British GT round 4 2022 – Donington Park: Victories for Enduro’s Tillbrook/Clutton and Academy’s Cowley/Signoretti…
- P1 #77 – Enduro Motorsport – McLaren 720s – 117 Laps
- P2 #4 – 2 Seas Motorsport – Mercedes AMG +59.973
- P3 #6 – Ram Racing – Mercedes AMG +1:21.738
- P1 #64 – Academy Motorsport – Ford Mustang – 106 Laps
- P2 #90 – Century Motorsport – BMW M3 +17.956
- P3 #48 – Toyota Gazoo – Toyota GR Supra +18.928
Round 4 of the British GT Championship saw the first of two visits to the Derbyshire circuit of Donington Park during the 2022 season. Rather than the usual two 1hr races, this weekend held a single 3hr race.
The last time British GT visited Donington, the final round of the 2021 series, the overall win was taken by Enduro Motorsport with their McLaren 720s, and taking the GT4 win was Academy Motorsport in the big Ford Mustang.
After qualifying, it was looking good again for Enduro Motorsport, taking overall Pole-Position, 0.383 seconds ahead of 2 Seas Motorsport in 2nd and Barwell Motorsport in 3rd. In the GT4s, it was Steller Motorsport in the very rapid Audi R8 taking Pole-Position, 0.254 ahead of Newbridge Motorsport in 2nd with their Aston Martin. Another Aston Martin, from R Racing, starting in 3rd among the GT4.
There was a lot of action early on in the race; the 2 Seas AMG came out of the first corner in the lead from 2nd, while the Old Hairpin caused issues for the Paddock, Assetto and Steller GT4 cars, all making trips through the gravel. The 2021 GT4 winner started well with the Academy Mustang up to 2nd thanks to Marco Signoretti making up places in the opening laps. In just a few minutes, the leading pair of 2 Seas and Enduro had a 5 second gap to the AMG of Ram Racing in 3rd. Team ABBA pitted early to try and get an advantage by getting Sam in early but unfortunately were put out of contention due to a penalty and a later puncture.
An early safety car saw a lot of teams heading to the pits to take advantage of losing less time on track. Enduro came out ahead of the 2 Seas AMG, taking the lead again once the pit cycle had finished. The 7TSix McLaren was the bigger winner after the safety car, moving from the lower end of the top ten up to 2nd. Having previously led the race, the 2Seas AMG lost out in the pit-stops, ending up 4th. In GT4, Matt Cowley in the Mustang came out of the pit-stops in 1st.
A big story of the race was the number of cars receiving penalties for track limit violations through the chicane, not worth the small gain each time considering the time lost travelling through the pit-lane. Also receiving a penalty was WPI, given a 10 second stop/go penalty for contact with the Barwell, and fellow Lamborghini team, for contact at the hairpin.
After the second round of pit-stops, Morgan Tillbrook in the Enduro McLaren 720s had a huge 30sec advantage over James Cottingham in the 2 Seas AMG, as Ian Loggie followed in 3rd, a further 5 sec behind.
Moving towards the third round of pit-stops, what becomes important are the success penalties. If you’re new to British GT, if you finish a race in 1st, 2nd or 3rd, you carry a time penalty into the following race, 20, 15 and 10 seconds respectively. At Donington, this time penalty was to be served during the final pit-stop. Academy went into the final pit-stops leading GT4 with no penalty to serve, followed by Newbridge Motorsport who were carry over a 20 second penalty from Silverstone. On top of their penalty, Newbridge also suffered with a brake fire during the pit-stop, essentially putting them out of contention. In GT3, of all the teams in contention, none had a penalty. The first team to serve a penalty was the Barwell Lambo in 5th, adding 20 seconds to their stop. Unfortunately for Barwell, as they came out of the pits, contact was made with the Parker Racing Porsche, both aiming for the apex of turn one. The Lamborghini finished up in the gravel.
With a largely event free stint after the final pit-stops, Enduro Motorsport came home 1st, just short of a minute ahead of the 2 Seas AMG and Ram Racing in 3rd. GT4 was won by Academy Motorsport, making for a repeat set of winners after our last visit to Donington.