Sandy Mitchell wins British GT Championship title with Rob Collard

Sandy Mitchell wins British GT Championship title with Rob Collard

BLACK BULL, BARWELL AND LAMBORGHINI


The 20-year-old from Forfar is the youngest Scot to win the title, and the second-youngest ever in the championship’s history.
Partnered with team-mate Rob Collard in their Black Bull Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT, prepared by Barwell Motorsport, the duo overturned a six-point deficit entering the weekend, to emerge clear champions by 19.5-points.


Victory in the three-hour race at the home of British motorsport was their second in the British GT Championship this season after their win at Brands Hatch, and came a fortnight after the pairing won the Pro-Am class in the gruelling Spa 24-Hours.


“It’s my first championship series win overall, which is fantastic,” stated Mitchell, who along with former BTCC ace Collard lined up in pole position on the 37-car grid.
“We’ve won a few big races recently, Spa 24-Hours being the main one. But to be able to put it all together in a championship and come out as champions is a great feeling.
“It’s the first time I’ve done it since karting, so yeh, British Champion in GT racing and karting is pretty cool.”


Collard started the race, but quick thinking by the Barwell team after an incident on the opening lap brought out the Safety Car, allowed the pairing to complete the first of their three compulsory pitstops with Mitchell taking the wheel.


The young Scot, part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program and a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s elite SuperStars programme, eventually pitted after 1hr 15mins in the car with a two-second lead.
With Collard back in the hotseat, the 52-year-old Englishman rejoined in second but soon eased himself passed the leading Mercedes.


It was then left to Mitchell to bring the car home after they completed their final driver change with 23 minutes remaining.
“It was a fantastic race. Our strategy was excellent, and we were able to capitalise on the Safety Car after a couple of laps,” Mitchell, personally-backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky, explained. “That was a crucial call by the team and eventually put us in clear air at the front of the field battling for the lead.


“We led the race for a long time after that. Rob did a terrific move on the Mercedes in his second stint to retake the lead.
“I then managed to come out of the pits after our final stop just in front of the RJN car, which was really important. I had fresh tyres on the car, and that allowed me to pull away and open a healthy advantage.
“I was looking forward to the weekend and felt I could do a really good job. It’s not every season you go into the last race with a really strong shot of winning the championship. So I tried to enjoy that feeling as well, and not worry too much about what would happen.
“The gap was nice and big at the end, which is exactly what we like at the end of a championship. It meant I could stay calm and enjoy the final few laps. I’m glad I was in the car, because I’m a lot calmer driving than watching it on TV in the garage.


“I’m absolutely delighted. Our Black Bull Scotch Whisky Lamborghini was on fire all weekend. We’ve had a fantastic season with Barwell. The team has come second on a few occasions in the championship, so to win it overall for them is fantastic.
“This is massive in my career development,” Mitchell, whose raise win also clinched the British GT Silver Cup for the duo, continued. “The overall championship is obviously the standout thing on my CV. British GT champion in the Black Bull Lamborghini, with Barwell, sounds pretty good.”
And Mitchell’s title victory was praised by chairman of main sponsors, Black Bull Scotch Whisky.


“Wow, what a fantastic end to a brilliant year of racing, that was an incredible result and we could see that together, Barwell Motorsport, Rob and Sandy made the dream team.
“We’re proud to have supported them for the last few years and shows that their hard work and perseverance has paid off. We raised a very large dram of Black Bull whisky to celebrate.”


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