Successful debut weekend for 2 Seas Motorsport securing silverware in both races at Oulton Park
The debut race weekend for 2 Seas Motorsport has seen both driver pairings score a podium finish at the opening round of the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship.
· Jordan Witt secures front row grid slot during closest qualifying battle in the history of the championship
· Overall third-place finish for Angus Fender and Dean Macdonald on team’s first event
· Jack Mitchell and Jordan Witt claim top-four finish and Silver class podium result in weekend’s second race
After starting on the second row of the grid, Angus Fender and Dean Macdonald took a hard-fought P3 finish overall in the weekend’s first event, while the second race saw teammates Jack Mitchell and Jordan Witt move up the order to secure the final podium spot in the Silver class in an incident-filled race which ended behind the Safety Car.
After a thrilling qualifying session which saw Jordan and Angus trading fastest lap-times in the battle for the pole, the pair eventually ended the session P2 and P3 respectively, as McLaren Customer Racing teams locked out the front two rows of the grid. In what was the one of the closest qualifying result in the championship’s history, Jordan’s lap-time of 1m 34.548s was only beaten by 0.001s to put him in P2. Qualifying for the second of the weekend’s races saw Jack and Dean battling each other, and the pair was closely matched throughout the 10-minute session. With the Pro drivers from the Pro-Am pairings fighting for the top spots on the time-sheet, the battle in the Silver class was all important and Jack narrowly out-qualified his teammate by another very tight margin. The gap between P8 and P9 on the grid covered by just 0.024s.
The opening race saw a conservative start by the whole pack as the lights went green for the first time this season, but it wasn’t long before the top-five started to battle for position. With Jordan in the #10 McLaren and teammate Angus at the wheel of the #9, the pair held their respective grid positions and kept the pressure on the leader in the opening stint. As they started to catch and work their way through the GT4 traffic, Jordan started to pull a gap to his teammate and increased pressure on the lead McLaren. Approaching mid-distance of the 60-minute race, Jordan was in a strong position and gaining through every sector before the leader and Angus both pitted giving the #10 clean air and an opportunity to open a gap before handing over to Jack for the second half of the race.
Two clear laps allowed Jordan to open a gap to the chasing pack, and quick work by the pit crew saw both cars serviced and new drivers installed for the second half of the race. As the pitstops played out, Jack maintained the race lead and started to build a gap to the chasing pack, while Dean ran solidly in P4. However, a 10-second stop-and-go penalty halted Jack’s charge, eventually dropping the #10 down the order but in-turn promoting Dean to P3. A further speeding infringement compounded the initial penalty for the #10 with Jack coming home in P12. Dean held on and battled to the chequered flag, claiming an overall and Silver class podium on the team’s debut.
The weekend’s second race saw the two 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3s line up in a repeat formation from the earlier grid, the #10 leading the #9. The rolling start saw Jack immediately pushing to make an impression on the lead group and within two laps this determination saw him progress two places to P6, while Dean held position in P9. Close battling through the remainder of the opening stint saw both Jack and Dean challenging for position, but it was an incident ahead of Dean as the GT3 front-runners manoeuvred through the GT4 traffic which saw a Dean move up to P8.
With the pit window open, Jack pitted the #10 McLaren while Dean continued for another lap to make the most of the clearer track and to minimise the impact of the five-second success penalty from the podium finish during the first race. Once the pitstops had shaken out, Jack’s early stop to switch with Jordan saw the #10 gain a place to P5, while Angus was running in P9. On lap 20, however, Angus was forced to retire after receiving heavy impact from debris caused by an incident after a leading GT3 car and GT4 competitor came together which saw the Safety Car deployed.
With just over 15 minutes remaining, the field ran under Safety Car conditions with a hope that action could be resumed. During this neutralised period, a pitstop penalty was confirmed for one of the top-4 GT3 runners and, with the #9 still stranded out on track, the race concluded with Jordan and Jack promoted to P4 overall and a first podium in the Silver class for the pair.
Isa Al-Khalifa, 2 Seas Motorsport team co-owner.
“An absolutely fantastic result for the team, and to achieve podium finishes for both cars on our debut weekend is something I am hugely proud of – especially against such a strong grid. Qualifying on the front two rows of the grid was a huge achievement, and it was great to be battling for the race win within only a few laps against much more experienced competition. I’d like to thank the whole 2 Seas Motorsport team which worked tirelessly to put us in the best position going in to the weekend. To claim an overall podium on our first ever event, and a further class podium really is the icing on the cake.”
"Jordan and Jack were really unfortunate with the situation which saw the penalty in the first race, and it was definitely a case of wrong time and wrong place for Angus to become involved in someone else’s incident which ended his efforts in the second race. Despite this, there are huge positives to take away from the weekend, and we have a solid foundation to build on and we are looking forward to taking the fight to Donington Park in a couple of weeks”