The British driver, who made his name in esports before taking up a seat in the 2020 British GT championship for the Jenson Button/Bob Neville Team Rocket RJN outfit, took victory by just over a second from real and virtual team-mate Michael O’Brien, though he was certainly made to work for it this time out at Brands Hatch.
Pole-sitter for the third round was Jody Fannin, in the Ferrari, who managed to beat Baldwin to the line by a tenth. However, Sandy Mitchell’s third-place Lamborghini experienced issues on the warm-up lap and had to start from the pits, leaving a handy gap for O’Brien who took maximum advantage and snatched second from Baldwin in the opening exchanges.
While British GT has seen some questionable first corners in the opening two races, Paddock Hill and Druids were largely clean. Race one winner Angus Fender was squeezed wide exiting Druids but recovered to fifth, but team-mate Ben Green ended up staring at the barriers on the Cooper Straight after door-to-door contact with Morgan Short’s McLaren.
Fannin’s lead only lasted the first lap before O’Brien set up a pass that lasted from Paddock Hill to Surtees. At the same time the third McLaren of Alex Buncombe nipped past Baldwin to drop the favourite to fourth. That was how things remained until the lead pack caught up with the GT4s. O’Brien carved through largely unaffected, but Baldwin was able to sneak back past Buncombe and both caught up onto Fannin’s rear wing – but with that extra 30kg on board, Baldwin couldn’t complete a pass.
With the pit window open, Baldwin made the earliest stop he possibly could, and Buncombe dived in right behind him, but the two had very different stops with Buncombe losing some seven seconds to his team-mate in the pits. O’Brien followed suit, with Fannin the last of the lead four to pit and coming out behind both McLarens. That set up a 30-minute chase to the flag, with Baldwin gradually reeling in O’Brien ahead despite the ballast disadvantage. From a four-second gap over Fannin at his stop, it soon became less than a second to Baldwin, but the two seemed content to run nose-to-tail.
Baldwin was perhaps biding his time, but an opportunity soon presented itself. As O’Brien went to pass the GT4 McLaren of Philipp Engmann, he found his path through Stirlings blocked. That was all the excuse Baldwin needed to send it up the inside of the pair of them and into the lead. Sporting less success ballast, O’Brien would have been hopeful of finding a way back past, but his luck with the GT4 cars almost immediately repeated itself. One lap later O’Brien tripped over the Alpine A110 of Michael Kundakcioglu in Clark Curve as the unsighted GT4 car shut the door on him, losing a second to Baldwin. Buncombe, still running fourth, was having a worse time, picking up a 20-second stop-go penalty for battering clean through Manuel Rodriguez’s KTM X-Bow.
While O’Brien could keep in touch with Baldwin, he wasn’t able to make enough progress as the time ran out, and Baldwin took his second successive win in the series. Fannin was only 2.5 seconds further back in third, while Short inherited fourth after a five second penalty for Fender.