Despite having to start from the pitlane, their decision allowed them to carve through the field and eventually hunt down fellow pitlane starters #21 Balfe Motorsport McLaren of Euan Hankey/Mia Flewitt and take victory.

Sam Smelt in the Speedworks Toyota grabbed the lead from #58 HHC Motorsport McLaren of Jordan Collard at the start and quickly built up a gap but he was soon hauled in by a rapid Hankey.

Hankey had started from the pitlane after a late switch to slicks and made his grip advantage made him the quickest car on track, charging past the entire field to take the lead

Once in the lead Hankey disappeared into the distance at a rate of 5 seconds a lap as Smelt was soon lost second to Bowers who had made slower progress but no less rapid pace in the #57 McLaren.

After his pitstop Hankey handed Am co-driver Flewitt, a half a minute lead to defend to the flag.

The #21 McLaren is the only Pro-Am entry in the field and Flewitt soon saw Wesemael eat into her massive lead of up to four seconds a lap.

With seven minutes grabbed the lead at the Melbourne hairpin to give him a very welcome birthday present.

Patrik Matthiesen eventually finished third in the #58 car as McLaren occupied all three podium places.

James Kell brought the #23 Toyota home in fourth ahead of Jamie Caroline/Daniel Vaughan in the first of the TF Sport Aston Martins in fifth.

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