Impact halts Mitchell's podium chargeposted in WEC27 | 07 | 2020

    SCOTS ENDURANCE RACER Sandy Mitchell was denied a potential podium finish in the opening round of the GT World Challenge Europe at Imola. The 20-year-old from Forfar, piloting his Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT3, saw his charge halted by a late-braking rival. (Related: Mitchell ready for Imola action)

    Mitchell, personally backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky, had taken over the Barwell Motorsport-prepared Vimetco Extrusion/Asterus Lamborghini from team-mates Rob Collard and Leo Machitski.

    Rejoining the race with 65 minutes of the three-hour race to run, Mitchell found himself fifth in the highly-competitive ProAm class. Within a few laps the Scot had eased himself into third, and was closing in on second place in ProAm.

    With 50 minutes remaining, the field was bunched up following the appearance, for the fourth time in the race, of the Safety Car. (Related: Mitchell adds GT World Europe to 2020 schedule)

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    “When the race restarted with around half-an-hour to go I slipped to fifth, but immediately got back up to fourth,” Mitchell, part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program and a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s elite SuperStars programme, explained. (Related: Mitchell returns to British GT with Black Bull)

    “With a packed grid of 46 cars, and four different classes of cars and drivers, the track was understandably congested as everyone fought for space.

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    “Coming uphill to the right-left chicane, suddenly there was an Aston Martin on a piece of the track that I had never anticipated. It slewed left and right as it tried to avoid another car which had spun in front of it; suddenly everything became even more congested.

    “I had absolutely nowhere to go. Essentially, through no fault of his own, the Aston Martin driver completely blocked my path.” (Related: Mitchell inducted into BRDC SuperStars)

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    The impact of Mitchell’s front-left with the right-rear of the Aston left the Scot’s #77 car with a shredded tyre and badly-damaged left wing.

    “I managed to nurse the car back to the pits,” he continued. “The Barwell guys had to take the car back into the garage to complete the repairs. They did a great job and we managed to get out for the final few laps, despite the fact we’d lost six laps.”

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    But having qualified second in class, Mitchell was understandably disappointed with the race outcome.

    “It’s certainly not the result we anticipated,” the Scot, who eventually brought the car home ninth in class, stated. “We definitely had a car fast enough, and reliable enough for at least a podium finish.

    “Both Rob and Leo did a fantastic job, as did the whole crew at Barwell. It’s disappointing, but I’ve got to just put it down to a racing incident; move on, and get ready for the next race.”

    Related: Mitchell wins Spa 24-Hours Silver Cup

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    Jim McGill

     

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