Solseal-backed British GT racers Nick Jones and Scott Malvern head into the penultimate round of this year’s championship ready to claw back points on their rivals as the season gets down to its crunch point for the reigning GT4 Pro-Am champions.
With just two races remaining this year, the two-hour event around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit is likely to be a turning point for the championship battle – either for good or bad – as crews increasingly feel the pressure to grab as many point as possible ahead of the season finale.
A strong outing during the last event at Spa-Francorchamps helped the Team Parker Racing-run Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Nick and Scott secure its third podium finish of the campaign. Crucially, it also meant the pair finished ahead of the GT4 Pro-Am class leaders, Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman, trimming their points advantage down to 30 with 75 still on offer this year.
It was a result that was sorely needed for Nick and Scott, who have been in the mix for outright victories at every event this year, but have been denied on multiple occasions by sheer bad luck. However, the pair’s outright GT4 win at the showpiece Silverstone 500 event stands as a shining achievement of the otherwise tough season so far.
Regardless, Nick and Scott’s title defence isn’t over yet and, with just two races remaining, they have little to lose from taking risks, whereas the pressure will firmly begin to ratchet up on the points-leading Fletcher/Plowman Aston Martin.
Nick Jones says: “It’s going to be hard work to catch up in the championship, but it’s also going to be great fun. Currently, we’re not the ones looking over our shoulders or feeling the pressure, which means we can turn up, have a laugh and just focus on what we’re doing and if the result comes, it comes. That’s a nice way to go racing, and Brands Hatch is a brilliant circuit. It should suit the Mercedes nicely, and it’s brilliantly old school to race on – fast and flowing, and one mistake out on the GP loop can have big consequences. British GT races at Brands are rarely predictable, so it’s a great place to go to right before the season finale as it can mix things up so much. I’m really looking forward to it. We’ll be on full attack mode as usual, and simply going in aiming for another win.”
Scott Malvern adds: “This weekend is pretty much double jeopardy for everyone. Sure, we’re behind in the championship, but if we win and Fletcher/Plowman don’t finish, then it’s a massive points swing. On the other hand our title defence is over if it goes the other way, so it’s a big weekend, but we can only do what we can do. I love Brands. It’s my home race and probably the best track in the country in my opinion. It will suit the Mercedes, too, as it has lots of medium-speed corners where the AMG fares so well. The only section that may hurt us is the run out of Surtees up the hill toward Hawthorn as we do tend to struggle with grunt out of the low gears. But overall I’m just really excited to get out there and show what we can do.”
Qualifying for the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch gets underway at 1505hrs on Saturday, August 3. The race is scheduled to begin at 1300hrs Sunday, and will be streamed live via British GT’s official website. Live timing is available all weekend via tsl-timing.com.