James Baldwin and Michael O’Brien have put themselves in prime position for race 1 of the British GT double header at Donington Park this weekend.
Throughout practice the cars didn’t have the strongest of pace it seemed, sitting way down the pack in both sessions. Combined times for practice 1 and 2 we saw them them the slowest of all GT3 runners with a quickest time of 1:28.974, this was 1.971 seconds slower than the quickest time from Joe Osbourne also in a Mclaren this weekend for an appearance from Balfe Motorsport. Throughout practice it did seem the car didn’t have the pace and all seemed a little lost for the but as it goes RJN must’ve had this all in the plan and the drivers delivered when it counted.
With the new condensed British GT calendar we see a new race format and also qualifying format to go with it. The first session for both classes will help decided the grid for race 1 whilst the second qualifying for both classes combines with the first session to set the grid whilst also setting the get for race 2 with those times. It all sounds confusing but is actually really simple and a nice twist to qualifying.
James Baldwin topped the times in style in the first session, the top six cars we covered by a second but it could’ve been closer if Baldwin didn’t set a spectacular time 0.5 seconds quicker than anyone else in the session with a 1:27.097. Nearest to him was Ollie Wilkinson in the Optimum Motorsport McLaren with a 1:27.596. Third quickest was another Mclaren from 2Seas Motorsport, Agues Fender onboard setting a 1:27.734.
In the second qualifying Michael O’Brien had his work cut out against some of these pro’s but did what he needed to take pole. O’Brien was 0.6 seconds behind the quickest time but combined was 0.1 quicker than anyone else.
Baldwin and O’Brien on pole position for Race 1 with #78 of Barwell Lamborghini of Rob Collard and Sandy Mitchell alongside them. Third position is the #3 RAM Racing of Sam De Haan and Patrick Kujala with the #4 2 Seas Motorsport completing the second row of the grid for Race 1.
The Race 2 Grid was set in the second session and the Pro Drivers were topped by Joe Osbourne in his Mclaren 720S for Balfe Motorsport with a 1:26.584. The quickest time of anyone all day. Here’s the rest of the qualifying results from session 2