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Sandy scores first Blancpain Silver Cup points at Monza with Black Bull

April 16 , 2019


Scots endurance racer Sandy Mitchell left Monza having scored his first Silver Cup points of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup season. The Italian result came on the back of an incredible qualifying session by all three drivers to achieve an impressive fifth on the grid of 48 cars.


The performance meant the 19-year-old from Forfar, partnered by team-mates James Pull and Jordan Witt, also lined up the Black Bull Whisky-backed Lamborghini Huracan Evo second on the grid in the highly competitive Silver Cup. But come race day, a combination of atrocious weather, early-race contact, technical issues, tyre choice and a drive-through penalty saw the Barwell Motorsport-prepared car slip back through the field.

“We knew in qualifying we had a really fast car,” Mitchell, part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program and a member of the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star scheme, said. “It was our best qualifying with the Huracan; we were right in the middle of a group of factory cars and drivers, so we were confident going in to the race. James had a terrific start, and despite early contact with another car which affected the handling of our Lamborghini through the rest of the three-hour race, he was able to stick with the Pro cars and ran in sixth or seventh in the lead group for most of his stint.”


When Pull pitted after an hour, the team lay seventh overall and third in the Silver Cup. With the weather and track looking as though they were drying, the car was fitted with Pirelli slick tyres as they targeted a top 10 finish overall. But as Witt tried to fire the Lamborghini up to rejoin the race, it suffered ignition problems. The delay cost the team lost time in the pits. Immediately on rejoining the track, conditions worsened making handling challenging on a track surface now better suited to wet tyres. Stewards then imposed a drive-through penalty for a pitlane infraction. With 62 minutes of the race — which was punctuated by a series of full course yellow periods and the appearance of the safety car, as race cars slid off the circuit — Mitchell took over with the car lying 33rd overall and ninth in Silver Cup.

“Conditions were tough,” the Scot, backed by Black Bull, explained, “and because of the safety cars we’d lost contact with many of the other Silver Cup contenders. But I managed to move the car up through the field and score our first points.” The team finished 26th overall and ninth in Silver Cup. Last year we didn’t finish the Monza race,” Mitchell continued, “so we’ve already built from that, plus we have two more points than at this stage last season, when we eventually finished third in the Silver Cup. “The next race is Silverstone next month. It’s a circuit which we know better suits the car, and a venue where we were very competitive 12 months ago. We know the pace is in the car, and we’re looking forward to demonstrating it on our home circuit in front of our supporters.”

 
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