Andrew Howard fifth as Donington hosts final British GT Race of 2021 season
SEASON FINALE: Andrew Howard drove is Beechdean Aston Martin Racing GT3 at Donington Park on Sunday (Photo James Beckett)
The 2021 British GT Championship season concluded at Donington Park on Sunday, with the 'Donington Decider' bringing down the curtain on another exciting season of national endurance race action write Colin and James Beckett.
The two-hour race took place in difficult conditions, with heavy rain falling early on race morning. Once the rain had passed, the Donington track took a long while to dry, and the GT race started with only one car opting for 'slick' dry weather tyres. Andrew Howard lined-up to start his Beechdean Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3, and found the early conditions not to his liking.
Caught in heavy traffic for most of his stint, Howard found the going tough due to the slippery surface, before handing over to Aston Martin 'works' driver, Jonny Adam at the halfway stage. Adam was also unable to fully extract the potential of the car, and reached the end of the race placed eighth overall - one lap behind the race winning Enduro Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 of Morgan Tilbrook and Marcus Clutton.
Sunday's result granted Howard enough points to finish the season placed fifth in the Drivers' Standings, with Adam, who missed the Spa race due to Covid-19, one place further back in sixth. The Beechdean squad also finished the season fourth in the British GT Championship Team Championship. Speaking afterwards, Andrew Howard said, "We have had an enjoyable season of British GT racing. We started the season well at Brands Hatch, and have scored solid results all year. It would be good to come back next year and do it all over again."
With Ian Loggie and Yelmer Buurman (Ram Racing Mercedes) unable to win at Donington, the overall championship title was secured by Leo Machitski and Dennis Lind for the Barwell Motorsport team with their Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
* James Wood was a podium finisher at the 78th Members' Meeting at the Goodwood Motor Circuit last weekend - finishing third in the Earl Howe Trophy. Driving a Bugatti Type 35, Wood raced to a fine finish behind race winner, Lucas Halusa (Bugatti) and Gary Pearson (Alfa Romeo 8C). Wood also drove a Rover 3500 in the event's Gerry Marshall Trophy. Competitors lined-up for two heats and final of saloon car action, with Wood placed sixth in the final. Race victory was scored by BTCC racer, Jake Hill, driving a Ford Capri.
* Tom Ingram will start this weekend's final Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship weekend of the season at Brands Hatch with an outside chance of claiming the coveted 2021 title. The Vale-based racer will drive an EXCELR8 Hyundai for the Ginsters with TradePrice Cars team, and arrives at Brands Hatch placed third overall in the Drivers' Standings.
* A number of Vale-based motorcycle riders will be in action at Leicestershire's Mallory Park on Sunday, competing in the track's final EMRA Club Championship event of the season. The race event will also feature the Mallory Park 'Race of the Year', which has attracted a strong entry of riders from higher racing categories including the British Superbike Championship.