Mitchell podium sets up BritGT thriller 12 | 09 | 2021

    SCOTS ENDURANCE RACER and defending British GT champ, Sandy Mitchell, partnered by team-mate Adam Balon, bagged a hard-earned podium finish at a rain-lashed Oulton Park to boost his chances of retaining the title, writes Jim McGill. (Related: Mitchell fired-up for Oulton double-header)

    The 21-year-old from Forfar, driving the No1 (#1) Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, prepared by Barwell Motorsport, heads to the British GT Championship season finale at Donington next month as one of four crews who can lift the title.

    “We’ve achieved exactly what we wanted to do this weekend, and that was to make sure we’re in the fight to win the title in the final round,” Mitchell, personally backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky, Tunnocks and Thorntons Solicitors, said. (Related: Mitchell bags Snetterton podium)

    “The podium finish in today’s second race — ahead of two of our main challengers for the title — was crucial. It means we head to Donington just 21.5 points behind the leaders, with a maximum of 37.5 available in the final race.”

    Starting 10th on the grid in Race 1 — the result of a grid penalty for having a new engine slotted into the Huracan — Mitchell and Balon stormed through to finish sixth. (Related: Mitchell storms to Spa24H podium)


    The biggest test though came in the second race, held in atrociously wet conditions. Frustratingly for the #1 car, after saving a set of brand new slick tyres for the 60 minute race — having used qualifying tyres in the opener — the plan was wrecked by the conditions as all cars were forced to use Pirelli wets.

    Starting from third on the sodden track, Mitchell hounded the back of the sister Barwell #63 Lamborghini of championship leader Dennis Lind before making an audacious overtake after 20 minutes of the second one-hour race. (Related: Mitchell fastest at Donington British GT)


    Mitchell began setting the overtake up as the cars climbed the steep hill out of the right-hander at Lodge Corner. Exiting the start-finish straight the two cars were inches apart side-by as the Scot eased alongside his Danish team-mate. With both drivers showing huge respect for each other, especially in the extremely testing conditions, Mitchell completed the move as they entered the fast left-hander at Cascades. (Related: Scot Sandy Mitchell wins British GT Championship)

    Mitchell pitted from second, but Balon was then delayed exiting the pitlane which was heavily congested as all the GT3 cars had pitted at the same time. Rejoining the race in fourth, he immediately slipped past the #66 Porsche, before taking second when the leading car was forced to serve a drive-though penalty.


    “Adam drove brilliantly in both races, but especially in Race 2,” Mitchell, a Lamborghini factory driver, in addition to being a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s elite SuperStars programme, continued.

    “It would have been so easy to be flustered after being delayed at the pitstop, but he kept calm and really delivered excellent race pace in the challenging wet conditions.

    “The whole team did a wonderful job over the weekend, especially given the fact the first race was in warm, dry conditions, then two hours later we were racing in a downpour.”


    Twelve months ago Mitchell headed into the final race of the season at Silverstone knowing a win would clinch the title. This year there are a few more permutations.

    “With four crews all in the mix to win the title, there are going to be a few calculations to be done before we get to Donington,” Mitchell smiled.

    “The bottom line essentially remains the same. Adam and I will go there determined to win the race. That’s all we can control. Do that, then we’ll see where we end up in the championship.”

    Related: Mitchell named Lamborghini factory driver

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    Jim McGill

    All photographs copyright of Jakob Ebrey

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