Jenson Team Rocket RJN’s Baldwin And O’Brien Take Third Pole Of Season At Donington. (19.09.20)

James Baldwin and Michael O’Brien, teammates in the #2 Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren 720S GT3, took pole position at Donington Park for Sunday’s three-hour enduro for Round Six of the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship. The #2 driving duo produced an aggregate time of 2:54.800 with Baldwin lapping in 1:27.511 and O’Brien putting in a 1:27.289.

Joining the #2 entry on the front row of the 24-car grid will be the #69 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 after Sam De Haan put in a 1:27.702 and Patrick Kujala lapped in 1:27.163 to produce an aggregate time of 2:54.866, just .065 seconds behind the pole-sitting entry.

Completing the overall top three was the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in which Adam Balon and Phil Keen produced an aggregate time of 1:26.715.

Class pole position in the GT4 category went to the #61 Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang, Matt Cowley lapping in 1:35.394 and Jordan Albert setting a 1:34.697 resulting in an aggregate time of 3:10.091.

Second on the GT4 grid will be the #58 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 which was just .071 seconds behind the pole-sitting #61 entry, Patrick Matthiesen and Jordan Collard sharing the driving duties.

Qualifying for GT3 Am drivers got underway in warm and dry conditions for the first of the four ten-minute sessions. There was a delay for the #26 Ultimate Speed Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 which remained in the garage with the bonnet up as James Baldwin in the #2 McLaren continued to show his pace with a 1:27.882 on his first flying lap.

Drivers championship leader Rob Collard in the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 was nearly eight tenths of a second behind Baldwin’s provisional pole time was just over three minutes remaining. Collard improved and finished sixth on the timing screens at the end of the first session.

2 Seas Motorsport continued to be plagued with gremlins as Jordan Witt returned the #10 McLaren 720S GT3 to the garage with a wheel problem.

Sam De Haan”s time of 1:27.702 in the #69 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 was sufficient to go second quickest while Angus Fender consolidated third place with a 1:27.834 in the #9 McLaren.

The second GT3 session saw Michael O’Brien set a 1:30.136 on his first flying lap, immediately relegating the #2 McLaren to sixth on the grid. O’Brien improved with a 1:27.482 to briefly take provisional pole before Phil Keen put in a 1:26.715 to top the aggregate timings in the #78 Lamborghini.

O’brien improved again which put the #2 McLaren ahead of the #72 Lamborghini by .147 seconds. With just two minutes remaining, it looked as if O’Brien had done enough to take pole.

In the final seconds, Patrick Kujala put in a 1:2.163 in the #69 RAM Racing Mercedes to go second quickest on aggregate.

GT4:

Patrick Kibble in the #95 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage MR GT4 set the early pace in the first of the GT4 sessions, Kibble putting in a 1:35.221 before the 17-year-old pitted early to hand over to teammate Connor O’Brien.

Patrick Mathiesen was second quickest in the first GT4 session with a 1:35.361 in the #58 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4. Of the two Pro/Am entries, Mia Flewitt in the #21 Balfe Motorsport McLaren was just under half a second quicker than Jan Klingelnberg in the sister #22 car.

There was drama for the #23 Speedworks Motorsport Toyota GR Supra GT4 as the second session got underway. An unidentified brake issue caused the car to remain in the garage and Kell took no part in the session.

Jordan Collard’s 1:34.828 in the #58 McLaren was sufficient to take provisional pole in class as the session reached the halfway mark. Collard headed for the pits with three minutes remaining just as Jordan Albert set purple sector times to snatch provisional pole in the #61 Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang with an aggregate time of 3:10.091.

The session was red-flagged with a minute and a half remaining and was not restarted after Daniel Vaughan put the #97 TF Sport Aston Martin in the gravel at the Melbourne Hairpin.

Round Six of the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship gets underway at 12:45 on Sunday September 20.