MATTHIESEN & POINTON STAKE BRITISH GT4 CLAIM WITH WIN AT ROCKINGHAM
HHC Motorsport’s Patrik Matthiesen and Callum Pointon claimed their maiden British GT4 victories at Rockingham, while UltraTek Racing Team RJN’s Stephen Johansen and Jesse Anttila were the first Pro/Am pairing home in second overall. Academy Motorsport’s Matt Nicoll-Jones and Will Moore completed the podium.
It was at the same venue 12 months ago that HHC broke their GT4 duck en route to both the Teams’ and Drivers’ titles, and the squad employed similar tactics to get the job done once again.
A demon start helped Matthiesen climb two places to second in the opening laps before hassling pole-sitter and race leader Charlie Fagg. Ben Green’s BMW made it a three-way scrap for the lead initially before an off at Deene dropped the M4 seventh.
That left the top-two and Equipe Verschuur’s rapidly advancing McLaren driven by Dan McKay nose-to-tail out front, the Ginetta closing right up and even alongside through the twisty infield before losing out to both 570Ss down the long straights. Lap after lap they circulated together before Matthiesen used the GT3 traffic to finally find a way past Fagg, who also lost out to McKay in the same move just before the pit window opened after 60 minutes.
But while both Equipe Verschuur and Tolman pitted their McLarens, HHC elected to wait another 10 minutes – just as they did 12 months ago – before calling in their #55 Ginetta. And with the extra 20s minimum pitstop time for all Silver Cup crews negated, Pointon re-joined the action still leading from Michael O’Brien, who’d taken over from Fagg.
But while the Ginetta was able to extend its lead and ultimately cruise to victory by 23s, O’Brien began slipping back into the clutches of his pursuers. Track-Club’s stop/go penalty for a short pitstop provided some relief initially, but there was no stopping Anttila who, as one half of UltraTek’s Pro/Am crew that also featured Johansen, had benefitted from the shorter minimum pitstop time. 11th before the pit window thus became fifth afterwards, before the Finn also passed Finlay Hutchison’s Verschuur McLaren, Ben Barnicoat’s penalised 570S and, ultimately, O’Brien.
Attention now switched to the final podium place, which featured a late four-way battle that eventually went Nicoll-Jones’ way. Academy’s #62 Aston Martin was running fourth before the stops in Moore’s hands but dropped to seventh when it re-joined as a result of the Silver Cup’s extra pitstop time. Nicoll-Jones wasn’t deterred, though, and carved his way back through the field late on to claim the final place on the podium.
UltraTek backed up its best-ever British GT4 result by also taking fourth overall and a Pro/Am one-two courtesy of Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman, who both produced standout performances in their respective stints. Indeed, the latter made the decisive move on O’Brien on the final lap.
Equipe Verschuur finished sixth after spending all afternoon fighting at the front, while Century’s Ben Tuck and Ben Green battled back from their earlier issue to finish seventh. Tolman’s second Silver Cup McLaren of Lewis Proctor and Jordan Albert, plus Academy’s Tom Wood/Jan Jonck and Balfe Motorsport’s Graham Johnson/Mike Robinson completed the points paying positions.
Elsewhere, Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars won the PMW Expo Team of the Weekend Award for repairing their heavily damaged #88 Ginetta between practice and qualifying on Saturday, as well as persevering with issues throughout the race.
Meanwhile, lap records fell in both classes courtesy of Sorensen (1m17.769s) and Matthiesen (1m23.642s), who were awarded Sunoco Fastest Driver of the Weekend trophies on the podium.
Next up it’s Snetterton where British GT returns to its 2x 60-minute race format on May 26/27.