A podium apiece for Optimum Motorsport’s British GT duo in Donington’s weather-effected three-hour enduro

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Zac Meakin and Jack Brown score their second win of the season, making it back-to-back success following their class win last time out at Silverstone, with the sister GT3 car overcoming a spin to later stand on the second step of the overall podium in Sunday’s race.

An uncharacteristically dry bank holiday Saturday flipped on it’s head come Sunday, where the race, which started out dry, was later aborted and slicks were swapped for wets due to a heavy downpour. Officially starting behind the Safety Car, circulating for two laps before pitting, many others followed suit, whereas Optimum’s duo stayed put on track.

Maintaining position after starting the race on the front row, Zac challenged the class leading DTO Ginetta, swapping positions with a move on the inside at the Melbourne Hairpin. Meanwhile, Mark has slipped down the orders to eleventh (from fifth).

Once the field had boxed for slicks less than an hour into the race, both Gamble and Brown had made their race debuts, light drizzle began to settle in the pits. Light rain had suddenly turned to a heavy downpour prompting many, including Optimum’s duo of McLarens, to make their second pitstops to once again, replace the slicks to wets.

Cars that didn’t found themselves, upon entry at Redgate, in the gravel trap which resulted in a prolonged red flag period whilst recovery took place. #27 appeared to be in the net lead when they boxed just as the race was suspended but Race Control corrected that by ordering Radcliffe - who’d taken over from Gamble - to concede positions just before racing resumed 45 minutes later.

The time lost under red flag had been reinstated thus, just under two hours of racing still remained. The second hour featured yet more FCY and Safety Car periods, prompting many to pit and capitalise on the neutralised race. The next caution period, triggered by the 2 Seas Merc and the Simon Orange McLaren prompted the final round of mandatory pitstops, seeing #27 taking full advantaged of others Compensation Times.

For #90, not only having to serve an extra 12s per stop due to the Silver/Silver pairing, but also the maximum success penalty time in the final stop of an additional 20s following the win at Silverstone, all odds were against Zac and Jack taking yet another win.

Both #27 & #90 found themselves, in their respective classes, in a three-way battle for the win. Gamble chased and passed Collard, however it was the Lamborghini of Mitchell that pipped the McLaren to the line by a mere 0.6s when the chequered flag dropped.

GT4’s battle was split between Optimum’s McLaren, Forsetti’s Aston and Toyota Gazoo, until the latter was struck by a stop-go penalty. Brown dived for the lead into the Melbourne Hairpin and maintained position to claim yet another GT4 class win, which now sees Optimum’s duo lead the championship.

Donington overall podium - Radcliffe / Gamble P2


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