- Simon Paice
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke Fights To Stunning Donington Park Win
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke produced one of his best performances in the British GT Championship so far, as he and team-mate Chris Salkeld stormed through the pack to a brilliant second GT4 Pro Am class win of the season at Donington Park.
After following up a Pro Am victory in the season opener at Brands Hatch with a hard fought fourth place result at Silverstone two weeks ago, Gordon-Colebrooke and team-mate Chris Salkeld were confident of producing another competitive performance.
A trio of official test sessions on Thursday gave the Buckinghamshire racer the chance to get reacquainted with the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit, as well as making some positive steps forward with Century Motorsport on the setup of their BMW M4 GT4.
As the competition began to show their hand during Saturday’s two free practice sessions, Gordon-Colebrooke anticipated a tough contest in qualifying that afternoon. Giving it everything to maximise the pace in the car, their hard work was rewarded with the fourth quickest time in GT4 Pro Am.
Salkeld started behind the wheel for the two hour race and found himself in the thick of the action in a chaotic opening half an hour of the race. From 11th overall in GT4, he worked his way through some incidents to emerge in third place and crucially in the Pro Am lead.
Unfortunately some contact led to the team receiving a 10 second stop go penalty, which once served dropped them back to fifth overall. That’s where they stayed until the pitstop window, with Gordon-Colebrooke taking over with the clear goal of making progress up the order.
The 28 year old benefitted from a stop go penalty for a car ahead to gain a place, before closing down a near three second gap to the Pro Am leader. Relentless pressure ultimately paid off, as he forced them into a mistake at The Esses before making a move stick into the Melbourne hairpin.
Whilst up to third overall and the Pro Am lead, the WHIreland Wealth Management and Tyrrell Automotive supported driver wasn’t done there. Rapidly closing on the car ahead, he dived down the inside at the final hairpin with 25 minutes left on the clock.
A composed drive from there saw him pull over 15 seconds clear of the pack behind en-route to the Pro Am win. Ahead of him was the sister BMW of Will Burns and Gus Burton, ensuring a memorable second one-two finish of the season for the Century Motorsport team.
The successful race means Gordon-Colebrooke and Salkeld now have a 32.5 point lead in the GT4 Pro-Am standings, as well as sitting second in the overall GT4 order, ahead of the next round of the championship at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in two weeks’ time (24/25 July).
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke:“I can’t quite believe we did that. To have started back in 11th overall in GT4 and to come through to second and the Pro Am win is an absolutely mega result. We couldn’t be happier with how it all panned out.
“It was a pretty crazy first quarter of the race and Chris did a good job to keep us in the battle, albeit with a penalty. To come back from the time lost due to that and get ourselves onto the podium really shows the speed we had in the BMW.
“It’s fair to say that Saturday really wasn’t our day, but we were confident in the race pace of the car and that showed. With several potential title contenders dropping out in the early chaos, we’ve been able to maximise the opportunity presented to us and this is a massive result for the championship."
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.