Mitchell claims debut Blancpain GT win 03 | 06 | 2018

    FORFAR TEENAGER SANDY MITCHELL claimed his first win in the Blancpain GT Endurance Series when he powered his Black Bull Whisky-backed Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to victory in the Paul Ricard 1000kms. (Related: Mitchell gets Lamborghini global role)

    The 18-year-old Scot, partnered by 23-year-old Italian Michele Beretta and 20-year-old Croatian Martin Kodric, delivered a peerless performance in the six-hour day-night race in the south of France to claim an impressive Silver Cup win.

    “That was pretty much the perfect weekend for us,” Mitchell, a member of the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star scheme, and part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program, admitted.

    “The car was great; I was really pleased with my performance in qualifying, and I thoroughly enjoyed my first two-hour race stint. To cap it all by claiming our first Blancpain GT win was fantastic.”


    In his qualifying session, Mitchell was the quickest Silver Cup car and eighth-fastest overall of the 50-car field. The Scot was responsible for driving the middle two-hour stint, made more difficult as it took the race through the changing light conditions of dusk.

    “Qualifying was really positive, and I was really happy to bounce back after my poor qualifying at Silverstone,” Mitchell explained. “Being fastest Silver Cup car and P8 overall in my session was excellent.

    “I took that pace into the race as well, especially in the second half of my two-hour stint. Once the sun had dropped behind the hills and the temperatures dropped, the car’s handling came back to me.


    “I was really fast in that final hour. I got into a good rhythm and my pace was consistent, which was important. I was able to pull away from the cars behind me and really establish a gap at the front of the Silver Cup field.”

    Mitchell handed the car to Kodric for the final two hours and the Croatian brought the car home, eventually taking the chequered flag more than half-a-minute clear of the second-placed Mercedes-AMG.


    And Mitchell, personally backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky, praised his Barwell Motorsport team and pitcrew for bouncing back from the disappointments of the opening two races at Monza and Silverstone.

    “We had another blindingly quick pitstop in the middle of my stint. I think we took about 12-seconds out of the cars we were competing directly against,” the Scot said. “So the crew played a big part in the result as well. They were fantastic.


    “The mechanics and engineers went pretty wild when we took the chequered flag. Naturally everyone was pretty nervous for the last couple of hours, because we’d seen the win disappear at Silverstone a fortnight ago when the gearbox failed with just 20-minutes to go when we were leading.

    “To finally bag our first Blancpain GT win is fantastic, and really sets us up for the next round, the Spa 24-Hours. I can’t wait.”

    Related: Mitchell cruelly denied Blancpain win at Silverstone

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    Jim McGill

    CAPTION: Sandy Mitchell (centre) on the top step of the podium at Paul Ricard with Michele Beretta (left) and Martin Kodric.

    Photographs: copyright of Jakob Ebrey

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