21 April 2018
After a fantastic battle for around two-thirds of the race, Gary Smith took the Group GTA victory in race two at Donington Park. Tom Webb had held the spot from the start but fell back into Smith’s clutches before losing out on the penultimate lap.
“I can’t remember driving like that for a long time!” said Smith. “The M3 through the corners and on the brakes is fantastic. I got past him at one point and had a moment and had a box full of neutrals, but he backed off and the next thing I was back with him. Topcats are fantastic and James is a fantastic race partner, so what can I say?!”
At the front of the field Dan Gibson swept past Nigel Hudson’s Aston Martin and Gareth Downing’s Mosler to take the lead halfway around the opening lap, a spot he would not relinquish to the flag in the McLaren 650S GT3. “I’ve only driven it twice!” said Gibson. “The car had only done 45 minutes before the weekend.
“I got a good start and thought ‘that Mosler ain’t getting away’. He left the door open at the Old Hairpin and you don’t do that in front of me – I’ll be down there like a rabbit in a hat! I did what I usually do: try and break them in the first three laps. If I can get away I can set the pace. The boys told me the gaps, so I brought it home for tomorrow. It was a nice race.”
Warren Gilbert enjoyed a battle with the Webb BMW for several laps before pulling past en route to a comfortable Group GTB victory for Topcats Racing and its Marcos Mantis. “My co-driver has just come out from retirement, so I knew it was going to be hard from the back,” said Gilbert.
“I know the Webb’s have downgraded the car, but it is a mental thing and I knew I had to get past. The team have done a brilliant job all weekend, it’s a good start to the season. My car has a first and a second and Gary’s car has a first and second as well.”
Sam Randon followed team-mate Freddy Nordstrom’s lead from race one, pulling clear of fellow GTH runners and scoring a debut victory in the Ebor 23 Maserati GT4. “It was one of the most frustrating races of my life to be honest!” said Randon.
“I caught the tail end of a car from another Group and it had more straight-line speed. I was all over him in the corners but couldn’t touch him on the straights. I’m really pleased with the result, it’s a cracking first weekend in GT Cup, and a massive thank you to the Ebor guys and my sponsors Twincentric.”
Third overall and leader of Group GTC was Michael Igoe, capping a fantastic start to the season for the JMH Automotive driver. “It’s been a great weekend with great racing and I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” said Igoe. “I thought we were in for some interesting weather and was looking forward to getting the wets on! JMH have done a massive job and Adam Wilcox has done brilliantly as a coach so I couldn’t ask for any more.”
1 – Daniel Gibson – Gibson Motorsport (McLaren 650S GT3)
2 – Nigel Hudson – HUD Motorsport / JMH Automotive (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
3 – Gareth Downing – National Motorsport Academy (Mosler MT900)
1 – Michael Igoe – JMH Automotive (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Gen 2)
2 – Paul Bailey – Horse Power Racing / SB Race Engineering (Ferrari 488 Challenge)
3 – Shamus Jennings – G-Cat Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Gen 1)
1 – Warren Gilbert – Topcats Racing (Marcos Mantis)
2 – Pete Parsons – Welch Motorsport (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Gen 1)
3 – Nick Barrow – Saxon Motorsport (BMW 150 GTR)
1 – Sam Randon – Ebor 23 (Maserati Granturismo GT4)
2 – Chris Murphy – Whitebridge Motorsport (Aston Martin Vantage GT4)
1 – Gary Smith – Topcats Racing (Ginetta G55)
2 – Tom Webb – Team Webb (BMW M3 GTR)