18 April 2019
John Seale and Jamie Stanley christened JMH Automative’s new Lamborghini Huracan with its maiden race victory in the weekend’s thrilling second GT Cup Championship endurance race from Donington Park.
Championship stalwart Seale previously raced a Ferrari in the championship, but tasted success this time in Lamborghini colours along with Saturday’s double winner, Richard Chamberlain, who claimed the sprint race after a feisty battle with Gareth Downing’s Mosler.
There were double victories for Team HARD in both GTH and GTA, Sam Randon returning the series with rapid youngster Joshua Jackson to win the former, while William Phillips and Ryan Harper-Ellam battled to two triumphs of their own. Warren Gilbert sealed a superb GTB double, while GTC wins went to FF Corse and Team Webb.
The second 15-minute qualifying session of the weekend featured an almighty scrap between Chamberlain and the National Motorsport Academy Mosler. The latter grabbed the advantage with Downing at the wheel, only to miss out to Chamberlain’s late flyer that was 0.029s quicker. Seale shone in the Lamborghini Huracan, qualifying third having led early for JMH Automotive.
A lightning start for Downing gave the Mosler the early advantage as the field headed into Redgate for the first time, Chamberlain in hot pursuit. The Porsche soon had the lead back after scything up the inside heading into the same right-hander several laps later, Downing dropping back with mechanical problems in the second half of the 25-minute race.
While Chamberlain was victorious overall and in GTO, the Group GTC honours went the way of James Webb for the second time at Donington Park as the team’s new Lamborghini Huracan continued to improve.
Group GTA was won by William Phillips after a thrilling scrap with the similar Ginetta G55 of Grahame Tilley, twice trading places in the closing minutes of the race. Phillips’ Team HARD team-mate Randon made it a double for the squad by winning GTH, while GTB was dominated by the giant-killing Marcos Mantis of Gilbert.
An intense dice for the win throughout kept the attentions of onlooking fans, with Dan Gibson making his McLaren wide enough to fend off a charging Chamberlain early on. The latter made his move briefly, but settled for third overall as Gibson extended his cushion.
What followed was a charge from third-placed Stanley in the bright green Lamborghini Huracan, taking over from Seale and soon grabbing the overall and GTO win late in the 50-minute contest from Gibson, after a string of fastest laps.
Another late charger was Adam Carroll, who took over Laki Christoforou’s Ferrari 488 Challenge and gave chase to James Webb in the lead GTC Lamborghini before snatching group honours around the outside under braking for Redgate. Gilbert continued his fine form with another lights-to-flag win in GTB meanwhile, even batting off the attentions of GTC Ferraris in the Marcos.
It proved another successful outing for Team HARD, as both their Ginetta G55s were victorious. Harper-Ellam and Phillips fended off Tilley’s charge in GTA, while series returnee Randon was joined by Joshua Jackson in the GTH-winning car as they fought off the Mclaren 570 of JMH Automative.
“It was good. The team had done a great job, Jamie has done a wonderful job and everything has gone well. The car has been fantastic, and I’m really enjoying myself out there.”
“You have to be right on it because the boys are all doing a good job out there. You can’t just hang around, you’ve got to drive flat-out to try and catch them at the end there. It was a good race, and in each one you have the challenge of backmarkers and all sorts of cars to cope with. I couldn’t get away from them, but it was close, a good race and a good weekend to share with Laki. It’s good to get back out there, and we look forward to the next one.”
“It’s been really good, and in the sprint races I’ve had a couple of good overall finishes. In the endurance it’s always a tough one because I’m on my own and a lot of pro drivers are taking part, so we did the best could. In the first stint, I had a dice with a few of the Ferraris and it was pressure, pressure, pressure. Both of them went off – I was laughing so much to myself. Really good weekend.”
“There’s more cars on the grid this year which is great news, and what a way to come back to GT Cup. I’m with Josh who has driven great this weekend. Josh hasn’t driven since a year ago, so for him to come straight in and be on the pace is phenomenal. We hope to be out there for the full season, and we’ll get there through a good team effort.”
“Graham Tilley has been really quick all day, so we knew it would be a disadvantage to us today having to use older tyres. We knew he would be quick, but in morning warm-up we found a set-up that worked for us and then adjusted the balance in qualifying. Will did a mega job in his sprint race to bring it home first, and it was then just about tyre management in the endurance race after that.”
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