Mitchell bags two BritGT podiums 17 | 08 | 2020

    SCOTS ENDURANCE RACER Sandy Mitchell bagged two Silver Class podiums in the latest double-header in the British GT Championship at a dank and gloomy Donington Park.(Related: Mitchell up for British GT charge)

    The 20-year-old from Forfar, driving his Black Bull Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT3, also finished fifth and sixth overall. The Scot leads the Silver Cup class and lies third in the British GT Championship,

    “That was a tough weekend,” Mitchell, who shared his Barwell Motorsport-prepared car with British Touring Car Championship veteran Rob Collard, admitted. “I feel we deserved more in terms of results than we actually left the circuit with.”

    Ultimately, the slippery, greasy, slow-drying and changeable track conditions impacted directly on Mitchell’s results.

    Having started the opening two-hour race from second on the grid, with all the cars on wet tyres, Collard comfortably held position before easing into the lead after 43 minutes. (Related: Mitchell seals British GT Silver win)

    As others pitted for their compulsory driver change, Collard stayed out as the track slowly dried, before finally pitting after 45 laps, with around 41 minutes remaining.


    “We’d hoped the lap times would drop sufficiently to around the 1min 38sec mark, which would have allowed us to fit slicks to the car,” Mitchell, part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program and a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s elite SuperStars programme, explained.

    “Rob’s times were right on course for that, but then just before he was scheduled to pit, the drizzle started again and when he came in we had to fit wets.” (Related: Mitchell returns to British GT with Black Bull)

    The Scot, personally backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky, rejoined the race in second place, 4.4s off the lead. But after initially closing the gap, it became apparent Mitchell’s tyre pressures had been set too high. This resulted in a lack of grip, dropping the No78 car to fifth overall and second in Silver class.


    Mitchell then started third on the grid for the one-hour sprint race, but as the late afternoon gloom descended again on the Leicestershire circuit, tyre choice became crucial.

    “With the track still greasy, we opted for wets,” he explained. “Initially they were the right choice, but after 10 minutes or so the track conditions changed dramatically and it became obvious that slicks were the right tyre.

    “As the race went on, it was a bit like driving a car with four blancmange tyres. I really struggled for grip and we pitted as soon as the pit window opened.”


    Collard, shod now with slick tyres on the Lamborghini, battled back through the field from 12th to finish third in class and sixth overall.

    “Rob drove brilliantly in both his stints, and for us to finish twice on the podium in our class, and twice in the top six, despite all the problems we had with grip is a big positive,” Mitchell stated, “and meant we bagged a healthy amount of championship points.

    “The team worked their socks off today preparing the car first for the opening race, then setting it up again within three hours for the second race.


    “Today the weather won. It’s just one of those things. In changing conditions, tyre choice becomes something of a lottery. But again we’ve proved we have a fast car, a quick driver pairing and a solid, professional team behind us.

    “Despite the difficulties and challenges we faced this weekend, we’re still leading the Silver Cup, and lie third in the overall championship, just three points off second.

    “We head to Brands Hatch in a couple of weeks for another two-hour race, and we know we’ll be right on the pace pushing for another podium, and hopefully our first win of the year.”

    Related: Mitchell adds GT World Europe to 2020 schedule

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    Jim McGill

    All photographs copyright of Jakob Ebrey

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