A Sunday to remember at Donington Park this weekend! With the clouds being so low that spectators could not see more than a small portion of the track for most of the day, and with light rain falling, I went into the first of our two races with the car in full wet trim. Starting from 6th in GT4 the Race started behind a safety car, giving us two laps to find where the grip was on-track before the safety car released us. Then with tyres fighting for grip we all charged into the plume of spray being thrown up by the GT3 cars in front of us as they sped around Redgate and down the Craner Curves. Everybody held their own and stayed on track as the battles began.
By lap 23 I had made my way up to 4th place following a few battles with the Mustang and then with the sister HHC McLaren. The Mustang had a little more pace than me though and got back past me three laps later, and was able to hold me off for the rest of my time in the car. We went long on my stint, pitting as late as we could (on lap 39) to refuel and to hand over the car to my co-driver Gus in 5th place.
A position which Gus held really well to the line 50 minutes later. We had reproduced our 5th place finishes from Oulton Park and were delighted with how we had both driven in those conditions.
Ahead of the second race of the day the track had begun to dry out in places, but the cloud-base remained very low and further rain was likely. Starting 8th this time in this shorter 1 hour race, we decided to take a gamble and pit at the end of the formation lap to go onto slicks, the Balfe GT4 McLaren and a few of the GT3 cars did the same.
Gus was starting this race with me due to take-over at half distance. The tyre change meant he started from the pit lane after the rest of the grid had thundered past. Gus did a fantastic job minimising time loss to the cars on wet tyres for the first two laps, before his slicks came into their own and he started catching the field. After a thrilling ten laps Gus had passed our wet-shod rivals and was running in second place. He pitted on lap 22 to hand over to me. All cars were on slicks by now and I came out of the pits over 35 seconds behind the Balfe McLaren GT4 and with a 30 second advantage over the third placed car. It was still slippery as I set about closing the gap to the leader. With 4 minutes of the race to go I passed the long time leader into Goddards and pulled away to the line for an amazing debut British GT4 win!
A huge thanks to Gus for his great drive in the opening stint, and to HHC Motorsport for the support they have provided to Gus and I, while also giving us the car and the strategic decisions that enabled us to win.
Looking forward to Brands Hatch at the end of the month for our next challenge now. I have not driven the full Brands GP circuit before so we have a lot to learn, but it feels great to have a win on the board to continue to build from.
A massive thanks to Core Modular, Hills Group and The RaceHut for supporting me this year and making this all possible.