Mitchell positive after tough BritGT start 19 | 04 | 2022

    FORMER CHAMP, SCOTS endurance racer Sandy Mitchell, left the opening double header of this year’s British GT Championship having scored valuable points despite a frustrating second race.
 (Related: Mitchell battles back to bag Euro GT points)

    The 22-year-old from Forfar, partnering Adam Balon in the No 72 (#72) Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT3 prepared by Barwell Motorsport, endured a punishing day at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

    In the opening 60-minute race Mitchell, a Lamborghini factory driver and a full member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, was forced to nurse the car home. First he was hit from the rear by a Mercedes. The impact, which happened with around 20 minutes of the race remaining, resulted in rear left tyre damage from the shattered bodywork and forced the Scot to significantly reduce his race pace.
 (Related: Mitchell commits to 2022 British GT Championship)


    “Adam did a super job in his opening 30-minute stint, but shortly after I took over the car I was hit from behind,” the 2020 British GT champ explained.

    “The car then suffered a tyre problem due to body damage rubbing against the tyre wall, which meant I was around two seconds a lap slower than what my normal race pace would be.
 (Related: Scot Sandy Mitchell wins 2020 British GT Championship)

    “After the contact it was a case of driving as defensively as possible to ensure we scored as many championship points as we could. In the end, finishing ninth was an achievement.”


    Mitchell, personally backed by Black Bull Scotch Whisky, Tunnock’s and Upper Dysart Larder, started race two from third on the grid, but five minutes in to the race the Safety Car was deployed following an incident. When the race restarted following a 16-minute delay, the circuit was hit by a heavy rain shower. 
(Related: Mitchell impresses on Daytona 24H debut)

    And within minutes, and following another short Safety Car period, the race was red flagged and stopped following yet another incident.


    After a 40-minute delay while repairs were made to crash barriers, and with Balon now behind the wheel for the remaining 25-minutes of racing, the #72 Lamborghini restarted in fifth place.
 (Related: Mitchell storms to Spa24H podium)

    But almost immediately their #72 car was served a 10-second stop-go penalty following an earlier unavoidable incident due to the adverse weather conditions. The delay dropped the duo to 12th overall.


    “The stop-go penalty definitely denied us a very strong chance of winning the race,” Mitchell said, “especially as the two leading cars ahead of Adam had seven and 10-second time penalties to serve post-race.

    ”It’s definitely not the way we planned, or wanted to start the season, but we’ll build from here. We proved again the car is fast, Adam continues to show how quick he is and the Barwell team did an excellent job throughout the weekend.

    “Next-up is the Blue Riband event of the season, the three-hour race at Silverstone in May. We’ve won there before, and have every intention of doing so again.”

    Related: Mitchell named Lamborghini factory driver

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    Jim McGill

    All photographs copyright of Jakob Ebrey

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