GT Cup: Balfe Motorsport and Team Abba Share Top Honours at Brands Hatch

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Balfe Motorsport claimed their first win of the year in the GT Cup Championship at Brands Hatch. © Ironman Motorsport Images

Round Two of the GT Cup Championship saw both Balfe Motorsport and Team Abba Racing claim victories at Brands Hatch.

With a 46-car grid, the competition was fierce around the Grand Prix configuration of the famous Kent Circuit.

Pre-Race News Round-Up

The BRDC announced Team Abba Racing’s Sam Neary as one of its Rising Stars for 2021. © Ironman Motorsport Images

Following their impressive display last time out at Donington Park, Team Abba Racing have opted to contest the whole 2021 GT Cup season.

Having initially enter the GTH category, Team Abba have raced in the GT3 class with the No.88 Mercedes AMG GT3.

Additionally, their driver Sam Neary has been selected as one of BRDC’s Rising Starts for 2021.

The 19-year-old has impressed with his performance in the GT Cup and British GT.

Elsewhere, Brands Hatch saw two teams added to the lineup in the form of G-Cat Racing and ALP Racing.

G-Cat Racing joined the GT3 class with their Porsche 911 GTE, the ALP Racing Subaru contested the GTH category.

Qualifying.

Pole for race one went to the #88 Team Abba Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. They were joined on the front row by the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini.

On row two is the #11 and #63 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini’s. The #5 Porsche of Richard Chamberlain starts on pole in GTO and the #9 Topcats Racing Lamborghini did the same in GTC.

Team Hard Porsche’s Richard Marsh and Sam Randon topped GTB, whilst the #6 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 took command in GTA and the #1 Orange Racing Powered by JMH Automotive McLaren topped the GTH class.

  • Team Abba Racing have decided after going so well at Donington Park they will do the whole season in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and fight for the championship.

Race 1 – Pit Allocations and WPI Brake Complications

Because of the large entry list, the race organisers opted to split qualifying into two separate groups.

Between the 19th and 23rd minute of Race One, the pits would be open for the GT3, GTO and GTC classes.

Then, the following five minutes would be allocated for the cars in the GTB, GTA and GTH categories.

Race one was full of drama with started before the race had even begun.

The #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini pitted at the end of the formation lap with a recurring brake issue.

Despite eventually starting from the pits, additional unscheduled stops hampered their race.

Team Abba Get It Wrong

When the racing did get underway, Richard Neary led for Team Abba in what was a great opening stint.

Unfortunately for Richard, all his hard work was undone when he pitted before the allocated window due to a miscalculation on the pit wall.

This, alongside a subsequent tyre puncture didn’t help matters for Team Abba’s fortunes.

As a result of Team Abba’s problems, the two Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini’s took over at the front up.

The duo fought over the lead following the completion of the group one pit stops, with the #63 Lamborghini ahead of the #11.

But a brief safety car late on closed the field up and spiced things up for an entertaining finish.

Balfe Motorsport’s Proctor Duo Fly

On the restart, the #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren of Lewis and Stuart Proctor was charging, and soon took the #11 Lamborghini of Adam Balon for third place.

The #63 Lamborghini of Leo Machitski was defending hard from the #61 Scott Sport Lamborghini of Phil Quaife who then overtook at Surtees.

This helped the #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren move up to second place. Soon after, they moved into the lead when Proctor executed a great move at Hawthorns.

For the remainder of the race, Proctor stayed out of trouble to secure Balfe Motorsport’s maiden win in the GT CUP.

Race One Round-Up

1st place – #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren

2nd place – #61 Scott Sport Lamborghini

3rd place – #4 Triple M Motorsport / Tec Serv Nissan.

* Car #63 Disqualified from the meeting regulation Q12.21.4 refers.

The GTO honours went to the #55 JMH Automotive Lamborghini of John Seale and Abbie Eaton.

Their race was aided by the retirements of the #5 Porsche of Richard Chamberlain on lap two and the #7 Raw Motorsport Radical on lap 12.

The Topcats Racing Lamborghini Super Trofeo driven by Warren Gilbert and Jensen Lunn took another win in GTC.

There was a fantastic battle in GTB between the #34 Team Hard Porsche and the #38 Geoff Steel BMW Evolution.

After a hard fought race, Steel’s BMW that took the victory after Team Hard Porsche received two time penalties.

Elsewhere, Craig Wilkins and Aaron Scott claimed the GTA win for the Scott Sport Ginetta, whilst the #1 Orange Racing Powered by JMH Automotive of Simon Orange and Joshua Jackson topped GTH.

Race Two – Balon and Neary Duel for the Win

Balon started on pole for race two in the #11 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini, Richard Neary alongside him in the #88 Team Abba Mercedes.

The woes for the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini continued, as they were forced to start from the pits once again.

Balon got a solid start from Pole, with Neary’s Mercedes close behind, as the pair slowly pulled away from the chasing pack.

Then on Lap 4, Neary made the vital move on Balon’s Lamborghini to take control of proceedings.

From that moment on, Neary and Team Abba didn’t look and went on to produce a comfortable victory.

Balon and the #11 Lamborghini had to settle for second, albeit 30 seconds adrift at the finish line.

Igoe and Keen Produce Drive of the Day for WPI Motorsport

Brands Hatch saw Michael Igoe and Phil Keen endured a challenging weekend in the GT Cup Championship. © Ironman Motorsport Images

The woes for the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini continued into the second race with another pit lane start.

Nevertheless, their drivers put in an remarkable recovery performance.

Starting from 44th position, WPI drivers Michael Igoe and Phil Keen stormed through the field to achieve an astonishing third-place finish.

In GTO, Richard Chamberlain in the #5 Porsche mirrored WPI’s heroic after the slow start to come through the field to take the win.

Stanbridge Motorsport Win in GTC as Topcats Racing’s Lunn Overcomes Penalty with Stunning drive.

Topcats Racing recovered to claim a podium in the GTC class. © Ironman Motorsport Images

Stanbridge Motorsport’s #96 Lamborghini took their maiden win of the season with drivers Stuart Hall and Chris Kemp after Topcats Racing hit trouble.

Warren Gilbert went off onto the grass in the #9 Lamborghini, but was able to get going and make it to the pits.

When driving duties were handed over to Jensen Lunn, they were hit with a five-second penalty for an illegal overtake behind the Safety Car.

With the GTC win out of reach, Lunn got his head down and pursued after the #41 Stanbridge Lamborghini in second.

The battle between the two was tense, with Lunn getting the job done by a mere 0.014 seconds.

Success for Team Hard in GTB

In GTB it was the #34 Team Hard Porsche that took the win after another great battle with the #38 Geoff Steel BMW Evolution earlier in the race.

The #106 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 driven by Henry Dawes took the race win in GTA.

The GTH honours again went to the #1 Orange Racing Powered by JMH Automotive McLaren 570s GT4 who took their second win of the day.

  • The next GT CUP round is at the Snetterton 300 on the 5th / 6th June and spectators Balfe Motorsport and Team Abba share the honours as a 46 car grid entry list graced the Brands Hatch GP Circuit.will be allowed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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