Just two days after the British GT media day, GT Cup held its own also at Donington Park. Over 20 cars from all groups took to the track throughout the days running ahead of what is set to be one of the most competitive GT Cup seasons yet.
Reigning champion, Simon Orange returns with his newly upgraded McLaren 720s GT3 Evo however this time he will be joined by GTH frontrunner, Tom Roche. Roche himself doesn’t have GT3 experience but having experienced a variety of different cars in his career is set to adapt quickly to the high downforce brutality.
But it was youngster Hugo Cook who topped the times over the course of the day in the ex-Balfe Motorsport Audi R8 GT3 EvoII. He will be sharing with Sacha Kakad in the highly competitive GT3 group. Having claimed a pair of victories last season, they are early favourites heading into the season opener. The pairing set a 1:03.909 which is just 0.048s clear of the Group GTO Brabham BT62 driven by Ross Wylie at the time.
Meanwhile, runners from GTO, GTC, GTB and GTH all performed a successful test with minimal disruptions throughout the day.
Richard Chamberlain suffered a slight off in his orange Porsche 935 whilst Matty Evans ended his day on the back of a flatbed truck with telltale signs of a trip through the gravel.
Grahame Tilley meanwhile suffered a misfire during the mornings running. Having switched to GTO for the upcoming season, a remap and complete engine overhaul has been carried out by Mercedes over in Germany. However, a section of the wiring had come loose causing the troublesome misfire. The team fixed it quickly and the car was back in action for the afternoons running.
The opening round of the 2023 championship gets underway in less than two weeks at Donington Park on the 1/2nd of April. The weather conditions should have improved by then for the drivers but one thing is for certain, this is a season not to be missed.
Photos by Dom Vincent
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