James Baldwin showed that his efforts at Oulton Park were no fluke as once again he topped the Am times in qualifying for the the Intelligent Money British GT Championship at Donington Park and with co-driver Michael O’Brien holding on in the Pro session, the #2 Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren 720S GT3 took pole position based on aggregate time for race 1 on Sunday.
The race 2 grid, based on the times set in the Pro session, will be led by Joe Osborne and Stewart Proctor in the #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 who took pole by just 0.031 seconds ahead of the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 of Scott Malvern and Nick Jones.
In the GT4 sessions the #58 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 of Patrick Matthiesen and Jordan Collard swept the poles with Matthiesen taking pole for race 2 and Collard securing race 1 pole with a second-fastest time in the Am session.
DONINGTON PARK 1: ENTRY LIST | RACE DAY FORMAT EXPLAINED | LIVE STREAM | QUALIFYING REPORT | RACE 1 REPORT | RACE 2 REPORT | INTERVIEW SCOTT MALVERN | INTERVIEW CONNOR O’BRIEN | RESULTS | GALLERY | PODCAST
Oli Wilkinson in the #96 Optimum Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 made the early running but halfway through the Am session James Baldwin put in a lap 0.4 of second quicker. #9 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 pilot Angus Fender pushed Wilkinson down to third before Wilkinson grabbed the position back at the death.
Collard, De Haan and Jordan Witt took the next places with Ian Loggie, who showed so well in FP2, putting in the eighth quickest time.
In the Pro session, Baldwin’s partner, Michael O’Brien, took over where the World’s Fastest Gamer left off and consolidated his time taking P1 early in the session. Behind him the #69 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Patrick Kujala was trading times with Phil Keen in the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 before Keen’s Barwell teammate Sam Mitchell in the #78 sister car bettered them both to take third on the sprint race grid.
Keen slipped down the order falling behind both 2 Seas Motorsport McLarens with Jack Mitchell taking fourth and Dean MacDonald slipping in behind him.
Yelmer Buurman could only manage seventh in the second RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG whilst Andrea Caldarelli debuting in the championship in the WPI Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 took ninth.
The grid for race 2 was set based on the fastest laps in the Pro session. Balfe Motorsport, entering its first race of the season, saw its #36 McLaren 720S GT3 go to pole with a 1:26.584 set by Joe Osborne sharing the front row with the #66 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 of Scott Malvern. Row two is filled by Barwell Motorsport as Sandy Mitchell put the #78 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 on third next to Phil Keen in the #72 car. Behind the two Lambos is another single-team row with RAM Racing’s Yelmer Buurman starting from fifth in the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 alongside teammate Patrick Kujala.
In GT4 the early pacesetter was Matt Cowley in the Century Motorsport Ford Mustang GT4, however, he was soon displaced by the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Patrick Kibble who took first place with a time of 1:35.684 just 0.046 ahead of Patrick Matthiesen who held fourth early in the session in the HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 before jumping up to second late in the session. James Kell who had dominated both practice sessions in the Toyota GR Supra GT4 briefly held second before being dropped to fourth.
In the second session Jordan Collard took first in the #58 HHC McLaren 570S GT4 ahead of Sam Smelt in the Supra and Jamie Caroline in the #97 TF Sport Aston Martin. However, Jordan Albert grabbed third right at the end in the Mustang.
Connor O’Brien, Gus Bowers and and Gordon Colebrooke took the remaing places whilst Oulton Park race 2 winners Euan Hankey and Mia Flewitt were unable to reproduce their race winning form from two weeks ago finishing at the bottom of the timesheet.
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