GT CUP: Team Abba Racing and WPI Motorsport GT Cup Opener

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Team Abba and WPI Motorsport shared top honours in the GT Cup at Donington Park. Image courtesy of the GT Cup Championship.

The first race of the new GT Cup campaign saw Team Abba Racing and WPI Motorsport reigns supreme at Donington Park.

Saturday Practice – Team Abba Set the Early Pace

With perfect weather conditions Bright / Dry the cars exited the pit’s for the 15 minute practice session.

The #4 Nissan Nismo GTR GT3 of Grahame Tilley and Will Tregurtha were the early pace setters after setting a lap time of 1:07.523, closely follow by the #18 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Michael Igoe and Phil Keen who posted at time of 1:07.617, with the #96  Lamborghini Super Trofeo of Chirs Kemp and Stuart Hall in 3rd.

With four minutes to the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini jumped to the top of the times with a lap of 1:06.772 to go three quarters of a second clear at the top.

What a lap:

With just over two minutes remaining the #88 Team Abba Racing’s Mercedes AMG GT3 came out the pits and produced at stunning lap to storm to the top of the timing sheets with a lap of 1:06.116 to go 0.656 clear at the top.

#247 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Lucky Khera moves upto 3rd with a lap of 1:06.860

Topcats Racing’s #9 Lamborghini Super Trofeo finishes the session in 12th place 1:11.086.

  • Qualifying delayed due to a recovery!!
  • Incident between cars 28 and 18 to be investigated after qualifying!!

Qualifying – Neary in a Class of his Own

First out the pit’s is the #6 Greystone GT Mclaren 570s GT4, followed by John Seale in the #55 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and the #5 Porsche 935 of Richard Chamberlain.

A purple in sector one for Seale in the Lamborghini who completes the lap with a time of 1:07.383 with the #5 Porsche of Chamberlain slots into second with a time of 1:07.522 0.139 slower.

The #9 Topcat Racing’s Lamborghini puts in a banker lap of 1:11.946.

#55 Lamborghini of Seale improves his time on his second lap with a time of 1:06.149 and Chamberlain in the #5 Porsche also improves his time on his second lap 1:06.220.

After having a lap time taken away due exceeding track limits Sam Neary produces a stunning lap of 1:04.557 to jump way clear at the top of the time sheets!!

#36 McLaren 720s of Stuart Proctor move up to 4th with a time of 1:06.783 and the #18 Lamborghini of Michael Igoe takes 5th with a time of 1:07.220.

With seven minutes to the #61 Lamborghini John Dhillon gets in the mix to go 4th with a time of 1:06.445 and then goes 2nd with a time of 1:06.148

Grahame Tilley in the #4 Nissan Nismo GTR GT3 jumps to 6th place in the standings.

The #55 Lamborghini of Seale and the #247 Lamborghini of Khera move up to 2nd and 3rd with a minute to go.

POLE POSITION CLASSES:

GT3 – #88 Team Abba Racing

GTO – #55 JMH Automotive Ltd

GTC – #9 Topcats Racing

GTB – #34 Team Hard Racing

GTA – #67 Orange powered by JMH Automotive Ltd

GTH – #52 Deranged Motorsport.

  • SB Race Engineering has a technical issue with the Brabham and decide to race their #28 Ferrari 488 instead and also have to decide whether to race the Brabham or Ferrari at the next rounds at Brands Hatch.
  • #66 starts at the back of race one due to a car change.
  • #3 starts 36th dues to earlier problems.

Race one – Sprint Race:

Richard Neary produces a stunning drive to win race one despite the interuption of the safety car!!

Lights Out!! A great start from Richard Neary and John Seale at the front, who both touch going into Redgate with Neary’s #88 Mercedes taking the lead.

The rest of the field manage to get round Redgate ok.

Later round the opening lap the Lamborghini’s #55 of Seale & #247 of Khera have a coming together at Starkeys Bridge and drop from 2nd and 3rd down to 17th and 36th.

#41 Lamborghini of Fraser Smart has a spin at Roberts at the end of the opening lap.

Lap 3 #88 Neary has opened up a gap of 5.8 seconds ahead of the #5 Chamberlain & #61 Dhillon.

Fastest lap by #88 Neary 1:06.078

#7 Radical of Steve Burgess spins at Redgate and manages to get out of the gravel.

There’s a great battle building for 2nd place between cars #5, #61, #18, #4, #36 with the #5 of Chamberlain just holding on, but for how long?

Theres also a good start to the race by the #9 Topcat Racing’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo driven by Jensen Lunn, who is now up to 8th place.

Lap 6 #18 of Igoe takes #61 of Dhillon for 3rd place and is soon on the tail of the #5 of Chamberlain and then makes his move at Coppice to move to 2nd.

Another fastest lap by #88 Neary 1:05.901

#34 Team Hard Racing Porsche of Sam Randon loses it and spins on to gravel at Craner Curves and out of the race.

New fastest lap by #18 Igoe 1:05.616

#28 Ferrari 488 of Paul Bailey comes into the pits, a bit battered and bruised.

SAFETY CAR is out on lap 9 because of the #34 Porsche in the gravel and the safety car picks up the car in 23rd place and not the leader!!

Safety car waves by the back markers so he can pick up the leader and after one more lap the safety car is in the pits at the end of lap 11.

At the restart its very close between #88 Neary and #18 Igoe, but its the #88 Mercedes that is in the lead coming out of redgate.

After spinning on the opening lap & dropping to 17th the #55 of John Seale is now up to 7th and soon joins the battle for 3rd place when the #5 Porsche of Chamberlain slows and starts dropping down the order.

Another fastest lap for #88 Neary 1:04.966 and with four minutes to go the leader has opened up a lead of 1.7 seconds.

The #96 Lamborghini of Chris Kemp loses a wheel and is off at Coppice and far enough into the gravel for no safety car in the remaining minutes.

#55 of Seale moves up to 4th on lap 17 as the #88 of Neary take three back markers going into Redgate

Lap 19 and final lap, #88 Neary has a lead of 4.7 seconds over the #18 of Igoe but eases at the end of the lap to take the win by 1.6 seconds.

Drama on the final lap as the #55 of Seale collides with a back marker at Roberts and spins dropping him down the field to be classified 23rd.

A special mention for Charlotte Gilbert in the Topcat Racings Marcos Mantis, starting 36th and finishes 19th and GTB class winner!!

#247 Lucky Khera was dead last at the end of lap one and finished 6th overall!!

TOP THREE:

1st – #88 Team Abba Racing, 2nd – #18 WPI Motorsport, 3rd – #4 Triple M Motorsport / Tec serv uk.

  • Car #77 Disqualified from the race

Pitstop Race – WPI Motorsport win after Timing Mix-Up

Front row we have the #88 Team Abba Racing of Richard Neary on pole and #18 WPI Motorsport of Michael Igoe and at the rear of the field is the #77 Greystone GT McLaren which was Disqualified from race one.

LIGHTS OUT:

It’s a great start by both #88 Neary and #18 Igoe at the front and again it’s Neary that comes out of Hollywood in the lead.

The #5 Porsche of Richard Chamberlain spins on cold tyres at Redgate and is beached in the gravel and Dhillon in the #61 Lamborghini is also in the gravel at Redgate but keeps up the momentum and manages to get out and continue.

#82 Aston Martin of James Guess is off at the Old Harpin, but manages to continue.

SAFETY CAR is out at the end of lap one so the marshalls can get the #5 Porsche out of the gravel trap.

Lights out and the safety car is in the pits at the end of lap three and it’s a great restart by #88 Neary and #18 Igoe with #247 of Lucky Khera in 3rd.

#36 #McLaren of Proctor is having a close battle with the #55 Lamborghini of Seale for 4th place, but Seale starts to pull away and its soon a three wat battle for 5th place between the #36 Mclaren, #7 Radical and  the #4 Nissan.

Lap 5 Igoe is right of the rear of Neary and in doing so posts the fastest lap 1:05.972

Igoe takes Control at the Front

the #18 Lamborghini of Igoe take the lead on lap six and with it posts another fastest lap 1:05.525 and soon has a lead of 0.859.

The #9 Topcats Racing Lamborghini is up to 12th after losing places at the start when advoiding the spinning #5 Porsche of Chamberlain.

With battles throughout the field the #34 Porsche, #28 Ferrari and the #61 Lamborghini are all in a close battle for 8th place, with the #28 taking 8th and the #34 dropping the 11th place.

John Dhillon spins the #61 Lamborghini at Roberts and is pointing the wrong way and is very lucky not to be collected by other cars, but Dhillon soon gets going again.

Another battle down the field is between the #911 24-7 Motorsport Porsche and the #212 Makehappenracing Ginetta, with the Ginetta taking the Porsche at Hollywood on Lap 10.

On lap 11 driving through the back makers Neary closes the gap to Igoe ahead to less than than half a second, but then loses out massively in the traffic and Igoe in front exrends his lead to 3.9 seconds.

Another close battle is between the #26 Paddock Motorsport McLaren and the #67 Orange Racing powered by JMH Ginetta, with the Ginetta  getting ahead.

#36 Mclaren of Proctor takes the #55 Lamborghini of Seale for 4th whilst making their way through the traffic.

#9 Lamborghini moves up to 10th to lead in GTC, #34 Porsche of Marsh leads in GTB and #67 takes #80 to lead in GTA.

Penalties Galore as Safety Car Makes an Appearance

Five second time penalties for cars #22, #52, #96 for speeding under the safety car!!

The #3 Marcos Mantis of Charlotte Gilbert is off at Redgate and is beached on lap 18.

#82 Aston Martin takes #44 McLaren just before the safety Car comes out on lap 20 so the #3 Marcos can be recovered.

#18 of Igoe is the first to pit followed by cars #9, #247, 36, #4, #28, #7, But the #88 Mercedes of Neary stays out.

Car #118 Ginetta of Ian Duggen has a moment under the safety car and is off onto the grass near Roberts, but soon recovers.

At the end of lap 21 the safety is in and so is the #88 of Neary, who then after his pitstop comes out in front of Phil Keen who has now took over the #18 Lamborghini and is lucky not to be a lap down.

Despite the confusion with the timings after the pitstops its #18 that leads from cars #36, #55, #4, #7.

Nick Phelps in the #35 Porsche is the first out of the pits during the 2nd group of pitstops.

Car #7 has a five second time Penalty for Track Limits.

Lap 24 and Keen in the #18 Lamborghini posts the fastest lap of the race 1:04.933 and by lap 27 Keen has a lead of 6.2 seconds.

A Great Battle between cars #247 and #61 battling whilst trying to lap car #9, with car #61 getting by #247  and the #9 at Roberts.

Sam Neary in the #88 Mercedes posts the fastest lap of the race 1:04.800.

There is a Fight to the end in a battle between #55 Abbie Eaton and #4 Will Tregurtha for the final podium spot.

#3 Marcos Mantis of Charlotte Gilbert rejoins the race

Keen in the #18 Lamborghini posts yet another fastest lap 1:04.570 on lap 37 and is now leading by 16.2 seconds.

#66 Mercedes missing its radiator grill is in a close battle with cars #44 and #82, with the #44 losing two places.

Phil Keen takes the chequered flag to win by 15.4 seconds and his first win with WPI Motorsport ahead of the #36 McLaren in 2nd and the #55 Lamborghini in 3rd.

 

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