At a wet and cold Snetterton, victory in the first of the two one-hour sprint races, comprising Round Seven of the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship went to the #10 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 driven by Jordan Collard and, taking the chequered flag, Jack Mitchell.
Jack Mitchell crossed the line 7.790 seconds ahead of Sandy Mitchell in the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 he shared with Rob Collard.
Taking the final podium position was the #96 Optimum Motorsport McLaren piloted by Ollie Wilkinson and Leis Proctor, Wilkinson losing second place on the line to the #78 car.
Second place for the #78 Lamborghini means that Mitchell and Collard have now closed the gap to De Haan and Kujala to just one point in the GT3 drivers championship standings.
The #97 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 driven by Jamie Caroline and Daniel Vaughan took the win in the GT4 class, Caroline crossing the line 17.536 seconds ahead of Patrik Matthiesen in the #58 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 he shared with Jordan Collard. .
Patrick Kibble and Daniel Vaughan, sharing the driving duties in the #95 Aston Martin, completed the top three in the GT4 category.
Sam De Haan, behind the wheel of the #69 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, led the field away from the grid for a start behind the safety car due to the atrocious conditions. The rain had already caused the withdrawal of the #8 Team ABBA Racing Mercedes after Richard Neary went off during the morning warm-up. The team hoped to get the car out for Race Two later in the afternoon.
The #9 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren driven by Dean Macdonald stopped on the warm-up lap as the remainder of the grid went to the start line. Macdonald was due to start from fourth and was given the opportunity to start from the pit lane if the car could be repaired.
After three laps behind the Safety Car, and concern that tyre temperatures were too low, racing got underway.
Adam Balon in the#72 Lamborghini spun on the first green flag lap, dropping the championship contender down to 11th overall.
Jordan Witt in the #10 McLaren immediately put pressure on Rob Collard in the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini for second place and, after four laps, had moved into the lead with Lewis Proctor in the #96 Optimum Motorsport McLaren in second.
By Lap 10, Witt had mastered the conditions and put in the quickest lap of the race, pulling out a gap of nearly two seconds ahead of Lewis Proctor.
Nick Jones in the #66 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 had an off- track excursion after nearly 29 minutes of racing but recovered to rejoin at the back of the GT3 field.
As the pit window opened, the RAM Racing Mercedes were first in, Patrick Kujala taking over the #69 car that had a 10-second success penalty to serve.
After the driver changes had cycled through, the lead continued to held by the #10 McLaren, now with Jack Mitchell at the wheel, with Ollie Wilkinson in the #96 car 2.756 seconds behind.
Andrea Caldarelli, now driving the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini, showed why he was the 2019 Blancpain GT Series champion by immediately setting the fastest lap of the race with a 2:08.155.
Yelmer Buurman was working hard to put pressure on championship leader Patrick Kujala in the #69 car and on lap 16, the #6 Mercedes had passed the sister #69 car for fourth place.
As the race entered its final third, Jack Mitchell was pulling out a gap to Ollie Wilkinson and, by Lap 18, was over 3.5 seconds ahead of the #96 McLaren. Sandy Mitchell’s #78 Lamborghini was 16 seconds further back.
As the race entered its final laps, the closest on-track battle was between Patrik Kujala in the #69 Mercedes and Andrea Caldarelli in the #18 Lamborghini for fifth place, the Italian factory driver pushing hard to find a way past. Caldarelli made a last-ditch effort on the final lap but Kujala defended well and the #18 car was unable to find a way past.
Sandy Mitchell closed up to Ollie Wilkinson on the final lap and took second place on the line.
2 Seas Motorsport’s Jack Mitchell and Jordan Witt were delighted to have taken the team’s first win in the premier domestic GT series.
“The car felt really good in my stint”, said Jordan Witt. “It was a really good race. I felt like I just controlled it.”
“Jordan did an amazing job to start with and made my life a little bit easier,” said Jack Mitchell. “Towards the end I managed to pull a nice gap to Ollie which gave me some breathing room. I just maintained the gap and brought it home for the win. I can’t thank the team enough!”
HHC Motorsport held on to the first and second position after six laps, Jordan Collard in the #58 McLaren leading Gus Bowers in the sister #57 car nearly 3.5 seconds behind. Daniel Vaughan in the #97 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 was in third and putting pressure on Bowers for second.
After the driver changes had been completed, Jamie Caroline in the #97 Aston Martin held the class lead and, with 12 minutes remaining, was over 11 seconds ahead of Patrik Matthiesen’s #58 McLaren. Chris Wesemael in the sister #57 car was in third but was under pressure from Patrick Kibble in the #95 TF Sport entry.
Kibble passed Wesemael on lap 23 and set about chasing down Matthiesen for second. The TF Sport pilot pushed hard but had to settle for the final podium position in class.
Race Two for the Intelligent Money British GT Championship gets underway at 13:55.