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Treble Silverstone podium keeps Kevin Mills Racing in the GB4 title hunt

03rd August 2022

The SD Sealants-backed Kevin Mills Racing team enjoyed a successful return to Silverstone last weekend (30-31 July), as three podiums kept the team in the mix for the GB4 Championship title.

Tom Mills, son of team owner Kevin, was on the podium after a dramatic first race of the weekend, while Waberski pulled off thrilling last-lap overtakes in the final two contests to take home two third places.

Qualifying at the home of the British Grand Prix featured the drivers securing the fourth (Waberski) and sixth (Mills) fastest times, sandwiching championship leader Nikolas Taylor, though Waberski benefited from a grid penalty for Megan Gilkes to start race one from third.

But the start of the opening race proved dramatic as Waberski was caught up in a collision with Jack Sherwood and Max Marzorati. The South African’s car climbed over the top of Sherwood’s, eliminating both drivers immediately from the race, with Waberski picking up a grid penalty for the next race as a result. That promoted Mills to third at the end of the first lap, before the safety car was called to retrieve the damaged cars.

Mills moved up another spot before the restart as Marzorati pitted with a puncture. The safety car restart delayed Tom slightly and denied him the chance to enter Taylor’s slipstream. That allowed Taylor to just edge away in the final half of the race, while Mills was well clear of the third-placed runner, and was able to operate at a consistent speed to equal his best result of the year.

Waberski had been due to start race two from third, but his three-place grid penalty meant he started alongside his team-mate on row three instead. It was a nervy pre-race build-up for the GB4 field as occasional outbursts of drizzle made tyre selection uncertain, but ultimately all drivers started on slick Pirelli rubber.

The two KMR cars were immediately on the attack on the first lap, with Mills gaining two places and Waberski one. Waberski then passed Sherwood at Vale on lap two to climb to fourth, and began chasing down his teammate. The pair were covered by just a few car lengths for the entire 18-minute race, and after a few attempts, Waberski got a good drive out of The Loop on the final lap, putting him in Mills’ slipstream down the Wellington Straight. The South African went around the outside of Brooklands, giving him the inside line for the long Luffield right hander, stealing the final podium spot effectively at the final corner of the last lap, with Mills having to settle for fourth on the drag to the line.

The final race of the weekend was the reverse-grid encounter, with Mills and Waberski lining up sixth and eighth respectively. Both cars gained a place each during a busy first lap, though Mills moved into the podium places with a double overtake on lap two. Both cars passed Chloe Grant on lap four, with Mills moving up to second and Waberski fifth, with positions remaining static until lap six, despite plenty of squabbling.

Then, owing to the tight pack racing, Mills was shuffled down to sixth on the next lap, with Waberski one of the drivers to move past on his way to fourth. Starting the final lap, Waberski was several car lengths away from the final podium spot, but an excellent final tour helped him close right up on Megan Gilkes, who was battling her team-mate Marzorati. Waberski sent it around the outside of the Canadian at Stowe, and very nearly found his way past Marzorati for second too, finishing as part of a quartet of cars covered by just 0.7sec at the flag. Waberski replicated his race two result with third, while Mills had to settle for sixth.

The team occupies third in the Teams’ standings, just seven points away from second place, while Waberski and Mills sit third and fourth in the Drivers’ standings with six races remaining across events at Brands Hatch and Donington Park over the next two months.

Waberski said: “Sunday was good considering what happened in race one. We started further back and made some good moves in the beginning. Once I got behind Tom it was really hard to pass, so it was about trying to set it up and time it right. I tried it on the second last lap, couldn’t make it work, and then on the last lap through the last few corners, I just had to send it. I was happy to be P3.

“It was a good race-three result, and we had the pace all weekend, we knew that. We had to work quite hard in the second race and even harder in the third race. But we’re really chuffed with the development we’ve had with the car and myself throughout the year, and I can’t thank the team enough.”

Mills said: “It was another weekend of struggles really. We had pace at times but I think we’re just a little bit out of the window at times with set up. My car tends to behave differently to Jarrod’s so that’s why in some races my car works better than his and in others his works better. So it was a tough one, I raced through to second in both races two and three but then just couldn’t keep them behind, especially race three. I got up to second and then I was just a sitting duck really. We’ll keep on working and look forward to Brands.

“I’ll keep working on myself and go from there. We can go through footage and see what changes we made on the weekend and what they did to the car. Brands GP is a completely different track to here, it’s got some high-speed entries out on the Grand Prix loop, a bit like here, but it’s so undulating, the setup is going to be quite a bit different. We’ll look back at the test day we did there earlier, and we’ve got another test day before Brands so we will work hard on that test day and hope it goes well.”

Team principal Kevin Mills added: “Having both drivers on the podium at Silverstone shows that the pace is there in the cars and both drivers. Jarrod fought back excellently from his race-one drama. It’s such a shame he got caught up in that as he was already looking set for a big result that could have really closed the gap to the championship leaders. However, he showed how good a driver he is by fighting his way up in the next two races and showed good intelligence by making decisive moves on the final laps.

“As for Tom, his drive in race one was very mature, and he controlled his race very well for a superb podium. In the wheel-to-wheel battle with Jarrod in race two he did the right thing by ceding position to guarantee the team a big haul of points, again showing how much he has matured as a driver this year. He was a little unlucky to be caught out by the pack-racing nature of GB4 in the final race, but we know the potential is there for him and he’s still very much learning in his first year of slicks and wings racing.

“There are just two more weekends left this season, and we’ve already done some testing at Brands, and have another day lined up before the race event in September. So we should be well prepared and can target more strong results there too.”

The next round of the GB4 Championship takes place on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on September 10/11.

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