Mitchell storms to British GT win 30 | 08 | 2020

    SCOTS ENDURANCE RACER Sandy Mitchell delivered his first win of the season in a thrilling two-hour race at Brands Hatch. And the victory catapulted the 20-year-old from Forfar, driving his Black Bull Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT3, into the lead of the British GT Championship. (Related: Mitchell targets British GT win at Brands Hatch)

    “It’s fantastic to finally get our first win of the season,” Mitchell, who shares his Barwell Motorsport-prepared car with British Touring Car Championship veteran Rob Collard, said. “We’ve been so close on a couple of times this season, so to get this victory is a great reward for me, Rob and everyone in the Barwell Motorsport team.”

    Collard, who started the race from second on the front row of the grid, held position until the compulsory pitstop and driver change, which took place during the first of two Safety Car periods. (Related: Mitchell bags two British GT podiums)

    Mitchell, part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program and a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s elite SuperStars programme, emerged back on-track in the lead, thanks to super-quick work by his Barwell crew.


    But with just 36 minutes of the race remaining, his advantage evaporated when the Safety Car was on-track again, ironically after the car driven by Collard’s son, Jordan, was forced to stop when a rear-left tyre suddenly deflated.

    It meant Mitchell’s comfortable two-second advantage disappeared as the whole field bunched tightly behind the Safety Car. (Related: Mitchell seals British GT Silver win)

    “It certainly wasn’t what I needed at the time,” Mitchell, personally backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky, smiled afterwards. “I was managing the gap to the car behind me quite comfortably, but knew that advantage would disappear immediately.


    “When we restarted with 22 minutes remaining, I knew it was crucial to open a gap as we crossed the start-finish line, then to concentrate on keeping that advantage for the first lap.

    “After that it was all about pacing myself and maximising the fact I had a clear track ahead of me to ensure I maintained the gap to the car behind me. (Related: Mitchell returns to British GT with Black Bull)

    “I don’t think the gap was ever more than a second-and-a-half until the penultimate lap when we caught the GT4 leaders. I then had to work my way past four tightly-packed cars all battling for their own class win. After that it was a sprint to the line over the last lap.”


    Mitchell took the chequered flag to win by just 0.649secs ahead of the second-placed car, with the top four cars covered by less than two-seconds.

    “That shows exactly how competitive the British GT Championship is, and why it’s the toughest championship in Europe,” Mitchell said. “The margins are all remarkably tight, and ensures that everything has to be spot-on for the whole race weekend.


    “The team did a great job, both in qualifying and throughout the race, plus Rob did a brilliant first stint. It’s great to finally be able to give the team, and all my sponsors, the first win of the season.”

    With three rounds and four races remaining, Mitchell and Collard now lead the British GT Championship by 16.5 points. The duo have extended their lead in the Silver Cup, also to 16.5 points.


    Mitchell’s win was welcomed by Euan Shand, chairman of sponsors, Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky

    “That was a truly stunning performance by the team and made all the sweeter by the victory,” Shand said. “Important championship points were gained and so we raised a dram of Black Bull whisky afterward to celebrate their achievement.”

    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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