Neary duo to start Donington British GT round from pole


Richard and Sam Neary will start the Intelligent Money British GT Championship’s season finale from pole position after emerging on top in a wet/dry qualifying session this afternoon, while Tom Edgar and Jordan Collard combined to claim Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s first GT4 pole of the 2022 campaign.

Paddock Motorsport #11 McLaren 720S GT3: Mark Smith / Martin Plowman / Pro-Am Intelligent Money British GT Championship, Free Practice 2, Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derby

Both results owed something to the Donington Decider living up to its reputation as the most unpredictable event of the year. Only half of the GT3 field managed to set a lap in their first 10-minute session before a brief rain shower and red flag effectively split the order in half: those with a banked dry time and those without.

Amongst the have-nots were all four GT3 title contenders, who will now start outside of the top seven. The topsy turvy grid order sets up a fascinating two-hour title decider tomorrow.

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It also hands Team Abba Racing a golden opportunity to atone for the late race heartbreak that denied the Nearys victory at Brands Hatch last time out. They share the front row with British GT debutants Orange Racing powered by JMH and Simon Orange who moved from fifth to second in Q2 courtesy of his co-driver Michael O’Brien.

GT4, meanwhile, boiled down to a straight fight between Toyota Gazoo Racing UK and Steller Motorsport who traded top spot across both sessions. Edgar – who set fastest time in Q1 – and Collard ultimately prevailed by a combined 0.017s despite Sennan Fielding recording the fastest individual time.


A flurry of late flying laps – including Q2’s fastest – helped Sam Neary overcome Michael O’Brien on a damp but drying track and seal Abba’s maiden British GT pole position.

The green Mercedes-AMG had already wrapped up pole on aggregated times thanks, in part, to Richard Neary turning Q1’s second fastest lap. But his son made doubly sure by setting a 1m37.059s on his final run to seal top spot by one second.

Earlier Neary Snr had, like seven others, banked a time just before rain swept across Donington and sent Paddock’s McLaren spinning into the Redgate gravel trap. The subsequent red flag prevented those completing their first flying laps from setting a dry time, which would later skew the averages.

GT3 debutant Darren Leung was fastest at that point in Century’s BMW, which headed into Q2 with a 0.2s head start over Neary, while Fox’s McLaren was also in contention thanks to Nick Halstead.

However, it was the Orange/JMH 720S – which set the fifth fastest Q1 time – that emerged as a serious pole contender thanks to O’Brien who began the session 0.9s adrift. His fastest individual time was enough to leave the guest entry out front on aggregate until Neary got to work.

Stanley also spent time atop Q2’s timesheets before Fox’s McLaren ended the session where it had started in third, while the combined efforts of Mark Smith and Martin Plowman initially left Paddock’s McLaren fourth. However, it will start 10 places further back after failing to set two timed laps over the first 10 minutes – a result of its early spin just as the track conditions rapidly changed from dry to wet.

Century’s BMW therefore completes row two after sub-optimal tyre pressures prevented Sims from contending for pole, while Greystone GT’s Stewart Proctor and Warren Hughes move up one place from sixth.

Paddock’s penalty leaves the best of the title contenders – Enduro’s McLaren – in eighth after Morgan Tillbrook failed to set a dry time, while Barwell’s gamble to fit slicks mid-way through Sandy Mitchell’s session didn’t have the desired effect. The Lamborghini lines up one place further back but also one spot ahead of RAM’s championship-leading Mercedes-AMG.



Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Tom Edgar and Jordan Collard scored their first pole position of the season in a dramatic shootout at Donington, with the pair’s GR Supra sealing the place by just 0.017s on aggregated times.

While Century made the early running, it was the Toyota drivers and Steller Motorsport’s title-chasing duo of Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding that duked it out for top spot, which remained in doubt until the very last lap thanks to the constantly improving track.

Unlike the earlier GT3 sessions, conditions were more clear-cut for the GT4 runners, with most of the field opting to start the first segment on slick Pirellis thanks to a dry line forming around the fastest parts of the circuit.

That led to a flurry of improvements across the opening 10 minutes, where a total of five cars took a turn to lead the way. Jamie Orton set the initial pace in the Team Parker Racing Porsche 718 Cayman, but Tom Rawlings was a constant challenger in the #9 Century Motorsport BMW M4. Then came Josh Miller in the R Racing Aston Martin, before the real fight for pole developed across the final two laps.

Williams timed his last run brilliantly to go half-a-second clear with just moments left, but Edgar’s effort was even better, snatching a 0.2s advantage as the flag fell. With Rawlings some 0.7s behind in third, it would narrow the fight for pole down to just those two, with the final session almost completely dry.

Collard took over from Edgar and wasted no time in pumping in a time good enough for provisional pole, only for Fielding to better it by a few tenths and swing the result the Audi’s way. This see-sawing continued for virtually the entire session, with Fielding giving it everything to try and overhaul the deficit to the Toyota. While he set the fastest lap of the session – a 1m35.5s – Collard’s final effort was enough to hold pole by just 0.017s on the combined times.

Behind the runaway top two, Chris Salkeld built on Rawlings’ strong early work to take third for the Century BMW, with Jamie Day/Miller’s Aston lining up fourth. Jack Brown/Will Burns’ #90 Century BMW was fifth, ahead of Seb Hopkins/Orton’s Porsche.

But qualifying would be something of a disaster for championship leaders Matt Topham and Darren Turner who struggled to 12th overall in their Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin. Topham started on wets in his segment, and the resulting nine-second pace deficit left Turner with too much to do.

Instead, class rivals Kavi Jundu and Moh Ritson (Paddock Motorsport) celebrated their first Pro-Am pole in 10th overall.