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Concours of Elegance Friday 2nd September 2022 to Sunday 4th September 2022 - Hampton Court

British GT Championship, Brands Hatch Saturday 10th September 2022 to Sunday 11th September 2022

Goodwood Revival Friday 16th September 2022 to Sunday 18th September 2022

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2022 Intelligent Money British GT Championship - Snetterton Roundup

The Intelligent Money British GT Championship resumed over the weekend, and James Cottingham and 2 Seas Motorsport teammate Lewis Williamson were back in action in the DK Engineering-supported Mercedes-AMG GT3. The double-header at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit saw the bold #4 in fine form, showing race-winning pace across both races, but bad luck would play its part in the final result. A second row start for race 1 saw an impressive performance with a class podium, before an impressive recovery drive following a puncture in race 2 saw Lewis and James recover from the back of the field to finish P5 in class, P7 overall, scoring all-important championship points.

After a podium finish last time out, the pair were looking to build momentum to continue the title push, and strong pace was clear to see from the outset. Both practice sessions for the weekend ended with the #4 pairing at the top of the timesheets, and Lewis’ quickest lap broke the previous GT3 lap record in the process. This pace continued through into the two qualifying sessions, where James was immediately pushing to challenge the top of the timing screens in the first 10-minute run. Indeed, his first timed lap all-but matched the initial benchmark, just 0.002s behind, and he then geared up for a further improvement over the next lap. He continued to find time over the opening of the following run, setting the quickest first and second sectors, but the smallest of errors in the braking zone for the final corner saw him cross the line just 0.089s off pole. Such is the competitive nature of the championship that this finest of margins saw James line up on the second row. Lewis then mirrored the efforts of his teammate and immediately went out and provisionally secured a front row slot. He then also managed to improve each sector around the lap and, as the session ended, he cemented his position and would start in P2.

Sunny and warm conditions were combined with a fairly strong breeze for the start of race 1, and James was looking to make the most of the pace he had shown. James did not defend a bold move down the inside of turn 1 by the Bentley, instead choosing to bide his time and ensure that his championship efforts were maintained. He held position and was running as the quickest car on track before, sure enough, a few laps later the #4 had regained the final podium position when the Bentley spun off track. From here, James continued to lap consistently, holding station, and maintaining the gap to the leading cars ahead. As the pitstop window opened just before half-distance, James stayed out a lap longer than the leaders, inheriting the lead for a one lap sprint before peeling into the pitlane for the mandatory switch.

Having scored a podium last time out, the team had to serve a 7s penalty during the stop, meaning Lewis had dropped a couple of places as he returned to the track. Despite this, the fighting spirit was still clear, and Lewis quickly caught the car in front, looking for a way past. This battle raged on for the duration of the stint, with Lewis unable to find a way through, but a late puncture for the 2 Seas Motorsport sister car would see them retire from the lead in the closing minutes. This unfortunate incident promoted the yellow-and-red #4 and, at the line, Lewis secured a class podium, P4 overall.

Race 2 would see a switch of fortunes between the 2 Seas Motorsport entries. Starting from the front row, Lewis maintained position as the lights went green and he settled into a strong rhythm as the lead pair started to pull away from the field. Disaster struck a few minutes later when a puncture forced Lewis into the pits. Quick work by the pitcrew had the new wheel fitted and Lewis back out on track, but he had dropped to the back of the field, and any hope of a challenge for the race win had now fallen away.

With the majority of the race still to run, Lewis was firmly running in recovery mode and worked to close down the deficit. Although he was running well down the order, his laptimes were comparable to the race leaders and he quickly gained on the back of the field. At middle distance, and with no pitstop penalty to serve this time, James took over and quickly set to work with a clear focus on making up some lost ground on his championship rivals. The next 30 minutes saw James as the fastest driver on track, by quite the margin, lapping some 1.5s quicker than the race leader and steadily picking off positions as the laps counted down. After climbing into the car, it was a case of damage limitation for James, and his sterling efforts saw a recovery drive which gained eight positions to finish in P7 overall, P5 in class.

James explained: “We had the car and the pace all weekend, and a win was certainly there, but we just came up short with some bad luck thrown in for good measure. It was a hugely positive weekend overall, but the smallest error in qualifying meant we missed out on pole by less than 0.1s, and then we had our success penalty to overcome. Race 2 really was a case of damage limitation after the puncture, but it was great fun. We were lucky, in a way, that it happened at the start of the race so we could make a recovery, and Lewis and I just focused on the job in hand and made some moves to get ourselves back up the order. The 2 Seas Motorsport team did a great job with the set up and they gave us the car to be able to make that progress, and it underlined our outright speed. Great job by our teammates Flick and Jonny as well who pushed us all weekend, and congratulations to them on the result in race 2. It is great to have them back and on the podium.”

The championship now heads to the infamous Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for its single international round, 23-24 July.

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