British GT

Baldwin & O’Brien Make It Three Poles From Three Races

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James Baldwin and Michael O’Brien chalked up their third pole position in a row for tomorrow’s Intelligent Money British GT race at Donington Park.

With qualifying being decided by the combined times from two sessions, Baldwin and O’Brien’s combined times were enough to see the #2 Jensen Team Rocket RJN McLaren take pole position.

The Silver crewed McLaren pairing managed to beat out the pace setting #69 Silver crew RAM Racing Mercedes of Sam de Haan and Patrick Kujala by the narrow margin of 0.065 seconds.

The closeness of the British GT field was demonstated by the top 10 being covered by a second with the top four covered by 0.2 seconds.

The groundwork for Jensen Team Rocket’s success came again from another impressive time from the World’s Fastest Gamer Baldwin, who was quickest in the first session for Silver and Am drivers, setting the fastest time by 0.191 seconds over de Haan.

Although O’Brien could only manage the ninth fastest time in session 2, against all of the pro drivers, his time of 1 minute 27.289 seconds was enough to secure the third pole in three races.

The quickest time of that session came from Phil Keen in the #72 Barwell Motorsports Lamborghini, whose time of 1 minute 26.715, was enough to vault him and Adam Balon onto third on the grid.

RAM Racing Mercedes were unlucky to miss out on pole by the smallest of margins after having dominated both Free Practice sessions.

Still with de Haan/Kujala starting second and their Pro/Am entry, the #6 of Yelmer Buurman/Ian Loggie (who was an impressive fourth in session 1), starting fourth, they are well placed for tomorrow’s race.

The Championship leading crew, the #78 Barwell Motorsports Lamborghini of Rob Collard/Sandy Mitchell, will start from fifth on the gird.

In GT4, Brands Hatch winners the #61 Academy Motorsports Ford Mustang of Matt Cowley and Jordan Albert continued their good form and snatched pole after a tight battle with the #58 HHC Motorsports McLaren of Patrick Matthiesen and Jordan Collard.

The Brands Hatch winning #61 Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang of Matt Cowley and Jordan ALbert came out on top in a tight battle for GT4 pole. Credit: Jakob Ebrey

The two crews were the only GT4 runners into get down into the 1.34 minute times and the two regularly swapped the pole between themselves.

Initially it was Collard who held the advantage by 0.087 seconds, but only with a few minutes remaining, Albert put in a banzai lap time which snatched pole by 0.071s.

There was no chance for Collard to reply as Daniel Vaughn beached the championship leading #97 TF Sport Aston Martin, in the gravel trap at Old Hairpin, leading to a red flag and the session concluding.

Vaughn’s incident saw team-mates Connor O’Brien and Patrick Kibble claim the honour of top TF Aston crew with third spot on the grid, but they were 0.352 seconds down on the top two.

Vaughn and co-driver Jamie Caroline will start from fifth place, but they had a better session than the #23 Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Supra of James Kell and Sam Smelt which did not appear in the session two at all due to a cracked brake disc, leaving them in last place.

Tomorrow’s Intelligent Money British GT will be a three hour Endurance round at Donington Park.

Follow the Checkered Flag for all latest British GT news and results.

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