Barwell Motorsport’s Sandy Mitchell credited the work of his co-driver Alex Martin as the pair pipped their team-mates Rob & Ricky Collard to British GT Championship pole at Donington Park by the finest of margins.


Martin & Mitchell’s run to the top spot was set up by the former’s remarkable battle with Rob Collard in the Am section of qualifying in their Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2s as the pair traded fastest times, with a comfortable margin ahead of the squabbling pack behind. 

Handing over to the Pros, Mitchell’s storming lap appeared to be just enough until Ricky Collard seemed to be lighting up the timing screens. Collard’s joy was only brief though – his fastest lap of the session was deleted due to track limits. 

That handed Mitchell & Martin the top spot, which could be crucial at the start at an always chaotic Donington Park. 

He said: “It was an interesting one! First of all, the Am guys did such an amazing job. You could see how close all the cars were in the Pro session – a tenth or two puts you from pole to outside the top five so just so close. For Rob and Alex to come one and two they did a fantastic job in that session and that made my life a little bit easier so I could just focus on trying to put it all together and do a good lap.

“The car has been fast, we were quick here at the end of last year and yeah thankfully that seems to have rolled into this year as well.”

The Italian machines have been strong throughout the weekend, with the 2020 champion topping Pre-Qualifying after finishing Free Practice in second. 

He credits the turn of speed to the whole team getting on top of the latest Evolution of the Huracán much more successfully than they could in the previous Evolution of the car. 

“I think in the past it’s been somewhere with the Evo1 that we were maybe weren’t as strong as some of the other cars in the second sector but I think now that we’re fully on top of this Evo2 that we’ve got it working in a really nice window round here,” Mitchell explained.

“I was really confident in the car going into qualifying. With the new tyres on it felt fantastic so yeah delighted to be up at the sharp-end. Just got pipped [to the fastest individual time] by Tom [Gamble] this time but it’s been pretty close between us all year so looking forward to some more.”

Securing pole was only half the job. With a three-hour race still to come, and a yellow weather warning issued by the Met Office for rain, there’s still a lot of work to be done and Mitchell isn’t taking anything for granted.

He added: “These three hour races are super-tricky because the strategy can change a lot depending on the Full Course Yellows so yeah we’re just going to have to play it by ear. It’s one of those races that you try and plan for but it pretty much all goes out the window as soon as there’s a safety car.

“It’s one of those ones where the team has to really be on it to make decisions quickly depending on where we are on track and what’s happening with yellows, safety cars so yeah that’ll make the big difference.”

The three-hour race gets underway at 1pm local time (2pm in Europe) and you can watch it live on GT REPORT!


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