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Barwell turns up the heat with Victory at Snetterton




22 June 2023 Barwell turns up the heat with Victory at Snetterton


Barwell Motorsport continued its fruitful relationship with the Snetterton circuit by taking a first victory of the 2023 Intelligent Money British GT Championship last weekend. Shaun Balfe and Sandy Mitchell claimed the top step of the podium in serene fashion at a sun-soaked Snetterton where the #78 Black Bull Scotch Whisky-backed Lamborghini Huracan Evo 2 won by 11 seconds after starting from pole. 

 

Past trips to the Norfolk venue have provided the Barwell team success, and both crews headed east in good spirits, with Sandy Mitchell and Shaun Balfe having claimed pole position for round four at Donington Park, and the sister Silver-Am class car of Mark Sansom and Will Tregurtha having closed their championship gap to a mere 1.5 points after the same event.

 

Mitchell gave the #78 team the perfect start heading into qualifying, topping the final practice timesheet as the last driver to record a time on an ever-improving track before a red flag effectively ended the session. Sansom and Tregurtha were also an encouraging fourth in the session and would go on to take ninth on the timesheets in first qualifying in their #72 machine. There was even better news for the #78, however, with Balfe able to lap second fastest and be in the right place to step up to pole when post-session penalties were handed out. Second time around, the #72 entry topped the Silver-Am class in 11th overall, just three spots adrift of the #78, which took eighth spot despite Mitchell lapping close to top three times.

 

With an open road in front of them as they launched from pole position, the #78 team was able to immediately stamp their authority on race one, with Balfe getting the perfect start and setting a frenetic pace to open out a six-second gap early on. Pitting a lap later than the majority of the field also allowed the Barwell team to execute a clean change and service to put Mitchell back out in the lead and, despite being untroubled, the Scot continued to press on, extending the cushion to more than 11 seconds as he cruised to the chequered flag.

 

Sansom and Tregurtha finished ninth on the road in race one, completing the Silver-Am podium in the process, and followed that up with more useful points for fourth in class in the second outing of the weekend double-header.

 

Balfe and Mitchell, meanwhile, had to contend with maximum extra time being added to their mandatory driver change in race two as a success penalty for the #78's victory earlier in the day. Despite both drivers giving their all, however, they eventually had to settle for ninth place in what proved to be a frantic finish.

 

The teams’ next outing will be what many know as one of the biggest races of the year, Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa, which kicks off with the Bronze test on Tuesday 27th June. 


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