Weekly roundup: Eagling and Smith chasing title at Donington Park
- Credit: Archant
A maiden British GT GT4 victory for the Dan Eagling/Matt Smith pairing has ensured the local crew head to the final round at Donington Park with a chance of taking the title.
'We are currently in third place but with the extra points awarded for the final two hour endurance race we can snatch the title if our rivals were to have problems,' concluded Dereham-based Eagling.
The Shipdham based Redgate/Lifetime Racing team set off to Zandvoot in Holland expecting a challenging weekend as it was their first visit to the seaside circuit with qualifying living up to expectations.
Smith had a gearbox issue in the team's Ginetta G50 during the opening session which the crew set about changing leaving Eagling on the side lines and unable to take part in session two.
'Third gear had chipped a tooth,' reported Eagling, who also acts as the team manager. 'The crew did an impressive job to exchange the gearbox and get the car ready just as the first race got under way.'
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As normal, Smith started race one with much of the first part of the event ran behind the safety car after a big accident involving the leading GT4 team.
When the safety car returned to the pit lane Smith exchanged with Eagling, who resumed in third place before quickly racing past his rivals.
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Such was Eagling's advantage he could afford to have a quick spin in the final laps and still take victory for the first time this season.
Eagling started race two from the back of the grid, as he had not taken part in qualifying due to the gearbox problem, but was soon in second place before handing over to Smith in a long pit stop due to a 15-second success penalty for winning the previous race.
Smith drove steadily to again finish on the podium in third place which became second after the race winning Ginetta G50 of Declan Jones/Nathan Freke failed its post race inspection and was subsequently disqualified.
Carl Breeze endured a dismal time in the latest round of the Ginetta GT Supercup, but the King's Lynn racer did consolidated his second place in the championship while his reign as title holder looks all but over as he trails Tom Ingram by 170 points.
While it is still mathematically possible for the Bluechip-supported racer to retain his crown, he would need an almost perfect score in the remaining five races while Ingram would need to fail to pick up any points.
Brake issues hampered Breeze in the first race at Rockingham. A rapid start saw him up to third before he grabbed second place but when his brake began to lock-up he fell back to a frustrating seventh.
The local racer sustained front end damage when two cars tangled in front of him on the opening lap of race two forcing him pitward for repairs before resuming to secure eighth place complete, with flapping bonnet.