Tough day at Spa for BriGT champ Mitchellposted in GT26 | 07 | 2021

    SCOTS ENDURANCE RACER and British GT champion, Sandy Mitchell, survived a tough day at the office in the latest round of the championship at Belgium’s iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit, but still emerged just 19.5 points off the lead in the title race. (Related: Mitchell fastest at Donington Park)

    The 21-year-old from Forfar, partnered by team-mate Adam Balon in the No1 (#1) Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, prepared by Barwell Motorsport, is comfortably within touching distance of the championship lead with five of the season’s nine races remaining.

    “That was a tough race,” Mitchell admitted afterwards. “Sometimes in a season you get a race like that when things don’t exactly work to plan, and I guess this was one of those. But importantly we banked a good haul of points.”

    Starting the two-hour race from fourth on the grid, Balon was fortunate to survive a high-speed incident involving the #8 Mercedes just seconds after crossing the start line. (Related: Mitchell bags maximum British GT points)


    Starting from ninth, the #8 collided with the rear left of the  #6 Mercedes, which had lined up third on the grid. The impact pitched the #8 into the air and then crashed back to the track immediately to the right of Balon.

    “Adam was really fortunate not to have been taken out by the incident,” Mitchell, a Lamborghini factory driver, in addition to being a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s elite SuperStars programme, explained. “Only his quick reactions meant he was able to avoid contact.”


    When the race restarted after 14 minutes behind the safety car while the debris was cleared, Balon eased himself back through the field from eighth to fifth. But hounding the rear bumper of the fourth-placed car, with 20 minutes of his one-hour stint remaining, Balon spun, dropping around 90-seconds. (Related: Scot Sandy Mitchell wins British GT Championship)

    “Adam had done a brilliant job to get us back into contention, but when we’re all racing at the highest level of competition the cars are always on the edge of adhesion and traction,” Mitchell, personally backed by Black Bull Scotch Whisky and Lamborghini Edinburgh, said. “The spin was unfortunate, but when we’re all pushing to the max, that’s racing.”


    After the compulsory driver change, Mitchell then found himself immediately behind the rear of the fourth-placed #7 Aston Martin, but despite throwing everything at it for 25 minutes, the Scot couldn’t get passed.

    “The Aston has always had huge grunt on the straights, and I just couldn’t get close enough to make a move,” Mitchell, who ultimately was given a 30-second penalty for exceeding track limits towards the end of the race, continued. “I threw everything at making the pass, but in the end we had to settle for fifth.”


    Mitchell heads to the next British GT double-header at Snetterton fifth in the championship behind the leader, the sister #63 Barwell Lamborghini which dominated the outing at Spa.

    “The guys in the #63 car did a great job to win, so hats off to them,” Mitchell said. “But we’ll be back up for the fight when we take them on again in the two one-hour races at Snetterton.”

    Related: Mitchell named Lamborghini factory driver

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    Jim McGill

    All photographs copyright of Jakob Ebrey

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