British GT Championship: Snetterton Victory

June 19, 2023

Lamborghini Factory Driver Sandy, bags first British GT win of the season with Black Bull and Barwell.

Sandy, and team-mate Shaun Balfe, each delivered an imperious performance to dominate the opening one-hour race in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship at Snetterton. The win ensured Sandy, the 23-year-old from Forfar, maintained his record of having finished on the podium every year since 2020 at the 2.96-mile Norfolk circuit. Partnering Balfe in the No 78 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2, prepared by Barwell Motorsport, Sandy looked on as his team-mate started the opening one-hour race of Sunday’s double-header from pole position.

Leading into Turn 1, Balfe fended off challenges from a couple of cars before consolidating and then extending his advantage. By the time he pitted to hand the Lamborghini over to 2020 British GT champ Sandy, the advantage had opened to 5.491secs.

“Shaun drove a brilliant stint to open up a solid gap after the first 11 laps,” Sandy, who took the chequered flag 11.1-seconds ahead of the second-placed car, stated. “That, allied to his excellent performance in qualifying which put us on pole position, really laid the foundation for our push to the win.”

“Once I took over the car it was a case of quickly imposing myself on the rest of the Pro field, extending the lead and then maintaining it over the final few laps. We decided early in the weekend to maximise our tyre strategy for the opening race, which was definitely the right call. And in the end we executed a perfect race.”

Such was Sandy’s pace, he posted back-to-back fastest laps of the race, his quickest being 1min 46.714secs. And the Scot was quick to pay tribute to his Barwell crew which had to change the gearbox in the Lamborghini in the 60 minutes before qualifying.

“It was a fantastic effort by the team to change the gearbox in an hour,” he acknowledged. “It was crucial they managed it otherwise we would have missed qualifying and obviously wouldn’t have the race win.”

Starting from seventh on the grid for the second one-hour race, Sandy eased into sixth place before handing the car over to Balfe. But having served their additional 10-second success penalty, a result of their win just hours earlier, the duo took the chequered flag in ninth place.

“We achieved our primary goal in the second race, which was to score more championship points,” Sandy, personally backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky, Tunnocks, Lamborghini Edinburgh, Upper Dysart and Alan Davie Transport, continued. We knew the combination of our starting position and the extra penalty was going to make it tough. Without the penalty we’d have been mixing it with the top four cars which finished the race.”

“Getting our first win of the season is a terrific boost for everyone in the Barwell team. Importantly, we also now head to the next round, the three-hour race at Portimao in Portugal, without any additional time penalties, which is a big bonus.”