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British GT: Pole to Victory – 2 Seas Take Silverstone 500 Honours

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A race with few incidents, dry weather throughout and no Safety Car periods saw 2 Seas Motorsport’s Hunter Abbott and Martin Kodric turn their pole position into an emphatic win, 7.2 seconds ahead of the second place Barwell car at the 10th anniversary edition of the Silverstone 500. The race also saw the top 8 cars complete 86 laps – a record number for the three hour race. 

2 Seas Motorsport were in control for most of the three hours thanks to an opening stint in which Hunter Abbott established a 30s lead over the chasing pack before pitting after 65 minutes.

2 Seas and Newbridge claim Silverstone 500 victories

It might have been different without early retirements for two front runners; Brendan Iribe had just moved up to second when contact with Ciceley’s GT4 entry damaged his McLaren’s rear suspension. Meanwhile, Richard Neary’s standout stint, which included a particularly eye catching move on Giacomo Petrobelli at The Vale, helped Team Abba Racing move from 10th to third before their early first pitstop. But the family team’s hopes ended soon after when their Mercedes-AMG was sidelined by a gearbox issue.

Instead, Barwell’s #1 Lamborghini, TF Sport’s #38 Aston Martin and RAM Racing’s #6 Mercedes-AMG emerged as the most likely podium contenders.

But it was Barwell’s other Huracan that ultimately gave 2 Seas its only scare of the afternoon despite Leo Machitski’s high-speed spin on lap one. The Russian recovered superbly to bring the car back into contention before Dennis Lind was unleashed following an early first pitstop. Indeed, his relative pace to the starting Ams ahead helped him hunt down and pass Abbott’s co-driver Martin Kodric when the Mercedes-AMG re-joined after its first stop.

The advantage swung back 2 Seas’ way when Machitski climbed aboard earlier than his fellow Am, Abbott, and Barwell’s 10s Success Penalty for finishing third at Brands Hatch ultimately resulted in Lind starting his final stint 18s behind Kodric with just under an hour remaining.

The gap steadily decreased thereafter despite Lind’s attention switching to the sister Lamborghini shared by Sandy Mitchell and Adam Balon. The latter completed his opening stint in second place and the car remained firmly in podium contention throughout despite running an alternative strategy that saw Mitchell complete a shorter final stint. That might explain his relative pace to Lind who spent the final five minutes fending off the reigning champion.

That was until the pair encountered GT4 traffic at Maggotts and Becketts on the final lap, which allowed Mitchell to sweep around the outside at Stowe via a little wheel banging. What’s more, 2 Seas’ race-by-race status meant second place equated to maximum points for the #1 crew.

#1 Barwell Motorsport. Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. Adam Balon. Sandy Mitchell. 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship Round 2 Silverstone 500 FP2 ©2021 Ian Musson. All Rights Reserved

Lind was still pleased to pick up his second Sunoco Fastest Lap Award in as many races and move to the top of the championship standings with Machitski.

TF Sport’s Petrobelli and Charlie Eastwood were metronomically efficient en route to fourth, albeit 27s behind the winners, while RAM Racing’s Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie picked up third place points in fifth overall despite the latter losing time in the opening stint while avoiding Iribe’s spinning McLaren.

Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam didn’t quite have the pace of the front runners but survived a spin after being T-boned by Enduro’s McLaren and overcame a 15s Success Penalty to bank solid points in sixth overall. The Beechdean AMR crew also remain second in the standings.

#95 TF Sport. Aston. Martin Vantage AMR GT3. Bonamy Grimes. Marco Sorensen. 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship Round 2 Silverstone 500 FP2 ©2021 Ian Musson. All Rights Reserved

TF’s second race-by-race Aston shared by Bonamy Grimes and Marco Sorensen finished seventh after starting 13th, while RAM’s James Cottingham and Sam De Haan won the Silver-Am class in eighth overall.

Elsewhere, Paddock Motorsport looked well set for a top-six finish on their British GT debut before a left-rear driveshaft failure side-lined Martin Plowman in the final stint.

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