Beechdean AMR has been stripped of its #DoningtonDecider pole positions as teams fell afoul of how many flying laps need to be completed in each Intelligent Money British GT Championship qualifying session.
Beechdean’s demotion means title challengers Century Motorsport will start from the top spot with Ian Loggie’s 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 starting alongside. John Seale and Abbie Eaton have been promoted to third, and title leaders James Cottingham & Philip Ellis lining up in fourth.
The issue stems from British GT’s Championship Regulations, specifically point 41.4 which states: “Each Driver will compete in one session in order to qualify for the race. Except for cases of force majeure, recognised as such by the Clerk of the Course, all Drivers must complete at least two timed laps in the relevant session, not including in and out laps.”
In Saturday’s opening GT3 qualifying session, mixed conditions led to teams gambling on slicks before having to make a pitstop to go over to Pirelli wets. Combined with a red flag taking out the final 90 seconds, and some teams struggled to complete the two flying laps needed by the regulations.
That issue was more acute for Beechdean, with Andrew Howard pitting twice having suffered a vibration on his first set of slicks and switching over to another set of dry tyres before electing to make the move to wets. However, they weren’t the only team affected as both Barwell Motorsport Lamborghinis and the Team ABBA Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 also fell foul of the ruling.
Orange Racing, Sky Tempesta Racing, and Paddock Motorsport also technically didn’t complete the full Q1, but that’s because of damage and classed as force majeure.
The end result is a variety of grid drops, with Beechdean’s Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn now starting the final British GT race of the season in 10th, and everyone else filling the positions behind down to 17th. You can view the full starting grid here.
In happier news, Paddock will be back out after Mark Smith’s assisted shunt into the pit wall, the team building up Enduro Motorsport’s spare McLaren 720S GT3 Evo into a running car for warm-up and the race.
The final British GT race of 2023 gets underway at 1pm UK time (2pm CEST) and you can watch it live on GT REPORT!
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