Donington Park circuit in Leicestershire hosted the final round of the 2014 British GT championship and the sizeable crowd witnessed both GT3 and GT4 championship drivers crowned in the last race of the year. Variable cloud and a stiff breeze threatened rain but more more than a few drops fell so the weather was never a factor. The same could not be said for mechanical failure, with a total of six cars failing to finish the two-hour endurance race on the 2.49 mile GP configuration.
On Saturday, the two Trackspeed 997 Cup Porsches had qualified together in 8th and 9th on the grid. After a race-long battle with Ferrari, Audi and Astons, the #63 car of John Minshaw and Phil Keen finished the race in somewhat unconventional form: backwards behind a tow truck, having run out of fuel just as the race ended – but the pair still celebrated the overall race win. Gary Eastwood and Ollie Hancock brought their FF Course Ferrari 458 home in 2nd with the Mark Patterson/Matt Bell United Autosports Audi third.
Marco Attard waited with baited breath while the Barwell Motorsport team worked on his car right up to the last minute – a race win from Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine in the Aston would give them the GT3 championship. Attard didn’t even cross the finish line in his BMW Z4 but still took the title, despite a gearbox failure just 10 laps into the race, when the #4 Oman Racing Aston finished 4th.
The ISSY Racing Lotus Evora stuttered to a halt to exit the circuit at Redgate, only to rejoin and later set the fastest GT4 lap.
Rick Parfitt was thrilled to take the GT4 class win along with Tom Oliphant in the Century Motorsport Ginetta G55, ahead of the Aston Martin of Andrew Jarman and Devon Modell. Twisted Team Parker’s hard-to-miss G55 was third piloted by Adrian Barwick and Bradley Ellis.
Only one other driver had the ability to change the outcome, but Jake Giddings and Ross Wylie brought their Beachdean Aston Martin home in 5th place to gain sufficient points to win the GT4 title.
Text and photos: Chris Valentine