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Sandy fastest at Silverstone, but bid for Blancpain podium wrecked by safety car

May 13, 2019


Scots endurance racer Sandy Mitchell delivered his best result of the 2019 Blancpain Endurance Silver Cup on home soil at Silverstone. But despite posting the fastest lap of the race, the 19-year-old from Forfar was cruelly denied a podium finish simply due to the untimely appearance of a safety car.



After another incredible qualifying session by all three drivers, which saw them place their Black Bull Whisky-backed Lamborghini Huracan Evo second on the grid in the highly competitive Silver Cup, and seventh overall, the race started in glorious Northamptonshire sunshine. Team-mate James Pull took the first stint, handing over to fellow Englishman Jordan Witt with the Barwell Motorsport-prepared car eighth overall and third in Silver Cup. But two laps after Witt left the pits, the appearance of the safety car, following an extended full course yellow period, essentially wrecked the trio’s race. “The first full course yellow and safety car really impacted negatively on our race,” Mitchell, personally backed by Black Bull, stated. “James had a really good stint, and we were right in the mix for a good overall result, and most likely a Silver Cup podium. But a couple of laps after we pitted and Jordan got into the car, there was full course yellow because of an incident. That allowed all the cars that hadn’t pitted — including most of the Silver Cup cars — to essentially have a ‘free’ pitstop. It also meant we found ourselves back in 26th overall and ninth in Silver Cup. We had to fight our way back from there, so to end up with the result we have is actually very good, and augurs well for the rest of the season. There’s no doubt, if it hadn’t been for the yellow flags and safety car, we’d have finished on the podium.”



When Mitchell took over the Barwell car for the final 65 minutes of the three-hour race, he rejoined in 27th overall, and 10th in Silver Cup. The Scot, part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program and a member of the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star scheme, immediately set about fighting back through the field. Within three laps he’d set the fastest time of any Silver Cup driver, 2mins 01.749secs. After half-an-hour he had powered the car up to 15th overall and fourth in Silver Cup, and pushing hard for a podium. “That was a solid stint,” Mitchell, who eventually slipped to fifth in Silver Cup, but retained his 15th overall, admitted, “and it’s a better start to the season than last year. Twelve months ago we hadn’t scored in the opening two rounds at Monza and Silverstone. We leave here today having scored points at both circuits this season, which is a real positive. Next stop is Paul Ricard, where we won last year. So we head there confident of a good result.”

 
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