James Baldwin has also wrapped up a title with a round to spare, putting in a dominant performance at a wet Silverstone to win the British GT Esports title.
Despite running maximum success ballast, Baldwin took the pole position ahead of McLaren team-mate Alex Buncombe, by more than half a second, and then just drove away from everyone at the front of the field in possibly the quietest victory in his life.
Angus Fender, Baldwin’s nearest challenger with Jody Fannin absent, sneaked past Buncombe at race start, but ultimately the BMW was short on performance on the wet circuit and merely acted to hold up Buncombe and Sandy Mitchell through the first half of the race.
Buncombe had to catch a slide in the 720S which allowed Mitchell past, but the Lamborghini driver later picked up a drive-through penalty for an awkward contact with the GT4 of Samir Ibraimi. After catching up with Fender, Buncombe took an earlier pit stop and undercut the BMW, emerging with a second’s advantage.
Baldwin was untouchable at the front, winning by over 20 seconds from his team-mate, who in turn was 13 seconds ahead of Fender. This third successive win – and he had crossed the line first at Oulton Park too, but placed second after a penalty – sealed the championship for the former World’s Fastest Gamer.
In GT4 Jack McIntyre put in an equally dominant performance to take, at last, his first win of the season. McIntyre had led every race so far, but poor pit stops had prevented him from taking a victory before now. There were no such troubles at Silverstone, as McIntyre led the class on the road from start to finish in the Porsche Cayman to win by some 24 seconds.
Championship leader Nils Naujoks, carrying maximum success ballast, could only qualify in ninth but survived a first-lap scare when the GT3s of Jack Lemmer and Gus Burton collided through the first turn, to finish in fourth for vital points. That was helped along by an oversight from Florian Hasse in the McLaren 570S who finished fourth on the road but took a penalty for a pit-stop infringement – Hasse failed to take on the required minimum one litre of fuel in the mandatory stop.
This will see the GT4 class championship decided at the final race of the season in two weeks at Donington Park. Naujoks holds the lead by ten points, but has the benefit of no ballast while McIntyre will have the full 30kg.
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