Barwell’s Lamborghini Takes The Win with Martin and Mitchell at Donington

#78 Barwell Motorsport – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 – Alex Martin, Sandy Mitchell, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),

Barwell’s Lamborghini took the chequered flag 0.6s ahead of the Optimum McLaren shared by Mark Radcliffe and Tom Gamble who recovered from two sizeable setbacks to join a three-way lead battle over the final stint that also featured 2 Seas’ #6 Mercedes-AMG. Phil Keen led Mitchell and Gamble with half-an-hour remaining but lost two places in the last 10 minutes after twice being baulked by GT4 traffic.

Optimum might have missed out on overall victory but made no mistake in GT4 where Brown and Meakin overcame their 20 seconds of Compensation Time to claim a second win in as many outings. They were undoubtedly helped by a well-timed Full Course Yellow and Safety Car period that scuppered Paddock Motorsport’s chances and also negated the Pro-Am entries’ pitstop concession.

Brown passed Will Orton who finished second in the Forsetti Aston Martin he shares with Marc Warren, while Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Kavi Jundu and Dan Vaughan completed the podium despite serving a one-second stop-go penalty in the final stint.

However, the race will most likely be remembered for a heavy downpour that resulted in several cars aquaplaning into Redgate’s gravel trap after 45 minutes. The weather and incident resulted in a three-quarters-of-an-hour delay.

#6 2Seas Motorsport – Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo – lan Loggie, Phil Keen, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),


Heavy rain on the formation lap forced Race Control to abort the start. Slicks were duly swapped for wets before the race officially began behind the Safety Car, which circulated for two laps. RAM pitted after the first and its Mercedes-AMG rejoined – now with Marciello onboard – just as pole man Martin led the pack towards Turn 1. Ultimately, it would be a footnote in what was to follow.

The first meaningful pitstops were triggered by the need for slicks after 20 minutes, by which time Rob Collard (Barwell), Shaun Balfe (Garage 59) and Kevin Tse (2 Seas) had all passed Martin.

The rain returned soon after, albeit lightly at first. Balfe’s co-driver Smalley took advantage by relieving Ricky Collard of the lead with an opportunistic move on the run from Old Hairpin to Starkeys before Mitchell also passed his team-mate moments later.

#27 Optimum Motorsport – McLaren 720S GT3 Evo – Mark Radcliffe, Tom Gamble, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),

However, the light drizzle then suddenly turned into a downpour that prompted most teams to make their second pitstops. The cars that didn’t were still on slicks when they arrived at a sodden Redgate and, in most cases, slid into the gravel trap or tyre barrier. The majority resumed after they were towed clear under the subsequent red flag period.

Optimum’s McLaren appeared to be the big winner when it stopped just as the race was suspended. But Race Control corrected that by ordering Radcliffe – who’d taken over from Gamble – to concede positions just before racing resumed 45 minutes later.

The order now read Collard, Loggie, Simon Orange, Balfe and Martin who maintained their positions over the following 55 minutes, which featured two more FCY and Safety Car periods.

#27 Optimum Motorsport – McLaren 720S GT3 Evo – Mark Radcliffe, Tom Gamble, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),

The next caution period – triggered by Tse and Orange colliding at Starkeys – prompted the final round of mandatory stops where 2 Seas was able to jump Barwell’s race leading Lamborghini. Another FCY and Safety Car period followed soon after before the top GT3 contenders finally had a chance to settle into their last stints.

Mitchell and Gamble – whose co-driver Radcliffe took full advantage of incidents and Compensation Time – both passed Collard and set off in pursuit of Keen. For 20 minutes the 2 Seas Mercedes-AMG withstood intense pressure as the trio ran as one.

The Lamborghini and McLaren were both clearly quicker but only found a way past when Keen was twice baulked in traffic. Gamble’s pace, which had earlier netted him fastest lap, was truly revealed when closing down Mitchell in the closing laps, but the Scot held on to claim the championship lead for himself and Martin.

#27 Optimum Motorsport – McLaren 720S GT3 Evo – Mark Radcliffe, Tom Gamble, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),

Keen and Loggie finished third, but only by 0.3s from Garage 59’s McLaren shared by Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton who picked off Dan Harper and then Ricky Collard during the final stint.

Barwell’s second Lamborghini had to make do with fifth while Century’s BMW of Harper and Michael Johnston scored its best result on the season in sixth. The M4 was pursued by Maximilian Goetz whose co-driver Tse spent large portions of the race fighting for a podium place.

Balfe and Smalley were also unlucky to finish only eighth after the maximum Compensation Time restricted their chances in such a topsy turvy race. However, the erstwhile overall championship leaders did at least maintain their 100% Silver-Am record.

Blackthorn’s #87 Aston Martin and the J&S Racing Audi rounded out the top 10.

#77 Garage 59 – McLaren 720S GT3 Evo – Morgan Tillbrook, Marcus Clutton, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),


Zac Meakin and Jack Brown scored their second successive GT4 victory after successfully guiding Optimum’s McLaren through a challenging three hours of racing.

The pair managed to overturn their maximum Compensation Time, but in truth that handicap was the least of their worries during a race that threw so many challenges and variables at the grid.

Nevertheless, Meakin and Brown never put a wheel wrong, with Brown managing to reel in the #47 Aston Martin shared by Marc Warren and Will Orton in the final stint to snatch the overall win. Forsetti’s drivers were still clear Pro-Am winners after many of their rivals experienced their own difficulties.

Optimum’s McLaren was always going to be in the mix thanks to the combined pace of Meakin and Brown, but it was their consistency that made the real difference. After all cars had switched to wets for the delayed race start, the DTO Ginetta of Stuart Middleton led away with Meakin, Charles Dawson in the Team Parker Racing Mercedes-AMG, Jamie Day’s Forsetti Aston and Alex Walker in the Paddock McLaren close behind.

#11 Paddock Motorsport – McLaren Artura GT4 – Alex Walker, Blake Angliss, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),

However, DTO’s advantage was short-lived: Middleton dropped to fourth behind new leader Day, Walker and Meakin who swapped places in the space of half-a-lap. But things would then get worse for the Ginetta, which subsequently suffered a brake disc failure.

That moment coincidentally coincided with the weather turning dramatically. Dawson’s co-driver Seb Morris was one of those to slide off at Redgate before Day and Mikey Porter’s race was severely compromised by a 64-second stop-go penalty.

The upshot was Meakin leading Walker, Warren and Kavi Jundu but with Optimum’s crew yet to serve its Compensation Time.

Walker was the first of the lead quartet to make his final stop and did so just before the final caution period was called. That cost his newly installed Paddock co-driver Blake Angliss a full lap when the likes of Optimum, Forsetti and TGR UK made their driver changes under FCY conditions.

#90 Optimum Motorsport – McLaren Artura GT4 – Jack Brown, Zac Meakin, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),

With the Pro-Am drivers enjoying shorter mandatory stop times, plus the Optimum McLaren having to serve its extra 20 seconds stationary following the Silverstone win, both the Forsetti Aston and Toyota vaulted ahead after the final round of changes. However, the Supra was hit with a stop-go for shaving a second off its last stop, leaving the final stages as a straight fight between Orton and the chasing Brown.

#44 Toyota Gazoo Racing UK – Toyota GR Supra GT4 Evo – Kavi Jundu, Dan Vaughan, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),

Brown homed in on the rear of the Aston, eventually making a well-timed dive for the lead into the Melbourne Hairpin to secure the result. Vaughan and Jundu came home third, with Walker and Angliss still doing enough for fourth overall and second in Silver.

#47 Forsetti Motorsport – Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 Evo – Marc Warren, William Orton, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),

Luca Hopkinson and Harry George completed the Silver rostrum in RAM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG, with Academy Motorsport’s Matt Nicoll-Jones and Will Moore rounding out the top six in the #62 Mustang that enjoyed a spell in the lead during the race’s middle stages.

Race Results

178GT3PABarwell MotorsportAlex MARTIN, Sandy MITCHELLLamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo23:41:50.28194102.600
227GT3PAOptimum MotorsportMark RADCLIFFE, Tom GAMBLEMcLaren 720S GT3 Evo3:41:50.878940.5970.597103.000
36GT3PA2 Seas MotorsportIan LOGGIE, Phil KEENMercedes-AMG GT3 Evo3:41:52.811942.5301.933102.400
477GT3PAGarage 59Morgan TILLBROOK, Marcus CLUTTONMcLaren 720S GT3 Evo3:41:53.162942.8810.351102.900
563GT3PABarwell MotorsportRob COLLARD, Ricky COLLARDLamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo23:41:57.572947.2914.410102.600
614GT3PACentury MotorsportMichael JOHNSTON, Dan HARPERBMW M4 GT33:41:58.313948.0320.741102.200
718GT3PA2 Seas MotorsportKevin TSE, Maximilian GOETZMercedes-AMG GT3 Evo3:41:59.823949.5421.510102.400
859GT3SAGarage 59Shaun BALFE, Adam SMALLEYMcLaren 720S GT3 Evo3:42:03.1119412.8303.288102.000
987GT3PABlackthornGiacomo PETROBELLI, Jonny ADAMAston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 Evo3:42:18.4649428.18315.353102.100
1032GT3SAJ&S RacingSacha KAKAD, Hugo COOKAudi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II3:42:18.7439428.4620.279102.100
1197GT3SABeechdean AMRAndrew HOWARD, Jessica HAWKINSAston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 Evo3:42:31.2889441.00712.545102.100
1222GT3SACentury MotorsportCarl CAVERS, Lewis PLATOBMW M4 GT33:43:22.332941:32.05151.044101.300
138GT3SATeam Abba RacingRichard NEARY, Sam NEARYMercedes-AMG GT3 Evo3:42:09.286931 Lap1 Lap102.500
143GT3PAGreystone GTMike PRICE, Callum MACLEODMercedes-AMG GT3 Evo3:42:55.143931 Lap45.857102.300
159GT3PAPaddock MotorsportMark SMITH, Martin PLOWMANMcLaren 720S GT3 Evo3:42:49.594922 Laps1 Lap102.000
1610GT3SABlackthornMatt TOPHAM, Josh ROWLEDGEAston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 Evo3:42:53.334922 Laps3.740101.900
1715GT3PARAM RacingJohn FERGUSON, Raffaele MARCIELLOBMW M4 GT33:42:38.466913 Laps1 Lap102.500
1890GT4SOptimum MotorsportZac MEAKIN, Jack BROWNMcLaren Artura GT43:42:36.320904 Laps1 Lap93.800
1947GT4PAForsetti MotorsportMarc WARREN, William ORTONAston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 Evo3:42:39.668904 Laps3.34893.000
2044GT4PAToyota Gazoo Racing UKKavi JUNDU, Dan VAUGHANToyota GR Supra GT4 Evo3:42:58.610904 Laps18.94293.600
2111GT4SPaddock MotorsportAlex WALKER, Blake ANGLISSMcLaren Artura GT43:42:34.254895 Laps1 Lap93.300
2217GT4SRAM RacingLuca HOPKINSON, Harry GEORGEMercedes-AMG GT43:42:52.922895 Laps18.66892.800
2362GT4SAcademy MotorsportWill MOORE, Matt NICOLL-JONESFord Mustang GT4 20243:42:05.892886 Laps1 Lap94.500
247GT4SForsetti MotorsportJamie DAY, Mikey PORTERAston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 Evo3:42:21.989886 Laps16.09793.900
2558GT4PACWS RacingColin WHITE, Thomas HOLLANDGinetta G56 GT4 Evo3:42:29.252886 Laps7.26393.600
2629GT4PACentury MotorsportIan GOUGH, Tom WRIGLEYBMW M4 GT43:42:30.329886 Laps1.07793.700
2795GT4SRACELABCallum DAVIES, Sai SANJAYMcLaren Artura GT43:42:42.045886 Laps11.71693.400
2869GT4PAMahiki RacingSteven LAKE, Nathan HARRISONLotus Emira GT43:42:44.640886 Laps2.59593.200
2920GT4PAMahiki RacingIan DUGGAN, Gordie MUTCHLotus Emira GT43:42:22.802877 Laps1 Lap93.700
3079GT4PASteller MotorsportTim DOCKER, Jordan ALBERTAudi R8 LMS GT43:42:32.364877 Laps9.56293.600
3161GT4SAcademy MotorsportMarco SIGNORETTI, Erik EVANSFord Mustang GT4 20243:42:10.990859 Laps2 Laps94.300
3256GT4SDTO MotorsportStuart MIDDLETON, Freddie TOMLINSONGinetta G56 GT4 Evo3:15:38.7976925 Laps16 Laps93.500
NC67GT3SAOrange Racing by JMHSimon ORANGE, Tom ROCHEMcLaren 720S GT3 Evo2:35:51.2355737 Laps12 Laps101.500
NC24GT3PARACELABLucky KHERA, Euan HANKEYMcLaren 720S GT3 Evo2:19:47.3694549 Laps12 Laps100.100
NC12GT4PAPaddock MotorsportEd MCDERMOTT, Matt COWLEYMercedes-AMG GT42:34:41.0344054 Laps5 Laps88.900
NC2GT3PATeam RJNChris BUNCOMBE, Alex BUNCOMBEMcLaren 720S GT3 Evo45:27.7362668 Laps14 Laps101.700
NC31GT4PATeam Parker RacingCharles DAWSON, Seb MORRISMercedes-AMG GT443:39.4562371 Laps3 Laps93.500
NC71GT4PACentury MotorsportRavi RAMYEAD, Charlie ROBERTSONBMW M4 GT443:54.4822371 Laps15.02692.100
#15 RAM Racing – BMW M4 GT3 – John Ferguson, Raffaele Marciello, British GT Championship, Race, Donington Park, UK, 26/05/2024, (Images by and Copyright Matt Hancock),