Mitchell bags max British GT points 27 | 06 | 2021

    SCOTS ENDURANCE RACER and British GT champion, Sandy Mitchell, delivered a breathtaking overtake on the final lap of the three-hour Silverstone 500 to secure maximum points in the defence of his British GT Championship by just 0.640-seconds, writes Jim McGill. (Related: Mitchell fired-up for Silverstone return)

    The 21-year-old from Forfar — partnered by team-mate Adam Balon in the No 1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, prepared by Barwell Motorsport — produced a scintillating final 30-minute stint.

    As the myriad of different strategies unfolded towards the end of the gruelling race, Mitchell rejoined after the third and final compulsory driver change trailing Dane Dennis Lind by just over five-seconds. The fact the No63 Lamborghini is the sister Barwell car to Mitchell’s No1, merely added more spice to the inter-garage rivalry. (Related: Mitchell battles 'Mission Impossible')

    Gradually Mitchell, now on fresher tyres to the Dane, reeled the No63 car in. With 24mins remaining, the gap was down to 3.3s; with 13mins remaining, the gap was just 1.1s.


    With 10 minutes to run, Mitchell, personally backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky, upped his charge by posting his fastest lap of the race round the iconic F1 circuit, clocking 1min 59.174s. The gap to Lind was now 0.7s.

    With two near identical cars, overtaking was always going to be a challenge. But on the final lap, just a few corners from the chequered flag, Mitchell completed an audacious move round the outside of Lind as the two cars caught slower GT4 cars.


    “That was a great battle,” Mitchell, a Lamborghini factory driver, in addition to being a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s elite SuperStars programme, admitted after the podium ceremony. “And the Barwell team, as usual, came up with the perfect strategy. (Related: Scot Sandy Mitchell wins British GT Championship)

    “I could tell watching in the garage that it was going to get interesting for the last half-an-hour because everyone was on different strategies. It’s not until the end of the race that you see where you are.


    “Adam did a fantastic job in his two stints keeping us at the sharp end of the field. I came out of the pits for my final stint with fresher tyres and slightly lower fuel compared to Dennis, who had jumped us on track position. (Related: Mitchell named Lamborghini factory driver)

    “I knew I’d catch him, but I obviously also knew it would be desperately hard to overtake him; being in identical Lamborghinis prepared by the same team means we’re strong in the same parts of the circuit.


    “Having the fresher tyres meant I could gain on him when I had to lean on the rear tyres. I got close enough to overtake a couple of times, but he just managed to defend when he needed to, meaning I couldn’t squeeze past. But just catching a couple of GT4 cars at the end meant I was able to finally make the crucial move round the outside, which was fantastic.

    “Fair play, we just left each other enough space and I was able to get the position. It was a great way to end the race and I was super-pumped coming across the line. The result was crucial for the championship.” (Related: Mitchell extends Tunnock's link)


    Being the longest race in the championship, correspondingly there were more points on offer. Securing the maximum 37.5 points for being the first championship-registered car means Mitchell and Balon have closed the gap to the No63 car by 10.5-points.

    “This was the 10th running of the Silverstone 500 and it definitely delivered the result we needed,” Mitchell, now just 12 points off the championship-leading No63 car, said. “Now we head to Donington in a fortnight right back in the fight for the championship.”

    Related: Mitchell wins Allan Simonsen Award

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    Jim McGill

    All photographs copyright of Jakob Ebrey


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