Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse GT4 duo aim for third time lucky

BLACK BULL ECURIE ECOSSE young guns Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty are hopeful it’ll be third time lucky as they head to Snetterton for the penultimate round of the British GT Championship this weekend (Aug 6/7).

The teenage Scots duo have twice started races from pole position this season in their McLaren 570S GT4, but have yet to climb on to the podium.

“I think we’re due a bit of a change in fortune, especially after the last outing at Spa,” 16-year-old Mitchell, from Forfar, said. “We seem to have had just bad luck so far this season, but by the law of averages, it has to change soon.”

Mitchell had established a 20-second lead in the opening hour of the two-hour race at the iconic Belgian track but, just as he was poised to hand the car over to team-mate Haggerty, his car stopped on track with a sensor problem.

Mitchell, who completed a four-day test in the McLaren at Paul Ricard earlier this month, knows it’s only a matter of time before the podium results arrive.

“We’ve two one-hour races at Snetterton, and hopefully in at least one of them we can get a podium; but a win would be fantastic,” he smiled. “There’s no denying our pace and performances this season have merited one, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”

It was a view reinforced by Haggerty, the 19-year-old from Johnstone, who returns to the Norfolk circuit for the first time since scoring a podium in his Formula Ford outing last year.“I think the circuit should suit the McLaren 570S GT4,” the Scot admitted. “There’s quite a lot of long straights, and we’ve improved the car significantly in the corners as well. I think it’s a circuit we have the potential to be quite strong at.“Like Sandy, I think it’s about time we had a bit of a change in luck, which would help us get some sort of result. We’ve been so close recently, twice starting from pole position.“It’s just a case of getting everything to come together, and I’m sure it will before the end of the season.”

Sandy Mitchell — Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4 driver“I raced at Snetterton last year in the MSA Formula and had good pace, and was running near the front, but the results didn’t go my way. Hopefully though I’ll carry that pace into the GT4 car.“It’s a pretty cool circuit. It’s quite long, which is nice, and a good mix of demands, with tight, twisty bits and long fast sections. It’s a good combination.“The last section of the circuit is the most demanding. But it’s also somewhere you can definitely make a lot of time up by getting it right.“I don’t think Snetterton will be a bad circuit for us. Spa and Silverstone probably suited us better, but this will be good too. We’re feeling really positive, and hopefully we can take the pace we had at Spa to Norfolk.“I think we’re due a bit of a change in fortune after Spa. We seem to have had just bad luck so far this season, but by the law of averages, it has to change soon.“We’ve two one-hour races at Snetterton, and hopefully in at least one of them we can get a podium; but a win would be fantastic, because our pace and performances this season have merited one. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

Ciaran Haggerty — Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4 driver“I raced at Snetterton last year in Formula Ford and scored a podium, so I’ve already shown I can be fast there. And that was in the wet, so I might be doing a rain dance on Sunday morning. I’m looking forward to going back there.“It’s definitely a circuit I enjoy. It has a number of challenging corners and I’m looking forward to driving the McLaren 570S GT4 car there.“I think the circuit should suit the McLaren. There’s quite a lot of long straights, and we’ve improved the car significantly in the corners as well. It’s a circuit we have the potential to be quite strong at.“I think it’s about time we had a bit of a change in luck, which would help us get some sort of result. We’ve been so close recently, twice starting from pole position. It’s just a case of getting everything to come together, and I’m sure it will before the end of the season.”

Euan Shand — CEO of sponsors, Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky:“The two young lads, Sandy and Ciaran, have been impressive all season, and have really caught everyone’s eye. With two pole positions already for Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse, it has to be only a matter of time before they get on the podium. Hopefully it’ll happen this weekend.”