Jordan Witt delivered one of the most impressive performances in his racing career to secure a first race victory in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship.
Nantwich driver Witt, sponsored by Vibe Audio and Yelir World, produced a remarkable opening lap in the 60-minute seventh round of the 2020 season to surge from an excellent third on the grid into the race lead – one he and team-mate Jack Mitchell would never relinquish.
As well as Witt’s first overall triumph in British GT, and his and Mitchell’s second Silver Cup class win of the year in their No.10 McLaren 720S GT3, the outstanding victory also marked the first success in British GT for the Anglo-Bahraini 2 Seas Motorsport squad.
During a less fruitful round eight later in the afternoon, Witt and Mitchell finished fifth in the Silver Cup and eighth overall. Climbing back into the top three of the Silver standings, Witt and Mitchell are still mathematically able to challenge for the class title at the Silverstone finale next month.
I’m absolutely ecstatic to take my first ever overall win in British GT and I’ve got to say a massive, massive thank you to the 2 Seas Motorsport guys for giving me such a mega car which gave me the confidence to push in those really tricky conditions”, said the Cheshire racer after round seven.
I was happy with P3 in qualifying, I knew we could challenge from there and I was determined to make up as much ground as I could on the first lap of the race. The car really felt good, it was a really good race and I felt like I controlled it – changing the lines and finding the most grip. Jack did an awesome job in his stint to keep building the gap and bring it home. Awesome, awesome result.
The win comes after Witt secured a podium place in the previous race.
As has been the way all season, the No.10 McLaren 720S GT3 started off the weekend strongly in the two practice runs on Saturday, 3rd October, with the fifth fastest time overall in a rainy first session, third in the Silver Cup, and then eighth overall and fifth in Silver in the still rain-affected session two.
Qualifying later in the afternoon took place on a damp track and Witt took the opening 10-minute session, running with treaded wet-weather Pirelli tyres like the rest of the entry. Building his speed throughout, the Cheshire driver posted a best time of 2m07.046 seconds to secure third on the grid for round seven – the highest placed of the McLaren Customer Racing entries.
Sunday was very wet once again, and the morning warm-up showed how incredibly tricky the conditions were with two red flag stoppages in quick succession in the 10-minute session. By the time of the first race around an hour later, the rain had largely ceased but the track was still wet.
Taking the opening stint of the first of Sunday’s two races, which started behind the Safety Car, the action proper began on lap four and Witt wasted no time in making terrific progress. Diving past Rob Collard’s Lamborghini into the hairpin to take second place, he closed on pole-starter Sam De Haan and into the chicane at the end of the lap he superbly grabbed the lead from the Mercedes-AMG.
Leading by 0.3 seconds into lap five, Witt came under some pressure from the McLaren 720S GT3 of Lewis Proctor but then started to increase the gap by setting fastest lap pace. Lapping quicker and quicker, Witt opened the gap to almost two seconds by lap 10 and when Proctor pitted at the end of lap 11 he held an advantage of more than 20 seconds over the rest of the pack.
Witt headed into pitlane the next time around for the mandatory driver change, handing over to Mitchell after a faultless stint. When the race order shook out on lap 13 the 2 Seas Motorsport car led by 2.7 seconds and Mitchell – as Witt had done – started to edge further away.
Pulling further and further clear during the remainder of the race, Mitchell didn’t put a wheel wrong and took the chequered flag on lap 26 almost eight seconds clear to chalk-up a famous maiden outright British GT victory for the duo. Witt’s opening stint, in very slippery conditions, truly was one of the very best performances of his career.
Mitchell started the drier round eight in 10th position on the grid overall, fifth in the Silver Cup, and an electric launch enabled him to scythe his way through into the outright top five as the field headed out of Riches. Edged back to sixth at the exit of the hairpin, another threat came from the similar McLaren 720S GT3 of Joe Osborne but Mitchell soaked up the pressure impressively.
Able to keep ‘Pro’ driver Osborne at bay, Mitchell pitted for the driver change at the end of lap 14 with Witt climbing aboard. Having to serve an extra-long stop due to a 10 second ‘success penalty’ from the earlier race, Witt joined the track with 28 minutes to run in sixth overall and third in class.
Circulating around 10 seconds shy of the Lamborghini of Collard, the gap remained relatively static but on lap 21 there was drama for Witt after an excursion across the grass. Recovering back into the race, the loss of time dropped him back to seventh and fourth in class and he ultimately ended the encounter fifth in Silver and eighth overall after another moment late on.
The decisive grand finale of the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship season will take place on Sunday, 8th November, at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire. Round nine, the ‘Silverstone 500’, will be contested over a duration of three hours.