British GT: Akhil Rabindra & Dean Macdonald fight for class podium at Snetterton

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Akhil Rabindra and Dean Macdonald [Copyright: Garage 59]

The Garage 59 duo of Akhil Rabindra and Dean Macdonald in their McLaren 570S car started the Snetterton British GT round with a 15th (fifth in GT4 & second in GT4 Silver) and 21st (12th in GT4 & fifth in GT4 Silver) place in the two practice sessions on Friday.

With two races in the third round, the first qualifying saw Macdonald finishing 15th overall (fifth in GT4 & fourth in GT4 Silver), while #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta of Alex Reed and David Pittard took pole in the GT4 & GT4S classes.

Sister Garage 59 McLaren GT car of Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell ended up third in the order – a mere 0.036s separating the Top 3 teams.

Over in the GT3 category, #24 Macmillan AMR Aston Martin of Jack Mitchel and James Littlejohn claimed pole from #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.

In the second qualifying for Race 2, Rabindra finished 23rd overall (13th in GT4 & sixth in GT4 Silver), with #56 Tolman Motorsport Ltd McLaren GT pair of David Pattinson and Jose Osborne on pole.

The #100 machinery of Haggerty and Mitchell were third in GT4, while second in the the GT4 Silver category.

The overall pole in the senior GT3 class went to #33 Lamorghini of Minshaw and Keen from the sister #6 Barwell Motorsport Lamorghini of Liam Griffin and Sam Tordoff.

Race 1

The start of the first race on Sunday morning saw the #59 McLaren in the hands of Macdonald and #72 Track-Club McLaren of Adam Balon and Adam Mackay losing out to the #62 Academy Motorsport Aston Martin of Will Moore and Matt Nicoll-Jones.

Macdonald stayed at the back of the #72 McLaren for the early part of the race until the pit window opened.

Post the stop, Rabindra came out at 16th (sixth in GT4), but behind the #62 Aston Martin after the #72 McLaren managed to jump its rival in the pit stop.

The Indian had the #501 Ginetta and the #56 McLaren around him - the trio battling for track position. Amid the wheel to wheel tussle, a slight contact was enough for Rabindra's #59 McLaren to lose two positions to drop to 18th in the order.

The Bangalore-born driver tried hard to fight back and regain the positions lost, but was forced to settle for 18th overall (eighth in GT4 & fifth in GT4 Silver).

The GT4 class battle saw the #55 HHC Motorsport of William Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton winning after a heated fight involving second placed #51 Lanan's Ginetta and third placed #100 Garage 59's McLaren.

Over in the lead GT3 category, it was the #33 Barwell's Lamborghini winning ahead of sister #6 Lamborghini and pole-sitter #24 Aston Martin.

Race 2

Rabindra started the second race on a sound note making up a position in the GT4 category, chasing the top runners in the class for a third consecutive Silver class podium.

The Indian was up to 21st and almost went through his stint without a major drama until close to his stop, when he spun on the road, dropping himself to 25th overall.

He managed to continue and dived straight into the pits when the window opened to hand the car to teammate Macdonald.

The Briton managed to make up positions straightaway to move to 23rd once he was out of the pits and further incidents in class and a brief safety car period pushed him to 20th overall by Lap 23.

Two more positions to 18th and late moves on #36 Ginetta followed by #111 Ginetta, Macdonald found himself 16th overall, seventh in GT4 and third in the GT4 Silver class.

Another lap would have allowed him to move to 15th with the #66 Porsche only 0.770s up on the road.

At the front of the class, sister #100 McLaren eked out a dominant win by over 11s from #51 Ginetta, as #56 McLaren rounded off the podium positions.

In the GT3 class, it was the #1 TF Sport's Aston Martin of Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam take the overall win from #2 Barwell Lamborghni and #11 TF Sport's Aston Martin of Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes.

The pair now sit fifth in the GT4 category with 28 points as Middleton/Tregurtha lead on 67.5. In the Silver class, the Indo-Brit pair is third with 47.5 points.

The end of three rounds in the 2017 season, the championship moves to Silvertone during the June 10-11 weekend for Round 4 action.

[Image courtesy: British GT]

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