The third round of the 2022 Intelligent Money British GT Championship took place from May 7-8. The DK Engineering team was out in force for the weekend, not only with James Cottingham on the track in the Mercedes AMG GT3. The sales team brought along a selection of six cars currently available for purchase to sit alongside the incredible Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR that finished first overall at the 1998 British Empire Trophy at Silverstone for the FIA GT Championship. On Sunday, a handful of guest of DK and our sponsors were treated to a VIP hospitality experience at the track, including grid access, pit lane walk, BRDC access, and a tour of the track in a vintage double-decker bus.
On track, the excitement started on Saturday with qualifying. James took to the car first for the 10-minute qualifying session with co-driver Lewis Williamson taking the reins for the second 10-minute qualifying session. The pair showed great pace in qualifying, with James' fastest lap just 0.164s off the quickest time in the session. This gave Lewis the perfect opportunity to secure a front-running grid slot, and the car qualified third overall.
At 11:30am on Sunday, the race got off to a chaotic start, with contact between the leaders on the green flag lap, just ahead of James. Having initially moved up a position, James was then engaged in defending the line into Vale, when his opponent out-braked himself for the corner and went off track. As he recovered and rejoined the track, still fighting for position, James was hit and suffered damage to the right rear of the car, spinning him into the path of the chasing pack and he was then hit a second time.
Reflecting on the weekend, James commented: “The car was great over the weekend, and it feels that we are really getting to grips with the setup and balance. We have completed some good mileage in recent weeks and have been able to test the performance of the different tyres in different conditions. I was really pleased with a combined P3 on the grid against such a strong field. The resulting damage ended the race before it had really had a chance to get underway."
"“The start went well, and I managed to make up one early position, and then tried to have a clean battle with the car behind but unfortunately it came to a head shortly after. It was a deeply disappointing end to such a promising weekend and has likely ruined any chance of a run at the championship, but we come away with all of the positives from the early sessions to take forward to Donington. Despite the setback, we will come back stronger and I am committed to doing as well, if not better in qualifying, and hopefully getting the elusive podium in our debut season.”
The next round of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship will take place at Donington Park on May 28-29. We hope to see you there.