Last-gasp heartbreak for Mitchell 29 | 09 | 2019

    SCOTS ENDURANCE RACER SANDY MITCHELL was denied an end-of-season victory, and best-ever overall result in the Blancpain GT Endurance Championship, when his team suffered a dramatic and controversial late penalty.

    The 19-year-old from Forfar, partnered by English team-mates James Pull and Jordan Witt, was within five minutes of the end of the three-hour season finale at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona when he was instructed to serve a drive-through penalty. (Related: Mitchell targets Barcelona GT3 win)

    Mitchell — who last time out won the Spa 24-Hour Silver Cup — had driven impeccably during his one-hour stint, and eased his Black Bull Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT3 through the field to lead the Silver Cup and lie seventh overall.

    But the penalty which was issued when a safety clip was accidentally knocked free of the car two hours earlier, during the first excellent timed pitstop, wrecked the Scot’s race. (Related: Mitchell wins Spa 24-Hours Silver Cup)

    “We were on course not only for a brilliant Silver Cup win in the final race of the season, but also to record our best-ever overall finish in the Blancpain GT,” Mitchell, part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program and a member of the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star scheme, said.


    “When I was told about the penalty with 11 minutes remaining I was leading the Silver Cup and lying seventh overall in the 46-car field. There was then a safety car period which bunched the field right up, so I lost all the advantage I had over the rest of the field. (Related: Mitchell seals first wins in the USA)

    “Then on the restart with five minutes left, two other cars ahead of me crashed out, leaving me fifth overall before I had to come in and serve the drive-through. If we hadn’t received the penalty, we’d definitely have won Silver Cup and finished fifth overall.


    “Instead of celebrations, there was nothing but deep, deep disappointment. All three drivers were understandably gutted with the result, because as a team we hadn’t put a wheel wrong all weekend. For the race to end the way it did was hugely disappointing.” (Related: Mitchell bags back-to-back US podiums)

    Mitchell plummeted down through the field, eventually crossing the line sixth in Silver Cup and 18th overall.

    “It’s definitely not the result we deserved,” the Scot continued, “but I know we had the pace, reliability and performance to win for the second time this season.


    “I’ve got to thank all my sponsors for their support the season, and especially Black Bull Whisky which continues to back my career, plus of course, Barwell Motorsport.”

    Mitchell’s performance was understandably praised by Euan Shand, chairman of main sponsors, Huntly-based Black Bull Whisky and Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky.

    “I have nothing but praise for all three drivers,” Shand said. “Over the whole weekend, Sandy, Jordan and James were completely professional and delivered in both qualifying and during the race.


    “For them to lose what would have been their second win of the year, and best overall result in the Blancpain GT at the last gasp is deeply disappointing for them.”

    Mitchell now heads to the final two races of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North American Championship at Jerez in Spain at the end of October, just 12 points off the championship lead.

    Related: Mitchell bags Blancpain points at Monza

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    Jim McGill

    All photographs copyright of Jakob Ebrey

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