British GT4 Donington Park, Pro-Am title battle takes centre stage

British GT4 Donington Park, Pro-Am title battle takes centre stage

13.10.2021: British GT3 Drivers’ Championship Donington Park 16-17 October 2021 A third victory of the season helped Will Burns and Gus Burton to clinch GT4’s overall title with a race to spare at Oulton, but there’s still plenty to play for when 15 entri


British GT3 Drivers’ Championship
Donington Park
16-17 October 2021



 
A third victory of the season helped Will Burns and Gus Burton to clinch GT4’s overall title with a race to spare at Oulton, but there’s still plenty to play for when 15 entries – the class’ biggest grid of the year – line up on Sunday.



And chief among those is the Pro-Am Drivers’ Championship, which remains a four-way scrap between as many different teams and manufacturers.


A second overall class victory at Oulton helped Matt Topham and Darren Turner maintain their chances of finishing runners up outright behind Century’s all-conquering BMW as well as sealing Pro-Am honours.



The Newbridge Aston Martin now finds itself 14.5 points ahead of Fox Motorsport’s Nick Halstead and Jamie Stanley who must finish inside the class’ top-five to have any chance of overturning their deficit.



Mark Sansom and Charlie Robertson are yet to match their oh-so-near winning performance from the opening weekend when a late puncture denied Assetto Motorsport a debut win. Instead, the Ginetta has slipped 32.5 and 18 points respectively behind its Aston Martin and McLaren rivals in this year’s Pro-Am standings, meaning only a win will suffice on Sunday.



The same applies to John Ferguson who lies 1.5 points further back. Alongside him is once again 2020 GT4 champion Jamie Caroline who underlined Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s pace last time out at Oulton.



Of course, they aren’t the only cars to watch out for. But with newly crowned champions Burns and Burton carrying a 20s Success Penalty and additional Silver weight at the same circuit where they triumphed in July, there is a chance we’ll see first time winners gracing Donington’s podium.



Century’s second BMW is yet to visit Victory Lane in 2021 despite occupying third in GT4’s overall standings behind James Kell and Jordan Collard who – like Burns and Burton – are saddled with a hefty Success Penalty. And that will undoubtedly hand an initial advantage to Chris Salkeld and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke as they attempt to finish runners-up behind their team-mates.



Much was expected from Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding this year but, for various reasons, Steller Motorsport’s Audi has been unable to mount a title challenge or add to the two victories it collected in 2019. The latter was scored on the final day at Donington, suggesting the R8 should go well if it can avoid the kind of gremlin that side-lined the car at the same circuit earlier this year.




A 10s Success Penalty incurred for finishing third at Oulton leaves Academy’s Mustang shared by Will Moore and Matt Cowley with work to do. However, three-quarters of that combination came close to overturning the full 20s handicap at Donington last season.



Jack Brown and Ashley Marshall also feature within the group of drivers squabbling over a top-four championship finish, although Balfe’s McLaren will have to repeat its Spa win to have a reasonable chance of making significant gains. The same manufacturer’s DDP members – Harry Hayek and Katie Milner, and Michael Benyahia and Alain Valente – also have an opportunity to add standout results to a tricky campaign.



Two new entries also join the action for the first time this year: CWS Racing and Colin White make their first British GT starts since 2014 after moving up from Ginetta GT4 Supercup with the new G56, and recently crowned Teams’ Champions Century Motorsport have added the Aston Martin of GT Cup front runners David Holloway and Bradley Ellis.



Watch 2021’s #DoningtonDecider live on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel this Sunday at 13:00 BST.
 




DONINGTON PARK TIMETABLE


Saturday 16 October

09:40 – 10:40: Free Practice 1
12:20 – 13:20: Free Practice 2
16:15 – 16:25: Qualifying – GT3 Q1
16:29 – 16:39: Qualifying – GT3 Q2
16:43 – 16:53: Qualifying – GT4 Q1
16:58 – 17:08: Qualifying – GT4 Q2



Sunday 17 October


09:40 – 09:55: Warm-up
11:55 – 12:25: Pitwalk and autograph session
13:00 – 15:00: #DoningtonDecider




LAP RECORDS

GT3 – 1m27.529s – Phil Keen – Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan – 2020
GT4 – 1m35.803s – Patrick Kibble – TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage – 2020




PITSTOP SPECIFICS - TWO-HOUR RACE



NEW FOR 2021: The number of driver changes are free but there are minimum and maximum total drive times for the starting driver. In GT4 starting drivers must complete a minimum of 58 minutes, while in GT3 this rises to 62 minutes. All classes share the same maximum starting drive time of 70 minutes.


Mandatory Pitstop Times (pit-in to pit-out)
GT3: 110s | GT4: 140s



Pitstop Success Penalties

20s – #18 WPI Motorsport – Michael Igoe & Phil Keen
15s – #1 Barwell Motorsport – Adam Balon & Sandy Mitchell
10s – #6 RAM Racing – Ian Loggie & Yelmer Buurman
20s – #57 Century Motorsport – Will Burns & Gus Burton
15s – #2 Team Rocket RJN – James Kell & Jordan Collard
10s – #61 Academy Motorsport – Will Moore and Matt Cowley

All GT4 Silver Cup entries must serve an additional 26s during their mandatory driver changes and carry 25kg of ballast.



- Tom Hornsby, photo SRO
 

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13.10.2021 / MaP

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