The 2020 GT Cup season closed in style with a thrilling championship decider at Donington Park. Marking the 100th GT Cup event, the stakes were high as three teams still had a shot at the overall crown.
GT3: Serious Gearbox Failure
GT3 saw only two cars run throughout the weekend activities. It looked set to be a strong weekend for Grahame Tilley in his Nissan GT-R GT3 off the back of a successful weekend at Brands Hatch. However, it was not to be. Firstly, losing pro driver, Will Tregurtha on Saturday followed by yet another serious gearbox failure after Race 1, meant that their Race 1 victory was the only positive aspect of their weekend.
The remaining wins were cleaned up by the JMH Lamborghini Huracan GT3 driven by John Seale and Marcus Clutton. Despite having a performance advantage, Brands Hatch showed that even the GTC cars could mix with the GT3’s. This didn’t seem to phase Seale and Clutton as they easily stormed to the three remaining victories of the season, claiming the GT3 class title in the process.
GTC: John Dhillon’s Ferrari
John Dhillon’s Ferrari was the only GTC entry for the season finale. Having been the only GTC runner to complete the entire season, it was a given that the GTC class title would go his way. This didn’t stop him from giving it his all though. Finishing 2nd in all four races alongside Pro-Driver, Phil Quaife, this was a huge confidence booster for Dhillon.
Especially so due to his announcement after the event. Both drivers will be taking part in the British GT season finale at Silverstone on the 8th November. Despite this, his chance to perform on the big stage will be slightly muted by the absence of spectators due to Silverstone’s strictness on spectators throughout the pandemic.
GTB: Chasing Down The Ginetta
Title contenders Sam Randon and Ben Clayden entered the weekend 2nd in the points standings just 31 points behind the leading Ginetta.
They set about chasing down the Ginetta in the best possible way by winning all four races in their class and claiming two outright podiums in the process.
It was almost disaster when Randon ran off the track in Race 1, possibly distracted by a team message informing him to keep the car on the track. He managed to gather it up and come home safely in 3rd position.
Their championship was aided after their main rivals failed to win either of their races throughout the course of the weekend. But by the last race, the gap was still too much for the charging Porsche to overhaul.
GTH: Slippery Surface
Reigning champions John Whitehouse and Steve Ruston were just 1.5 points further back from the Team HARD Porsche heading into the weekend.
However, they struggled to get to grips with the slippery surface Donington had thrown up and they too failed to win any of their races in class despite making it to the class podium twice.
Race 2 saw them languishing in 5th by the flag albeit in torrential conditions where just keeping on the tarmac proved challenging. Race 4 then saw the duo elect to sit-out after being eliminated from the overall title contention and also having wrapped up the GTH class championship too.
British GT regulars Ian Loggie and Alex Toth-Jones collected the victories in GTH. Toth-Jones claiming 3 with co-driver Matt Topham whilst Loggie mastered the conditions and dominated Race 2 coming home some 22 seconds clear of Toth-Jones in his Aston Martin.
GTA: Dominant Porsche Duo
With it all to lose heading into the final round of the season, Simon Orange and Josh Jackson elected to play it cautiously and bank in those critical championship points.
Their weekend didn’t go quite to plan with no victories, although 3 podium positions in class were enough to secure the title from the dominant Porsche duo. Even a driveshaft failure in the final race couldn’t dampen their spirits as their sheer consistency had amassed them an unassailable number of points to claim the outright 2020 GT Cup Championship.
The class wins were split between the two Ginettas of Henry Dawes and the fire-spitting MakeHappenRacing car of Stephen Walton and Chris Hart. Dawes was in fine form taking 3 of the 4 class victories with FunCup regulars Walton and Hart claiming Race 3 of the weekend with both cars maintaining a 100% podium record across the weekend.
The 2021 GT Cup season provisionally commences on the 10/11th April at Donington Park. Former champions Ruston and Whitehouse will be looking to snatch back their crown from Orange and Jackson. Meanwhile, Grahame Tilley will be hoping for better reliability to mount a serious title challenge in his Nissan.