Back on top for Cottingham and Adam as they lead a 2 Seas Motorsport double podium
The Intelligent Money British GT Championship arrived at Donington Park for the first of two visits this season, and both 2 Seas Motorsport driver pairings were looking for strong results. A solid weekend all round for the #4 pairing of James Cottingham and Jonny Adam, converted a front row start into a race win after holding off pressure in the dying laps. Meanwhile, Ian Loggie and Jules Gounon went from damage limitation to maximum attack as they delivered a faultless drive to take the final step of the podium.
With the Donington Park circuit resurfaced since the last race event, pace was looking to be much quicker than previous visits. The early practice sessions ended with some time to find, but qualifying saw a step up in performance and both cars in the fight at the front. James, once again, set an early benchmark and put the #4 DK Engineering-back Mercedes-AMG at the top of the timesheets, with Ian and the D2-inspired entry not far behind. The session ended with James in P2, just 0.2s off pole, and Ian not far behind in P8. The second session saw Jonny and Jules take over, and both were immediately on the pace. With times combined with the Am teammates, both Pros pushed to secure the strongest result to finalise the grid. As the session ended, Jonny had moved the #4 Mercedes up to the front row, while Jules locked in P8, despite struggling for outright pace.
James looked to make a bold move around the outside of turn 1, but had to surrender the position as the two 2-hour endurance race got underway. He and Ian battled hard to hold their respective positions, and both looked to find a way forward as the laps continued. Ian made steady progress up the order, capitalising on a chaotic opening stint, while James was firmly on the back of the pole-sitting Lamborghini, before a well-timed pass as the stint passed middle-distance. From here, he set about chasing down the race leader, and set the fastest lap of the opening stint running in clean air and away from lapped traffic. This pace closed the gap ahead, and Ian followed close in the tracks of his teammate, engaging in the three-way fight for P4 before the Safety Car was scrambled just before the pit window opened.
Perfectly executed pitstops for both crews, and no success penalties, saw Jonny emerge in the race lead, while Jules made important gains in the pitlane, moving up to the final podium position. The race remained under caution for an extended period, but Jonny controlled the restart well and both 2 Seas Motorsport entries held position heading into the closing stages.
Jonny and Jules both had to absorb pressure from fast-charging cars immediately behind, but managed the task in hand, and defended the race lead and final podium position. At the chequered flag, Jonny secured the first double win of the season for him and James, and his 18th championship victory. Having stayed out of trouble, and run a clean and consistent race, Jules concluded the 120-minute endurance challenge with the #1 in P3, despite struggling for pace throughout.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend, and I am really proud of the whole team who have turned up and delivered, on both sides of the garage. The yellow side showed strong pace, and were in the fight from the off, with James fighting throughout his whole stint, the stop was perfectly executed, and Jonny did what Jonny does to bring it home for the win. The silver side of the garage had a harder fight, but never gave up. They kept plugging away, and ran their own race. Ian chipped away at every stage to move up the order, another faultless job by the pitcrew gained important ground on the main competition, and Jules kept up the challenge to the flag.”
Sh. Isa Al Khalifa, co-owner 2 Seas Motorsport
“A top job by everyone all weekend. It was a great end result, and really pleased to bounce back and get the second W of the season. A big thanks to 2 Seas Motorsport, giving us the car to be able to fight at the front of the field, inspiring confidence to really push. It was great to be in a position to battle all the way through my stint, and the crew didn’t miss a beat. The stop was perfect, and it put us on the front foot as we took the lead, and I had every confidence handing over to Jonny. He delivered, as he has so many times before, and it is a great feeling to be back on that top step, keeping our challenge alive.”
James Cottingham, #4 Mercedes-AMG, 2 Seas Motorsport
The team will be back in action at Round 5 of the championship, taking place over the weekend, 17-18 June, at Snetterton.