Scott Malvern and, taking the chequered flag, Nick Jones, driving the #66 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3, won Race Two, round four of the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship in mixed conditions at Donington Park.
Jones crossed the line over 13 seconds ahead of the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 piloted by Phil keen and, driving the second stint, Adam Balon.
Completing the overall top three was the #10 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 in which Jordan Witt and Jack Mitchell shared the driving duties.
Victory in the GT4 class went to the #57 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 of Chris Wesemael and Gus Bowers, Wesemael crossing the line ahead of Mia Flewitt in the #21 Balfe Motorsport McLaren. Completing the top three in class and making it a 1-2-3 for the Woking marque was the sister HHC Motorsport entry, the #58 McLaren driven by Patrik Matthiesen and Jordan Collard.
As the start time for the one-hour race approached, improving track conditions meant that teams had a difficult choice between starting the race on wets or taking the gamble that the improvement would continue and going out on slick rubber.
Although the treaded tyre seemed the correct choice at the start, within minutes both Scott Malvern in the #66 Bentley and Joe Osborne in the #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 had passed Jack Mitchell in the #10 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren and were starting to pull out an advantage.
When the pit-window opened, Malvern and Osborne stayed out for as long as they could before handing to teammates Nick Jones and Stewart proctor.
Once the driver changes had cycled through, Jones in the #66 Bentley could begin to build a gap to second-placed Stewart Proctor with the less experienced Balfe Motorsports driver being hunted down by Adam Balon in the #72 Lamborghini.
Balon passed Proctor for second place with ten minutes remaining, allowing the McLaren pilot to fall back into the clutches of Jorden Wit in the #10 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren and Proctor’s son Lewis in the #96 Optimum Motorsport entry.
In the closing minutes, Jones backed off to ensure there were no final lap mishaps and brought the #66 Bentley home for the maiden win for the pairing.
Jones admitted that his stint had been demanding.
“He (Scott Malvern) threw the dice (by starting on slicks). Scott drove a mega stint!” said Nick Jones. “I need to work out what the buttons on the steering wheel do because (the team) were telling to adjust the TC and I was doing the ABS! I learned in the end because the team kept saying the same thing. I don’t know what my pace was, but it was pretty slippery out there.”
Both the #57 HHC Motorsport McLaren and the #21 Balfe Motorsport entry opted to start the one-hour contest from the pitlane after choosing to fit dry weather tyres, a gamble that would pay off handsomely for them both.
Sam Smelt in the #23 Speedworks Motorsport Toyota GR Supra GT4 led the GT4 field in early laps, passing the pole-sitting #58 HHC Motorsport in the opening minutes.
As track conditions improved, the decision by Balfe Motorsport to fit slicks paid off and Euan Hankey was seconds faster than the rest of the field. By lap nine, Gus Bowers had also moved the #57 car into second in class.
After the driver changes, Wesemael, now at the wheel of the #57 McLaren, had a 35-second deficit to Mia Flewitt in the #21 car. Wesemael had the pace on the Balfe Motorsport driver and passed Flewitt for the lead in the closing minutes. Flewitt held on for second place, and the GT4 Pro-Am win with Patrik Matthiesen in the #58 HHC Motorsport entry in third.
In the championship standings, Adam Balon and Phil Keen head the overall drivers championship, the Barwell Motorsport pairing now 11 points clear of the #69 RAM Racing duo of Sam De Haan and Patrick Kujala. Barwell Motorsport’s #68 pairing of Rob Collard and Sandy Mitchell lie third in the table on 53 points.
TF Sport crews lead the GT4 drivers standings with the #97 duo of Daniel Vaughan and Jamie Caroline leading Connor O’Brien and Patrik Kibble by 8.5 points.
The 2020 Intelligent Money British Gt Championship grid next assembles at Brands Hatch on August 29 – 30.