British GT4 - Biggest title decider in history

British GT4 - Biggest title decider in history

09.09.2019: Six crews. Five teams. Three manufacturers. And a whole bunch of maths. Welcome to British GT4’s biggest-ever championship finale! The SRO abacus will be working overtime on Sunday afternoon when TF Sport’s Ash Hand and Tom Canning attempt to defen

Six crews. Five teams. Three manufacturers. And a whole bunch of maths. Welcome to British GT4’s biggest-ever championship finale!



The SRO abacus will be working overtime on Sunday afternoon when TF Sport’s Ash Hand and Tom Canning attempt to defend their 8.5-point advantage. 37.5 points – 0.5 more than cover the top-six – are still available during Donington’s two-hour enduro where GT4’s champions have been crowned every year since 2015.



Hand and Canning head there with both form and history in their favour. The #97 Aston Martin blanked on Oulton Park’s opening weekend but has since notched up three podiums in five outings – including victory at Spa – to build a small but crucial advantage. Indeed, no crew has ever overturned a points’ deficit at the season finale since GT4 was established in 2008.



Five pairs are desperate to change that stat this Sunday. They’re headed by Dean Macdonald and Callum Pointon – a #DoningtonDecider contender 12 months ago – who lead McLaren’s three-car assault on the 2019 title. Fastest race and qualifying laps in the last two events have marked out Macdonald as one of this year’s best GT4 drivers, while HHC Motorsport have never failed to feature in the championship finale.



However, theirs and TF Sport’s races will be hindered by respective 15s and 10s Pitstop Success Penalties for finishing second and third at Brands Hatch. And that could play into the hands of Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell whose post-race penalty in Kent also dropped them from first to third in the championship standings.



However, that same penalty now ensures Multimatic’s #15 Ford Mustang competes handicap-free this weekend. The duo are 12 points adrift of top spot having scored two wins this year, one of which came at Donington in June. A third this weekend would leave Hand and Canning no choice but to finish second in order to win the championship.


Tolman’s two McLaren crews are up next despite contrasting fortunes at Brands Hatch. A non-score dropped Lewis Proctor and Jordan Collard 20 points adrift of the front-runners after back-to-back mid-season podiums helped them leap into title contention. Meanwhile, team-mates James Dorlin and Josh Smith finally delivered the victory only bad luck had denied them at Spa. The #4 McLaren thus lines up 33 points behind Hand/Canning and with the full 20s Success Penalty to serve.



Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman – the only GT4 crew to have scored points in all eight races – complete the list of championship contenders. However, a 37-point deficit means they must record their first-ever GT4 victories and hope others non-score in order to pull off the greatest turnaround in championship history. Instead, the Beechdean AMR duo’s primary focus will be wrapping up the Pro/Am title after establishing a 29-point lead over Graham Johnson and Michael O’Brien at Brands.



Championship contenders Canning/Hand, Macdonald/Pointon and Priaulx/Maxwell will be hoping their respective TF Sport, HHC and Multimatic team-mates can take points from others. Patrick Kibble and Josh Price have already finished on the podium this year, GT4 race winner Jordan Albert joins Ruben Del Sarte, and British GT rookies Marco Signoretti and Ashley Davies team up for the first time.


Those three two-car squads are also in Teams’ Championship contention, albeit behind Tolman Motorsport who enjoy a 29-point lead over HHC in second. 36.5 cover all four with 64.5 available for a one-two finish.






- Benjamin Franassovici, photo SRO

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/british-gt4-biggest-decider-history---197046.html

09.09.2019 / MaP

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