After the trials and tribulations of Spa Francorchamps in Belgium last month, Nick Jones and Scott Malvern made a welcome and triumphant return to home soil at Brands Hatch this weekend in the British GT Championship.
Qualifying took place in mixed conditions on Saturday afternoon, with the SD Sealants car being the eighth quickest GT 4 car in both the AM & Pro sessions, and a highly respectable eighteenth place overall out of thirty cars. However, a sixth place grid penalty and a hangover from the race incident at Spa Francorchamps meant that the Team Parker Porsche Cayman would line up at twenty-fourth place on the grid for the two-hour Sunday afternoon race.
With Nick handling the first stint and starting on the outside of the track, he initially dropped back a couple of places to twenty-sixth position, but then set about regaining lost places with a move into Paddock Hill bend on the Ginetta of Chris Milford.
A lengthy safety car period bunched the field up and on the restart Nick made a fine move around the outside of Druids hair pin, passing two cars to move into 21st position.
Nick held his position well until the pit stop and driver change just after the hour mark, with Scott then taking to the wheel.
Scott’s first target was the McLaren of Dan Mckay. This would be the second time in a week that he would hunt down the same driver, having pulled off a spectacular overtake on the outside at Coram corner in Snetterton in the Porsche Carrera Cup race exactly a week earlier.
With McKay cleared, Scott’s next target was the McLaren of Jessie Antilla – a full ten seconds ahead on the road. But Scott made spectacular headway into Antilla’s lead, and with the car going wide out of Graham Hill corner, Scott needed no second invitation to overtake along the bottom straight.
Next up the Ginetta G55 of Jason Baker was passed, moving SD Sealants’ car into third position in the Pro-AM class. With other drivers having to endure stop-go penalties, Nick and Scott found themselves up to 5th overall in the GT4 class and 15th in the entire field, which they maintained for the last few laps of the race.
All-in-all a very satisfying performance and both drivers were delighted to come away with a Pro-AM podium position.
There is just one more event left in the British GT Championships, and this takes place at Donington Park over the weekend of 23rd and 24th September.