TAKES SERIES TITLE DOWN TO THE WIRE
Eric Hautemont stars in wet qualifying to take pole position
Moss closes in on Mia Flewitt’s title lead with just one event remaining
The penultimate event of the 2019 FIA-approved Pure McLaren GT Series season took place on home territory at Silverstone on October 11-13 with a field of McLaren 570S GT4 cars competing on the 5.891 km (3.661 mi) circuit, also home to the British Grand Prix.
Both practice and qualifying were held in autumnal conditions, but rookie Eric Hautemont mastered the wet track to claim his maiden pole position by four tenths of a second over Stewart Proctor and title contender Nick Moss.
The rain stopped ahead of the opening race, with a drying but greasy track making conditions tricky for all of the drivers, many competing in their first season of racing. Nevertheless, it was rookie Moss who made the most of the opportunity, taking an early lead and building an advantage of four seconds over the polesitter to take the chequered flag. Despite losing the lead, Hautemont held on for his first podium finish in the championship.
A good start for Issam Charrouf yielded third place from fifth on the grid and he was challenging Moss for second, however he soon fell back down the order to 10th before salvaging seventh at the flag. This promoted Mohammed Al-Khalifa to the final podium place, ahead of front row starter Proctor, who lost out to several rivals off the line.
In fifth place, reigning champion Mia Flewitt maintained her title lead. Meanwhile sixth place for Patrice Gautier and a non-finish for Brendan Iribe boosted Moss’ lead in the Bruce McLaren Cup for rookie drivers.
The weather took a turn for the worse on Sunday, forcing cancellation of the weekend’s second race, with the intention of adding a third race to the final event of the season. Flewitt will head into this with a 14-point lead over Moss, but with 20 awarded for a race win, the title race is wide open.
The final Pure McLaren GT Series rounds of the 2019 season will take place at the Sakhir circuit, home of the Bahrain Grand Prix, on November 26-28.