Team Parker Racing took its first victory in three years in the second race of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship at Donington Park. The decision by Scott Malvern to start the #66 Bentley Continental GT3 on slick tyres for the 60-minute sprint race proved to be a winning one.
#57 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 drivers Chris Wesemael and Gus Bowers won the race with a late overtake for the lead.
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
Rolling the dice by starting on slicks, Scott Malvern in the #66 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 grabbed the lead from polesitter Joe Osborne in the #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 going into turn one on the damp but drying track. Behind him, Osborne was swarmed by the rain tyre-shod cars on the second and third row, losing positions not just to Malvern but to Jack Mitchell in the #10 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3, Yelmer Buurman in the #6 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and Sandy Mitchell in the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo as well.
Malvern’s lead only lasted one lap as the surface of the track was just not dry enough – yet. Jack Mitchell overtook the Bentley in the first turn on the second lap, while Buurman went past Malvern a couple of corners later with Sandy Mitchell relegating Malvern further down to fourth on the third lap.
However, it would take just one more lap for the heat to come into the slicks. With Osborn – also on slicks – trailing Malvern, the Bentley rebounded into the lead within ten minutes since the start. Phil Keen in the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo and #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo driver Andrea Caldarelli, who also went with slicks, saw a similar increase in performance as they rapidly moved through the field into third and fourth.
After Nick Jones relieved Malvern of driving duties, the Welshman enjoyed a health margin of ten seconds over Stewart Proctor in the Balfe McLaren and remained in safe territory until the chequered flag. That didn’t mean Jones didn’t get to see any action, however, as Sam De Haan and Angus Fender were aggressive in their unlapping – but causing no harm.
Adam Balon was a man on a mission in his stint, having taken over the Barwell Lamborghini from Keen. With a series of quick laps, he overtook Stewart Proctor after the #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 driver ran wide at Coppice to grab second.
Having lost second, Proctor soon saw fellow McLaren racers Jordan Witt – in the #10 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 – and his son Lewis Proctor – driving the #96 Optimum Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 – coming up behind him. He was no contest for the two youngsters as they overtook him as fast as they caught him and continued to fight, with Jordan Witt eventually winning the battle of third place and Lewis Proctor settling for fourth.
Stewart Proctor brought the Balfe McLaren home in fifth.
Sam Smelt took the lead at the start and opened a gap and let polesitter Jordan Collard in the #58 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4, #57 HHC teammate Bowers and the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT4s of Connor O’Brien and Daniel Vaughan fight a four-way battle over second place.
Euan Hankey, driving the #21 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 as one of few GT4 drivers on slicks started from fifth but on the drying track sliced through the field to take the lead and built a large gap to the rest of the GT4s.
The big question after the pitstops was whether Mia Flewitt would be able to keep the Balfe McLaren in the lead. Despite coming out of the pits with over half a second to Chris Wesemael in the #57 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4, Flewitt was losing seconds per lap over Wesemael. At the seven minutes to go mark Wesemael had found Flewitt and could take the lead without much resistance.
Flewitt held a large enough gap over Patrik Matthiesen in the #58 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 to comfortably drive to second, splitting the two HHC McLarens.
Fourth went to the #23 Speedworks Motorsport Toyota GR Supra GT4 of Sam Smelt and James Kelt, whilst TF Sport couldn’t emulate its race 1 success and had to be content with a best result of fifth by the #97 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 of Daniel Vaughan and Jamie Caroline.
The Intelligent Money British GT Championship will be next in action on 29-30 August with a two-hour race at Brands Hatch.