British GT stands ready for Donington Park title decider
This weekend marks the end of another thrilling campaign in the British GT Championship, as a combined seven crews across GT3 and GT4, amidst a grid of 29 cars, make the trip to Donington Park for the two-hour title decider.
The Grand Prix configuration of the East Midlands circuit will once again play host to the end of season spectacle, which often delivers drama right until the last. The championship will also celebrate it’s 30th anniversary, with a special windscreen banner to commemorate the milestone.
GT3: Loggie looks set to win through in four-way tussle for GT3 honours
After several near-misses, Ian Loggie looks set to finally net himself the GT3 crown, the RAM Racing Mercedes driver a comfortable 24.5 points clear of second-placed Adam Balon and Sandy Mitchell in the Barwell-run Lamborghini.
Also, still mathematically in contention are James Cottingham and Lewis Williamson’s 2 Seas Mercedes and the Enduro Motorsport McLaren of Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton, setting up a four-way shootout for the championship’s ultimate prize.
Crucially, Loggie will compete handicap-free after the results of Brands Hatch last time out, whilst a 15-second success penalty for Balon and Mitchell courtesy of finishing second presents a further obstacle. Oh, and Loggie has Mercedes factory driver Jules Gounon in the seat alongside him.
Gounon’s part-season campaign means neither he nor Loggie’s other stand-in team-mate, Callum McLeod, will be able to share the overall title, but the rapid Frenchman is sure to have a part to play in the on-track action.
Balon and Mitchell will be looking to use their experience from title deciders past to overhaul the pre-event favourites, but will also have to be wary of the threat 2 Seas and Enduro pose behind.
GT4: Three-way showdown for the GT4 crown
Unlike GT4, the picture between the three remaining title contenders is far closer. Currently out front is Newbridge Motorsport’s Aston Martin, driven by Matt Topham and Darren Turner.
They have a handy 12.5-point lead over nearest rivals Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding in the Stellar Motorsport-run Audi, with an additional eight points back the third-placed car of Josh Miller and Jamie Day (R Racing Aston Martin).
The cards are stacked in Topham and Turner’s favour, to a degree, with Williams and Fielding due to spend an extra 21 seconds stationary at their pit stop as a result of recent successes. But Williams and Fielding have an enviable qualifying record, so their Audi is a strong bet to start up front, and in position to strike should the Aston Martin hit trouble.
For Miller and Day, a podium finish is an absolute must to stand any hope of seizing the honours and, should the teenage pair achieve it, they will be the youngest crew to ever do so, smashing the existing record held by Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton.
GB3 Championship: Browning versus Granfors in three-race shootout
Both Hitech GP’s Luke Browning and Fortec Motorsport’s Joel Granfors make the trip to Donington Park this weekend for a three-race shootout to decide the 2022 GB3 Championship.
The pendulum has swung back and forth between the pair all season long, but a double podium for Browning at Brands Hatch last time out has given him the upper hand, and a 16.5-point lead over Granfors heading to Leicestershire.
Browning has more victories than any other driver this season – five, to be specific – and is looking to add the GB3 title to his ROKiT British F4 crown won in 2020, ironically with Granfors’ Fortec squad.
“It’s absolutely crucial, it could be the time where I’m crowned double British champion, and for me, that would be an insane achievement,” says Browning. “To be a double British champion would be a dream and I don’t know of any other driver that’s done that in recent years, so what a dream that would be.
“I’d just like to bring it home for the team, they’ve worked so hard. The pace has been really strong all year and hopefully it will give me the step up I need to become a professional racing driver.”
For Sweden’s Granfors, a real epitome of consistency throughout the campaign, the trip to Donington ranks as one of the most important weekends of his career.
“Donington is going to be one of the most important weekends of my career, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun either if I win it or not,” said Granfors.
“I’m trying to stick to a business as usual approach, otherwise I will just think too much, I think.
“I’m not too nervous at the moment, maybe that will change once we get into the final day, I guess we will see but I will just have to do my best and I think that will be enough.”
GB4 Championship: Taylor in command heading to season finale
Nikolas Taylor stands just three races away from winning his first single seater title, and in his debut year of competition.
The Anglo-Malaysian made the graduation from karting at the turn of the year and has gone on to claim 9 of the 21 race victories on offer to-date this season in GB4, giving him a 31-point lead over Max Marzorati with a theoretical 74 on offer across the three contests this weekend.
“I’m feeling really good,” says Fortec Motorsport driver Taylor. “I had a quick trip to the Lake District to keep my mind off it but now I’m straight back to focusing on the job ahead.”
“The nine wins are a good stat to have but with how fast we’ve been this season, I think we should have more. But it is my first season racing ever, and I think it’s a good accomplishment. I’m looking to add to it at the last round!”
Also still mathematically in contention are Jarrod Waberski, Tom Mills and Jack Sherwood, but they will need a sizeable swing on the duo ahead to seal the coveted crown.
Follow the action…
To follow the British GT Championship live on Sunday, head to SRO’s GTWorld YouTube channel, with the GB3 and GB4 action similarly broadcast on MSV TV.