It’s the final round of the season, the #Doningtondecider, and with seven teams still in contention for the championship, four GT3 teams, and three GT4 teams, it’s going to be an exciting weekend of racing at Donington Park.
Ian Loggie in the #6 Ram Racing Mercedes leads the way in the championship with 135 points going into the weekend and will need some significant bad luck to not claim the championship. There’s a 24.5-point gap back to the Barwell Motorsport pairing of Adam Balon and Sandy Mitchell. James Cottingham and Lewis Williamson are a further 8 points behind on 102 points whilst Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton sit on 101 points.
In GT4, Matt Topham and Darren Turner lead the way with 154 points in the Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin but have Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding 12.5 points behind with 141.5 with Josh Miller and Jamie Day rounding out the top three with 133.5 points.
And in addition to the championship decider, this weekend marks the thirtieth anniversary of the British GT Championship, which hosted its first race here at Donington Park back in 1993. The championship sponsor Intelligent Money is also celebrating its 20-year anniversary.
Ian Loggie finished runner-up in the 2021 championship but has previously won the Pro-Am championship twice. He has always been in contention though since switching over to Ram back in 2019. At the championship decider back in 2021, Loggie finished in second place, just 9.5 points behind Leo Matchitski and Dennis Lind who took the championship. 12 months later, Loggie is in a prime position to secure the title. Balon and Mitchel must finish second at worst and overcome a 15-second Success Penalty, Loggie meanwhile has no Penalty to serve. James Cottingham and Lewis Williamson will also race with no Success Penalty; however, the 2 Seas Racing duo must win and hope that Loggie finishes ninth or lower to ensure they surmount the 33-point gap. Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton, entered the Enduro Motorsport McLaren must hope for a miracle to take the championship. They will need to win the race, and serve a 20-second Success Penalty, whilst Loggie finishes ninth or below. Mathematically possible of course, but realistic? Stranger things have happened!
Loggie is teaming up once again with the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS champion Jules Gounon who has split responsibilities with Callum Macleod this season. Neither Jules nor Callum will take the championship, alongside Loggie, however, Macleod will be eager to support his Am partner to take the win this weekend.
The championship decider has also enticed some additional entries for the weekend. Beechdean AMR makes their championship return and first British GT start since Donington 2021. Andrew Howard will share the Aston Martin with Lewis Proctor with Le Mans class winner Warren Hughes stepping into the Greystone GT McLaren.
Alexander Sims returns in the Century Motorsport BMW GT3 alongside Darren Leung. Kelvin Fletcher has work commitments and will miss the final race of the season. Martin Plowman will partner with championship newcomer Mark Smith.
Following a successful GT Cup campaign Simon Orange and Michael O’Brien have entered their Orange Racing powered by JMH McLaren and 2 Seas’ have a second entry with 2019 champion Graham Davidson and Aaron Walker.
Team Parker is missing this weekend, deciding to focus on the Michelin Le Mans Cup at Portimao. Redline Racing have also withdrawn after they secured the Silver-Am championship at Brands Hatch.
Whilst it might not be the leading class, the GT4 title decider is full of drama and potentially a closer battle than the GT3 fight. Matt Topham and Le Mans legend Darren Turner are of course championship favorites, based on points and pitstop time loss. They took the Pro-Am crown 12 months ago and could become the first pairing since Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson in 2016. They have a 12.5-point advantage over Williams and Fielding, the Steller Motorsport pairing will also have to be stopped 21 seconds longer than the Aston Martin with a 15-second Success Penalty and the 26-second Silver handicap. It will take a miracle, perhaps a Safety Car, to play against the Aston Martin.
R Racing maintains a mathematical chance, 20.5 points behind Newbridge heading into the final race, and will need a podium finish as a minimum whilst outscoring their rivals by a significant margin to close the gap. Two wins in the past four races and only a six-second pit stop deficit; they stand a chance. This of course is all hypothetical and assumes that the rest of the contenders don’t get in the way. The #90 Century Motorsport of Jack Brown and Will Burns along with the Academy Motorsport Mustang of Matt Cowley and Marco Signoretti will be in contention for the win, if not the championship. Seb Hopkins and Jamie Orton can not be ruled out either, the duo have improved race by race and could stand a chance of finishing on the podium at least.
Just as in GT3, there are a number of driver changes in GT4. Kavi Jundu joins Paddock Motorsport alongside Moh Ritson, switching the entry from Silver to Pro-Am. Adam Knight joins Benji Hetherington in the Valluga Racing Porsche.
Pro-Am and Silver titles are also on the table this weekend. Team Brit can claim the Pro-Am Trophy from Topham and Turner but with a 24.5 point deficit, it’s going to be a tall order. The Silver cup is a two way fight between Williams and Fielding and Miller and Day. Williams and Fielding lead the way by 20 points.