British GT: Barwell Lamborghini make title surge with second win of the year
Barwell Motorsport’s Phil Keen and Adam Balon became the first double winners in this year’s British GT Championship season after producing a measured performance in the second race of the weekend at Snetterton. It marks a tidal change in the race for the title, which will be decided at the final round of the year at Silverstone next month, with Keen and Balon now very much in contention.
Balon started a damp opening race from ninth on the grid and spun at Palmer in slippery conditions. Despite this, the pair showed great speed ahead of the mandatory driver-change pit-stop, with Keen managing to finish seventh by the end.
Without having to serve a success time penalty in the second race, Keen made sure the #72 Barwell Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo stayed out of trouble by swooping into the lead around the outside of the sister car of Sandy Mitchell at Riches. From then on, Keen controlled the opening stint before handing over to Balon.
Chased by the WPI Motorsport Huracán of Michael Igoe – partnered again by Lamborghini Factory Driver Andrea Caldarelli – Balon headed the #18 car by just over six seconds to secure a Lamborghini one-two.
Mitchell and Collard unfortunately lost time in their pit-stop after a mix-up with the seat belts between the two. Added to their success time penalty for finishing second in Race 1, the #78 crew finished fifth.
It was a bittersweet weekend for the #78 after Mitchell produced a superb second stint in the opening race, edging the McLaren of Ollie Wilkinson to second place by just 0.081s in a sensational drag race to the flag.
Phil Keen: “Starting second was never going to be easy but I was sort of lucky in a way being on the outside, you get a lot more grip. [Sandy] braked a little bit earlier because he didn’t have the grip on the inside. Then I just got my head down and pushed as hard as I could to try and build a lead.”
Adam Balon: “I had the much easier job after Phil pulled out a nice lead. I made a mistake in the first race and I was really conscious about not making the same mistake in this one. I’m really pleased to have stayed on the black stuff and bring it home.”