Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha won the second race of the GT4 European Series weekend at Brands Hatch in fine fashion, thanks in part to a well-timed pit stop during a safety car period. It was no less than the two youngsters deserved after a thoroughly dominant weekend. Even with a BoP adjustment on Saturday evening adding 30kg to their car and a time penalty for a pit stop that was too quick in race 1, robbing them of victory, the HHC Motorsport runners made all of their efforts count in a mesmerising race.
Despite starting from pole and leading the opening laps, Tregurtha soon found himself dropping down the order as faster cars pushed him down to 4th after 11 laps. Amongst them was another Brit – Matt Nicoll Jones – who charged through to take the lead four laps later. It was a sterling drive from the Academy Motorsport man, but their luck was to run out mid-race due to the safety car. Most of the leaders suffered by pitting a little too late as normal racing resumed not long before the pit window closed. It meant that at the restart, Nicoll-Jones’ partner – Fiona James – had it all to do and ended up finishing in 28th.
Meanwhile, having been one of the first cars to make a drive change, Middleton took the reins from Tregurtha and put on a fine show once the safety car shackles were loosened. In the end, after approximately 13 laps of running, the #55 Ginetta finished nearly eight seconds ahead of Simon Knap in the BMW.
The other HHC Ginetta started well from second on the grid with Will Burns at the wheel, maintaining a top six place before inheriting the lead under the safety car. Mike Newbould took over just as the safety car was about to come in, which led to a disappointing finish down in 33rd.
Of the other Brits in the race, the most notable drive came from Andy Meyrick, who charged up from 19th on the grid to 7th before pitting, with team-mate Stephen Pattrick rounding out the race for Bullitt Racing in 23rd. JM Littman rounded the day in 30th place, while Paul Rees endured rotten luck as his McLaren spent the early part of the race in the pits leading to a lowly 40th, two laps down.
Finlay Hutchison was a non-starter in this race following the shocking crash of teammate Ricardo van der Ende in race one. Joe Osborne and David Pattison found themselves on the receiving end of a front ride height penalty, forcing them to the back of the grid in both races. They did not start the second race.
- British Driver of the Race:
Despite some fierce competition from partner Will Tregurtha and Aston Martin man Matt Nicoll-Jones, Middleton turned on the style again with a metronomic stint to ensure HHC finished the weekend with the glory they truly deserved.