Leading British GT team HHC Motorsport is celebrating a race win at Donington Park yesterday in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship, bringing its winning car back into contention for championship honours with just three races remaining.

HHC Donington

The Yorkshire-based team, with its brace of McLaren 570S GT4 race cars, worked through Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions to place its cars second fourth on the GT4 grid. Car 58 of Patrik Mathiesen/Jordan Collard would line up second while the team’s sister car, number 57, secured fourth thanks to the efforts of Gus Bowers/Chris Wesemael.

However, the team’s work didn’t stop at the chequered flag of qualifying, as Bowers suffered an engine failure, which resulted in an overnight engine change. The hard-working HHC team left the circuit at 0430 on Sunday morning and was back in at 0730 for raceday – and strong coffee!

HHC Donington
Sunday’s race was a three-hour enduro and both cars made good starts to be in the early battles for class leadership, with Patrick and Gus in the cars for the opening stint. An early safety car period for a stranded Lamborghini allowed the TF Sport Aston Martin team to play with its pit strategy and instantly be out of sync with its class opposition. However, HHC didn’t have the luxury under the McLaren’s fuel allowance and so continued to aim for stops between the 45 and 60-minute mark in the three-hour race.

The Aston Martin strategy only became apparent towards the end of the race with the cars dropping behind a battle between Mathiesen/Collard and the Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang of Jordan Albert/Matt Cowley. However, the Ford had to serve an extra 20 seconds at its final pit stop, a success penalty from the last race, which allowed the HHC McLaren to assume the lead. Jordan Collard drove the final stint in number 58 HHC McLaren and coped with intense pressure from the charging Ford to hang on to win the GT4 class of the race by just over one second for the crew’s first win of 2020.

HHC DoningtonThe second HHC McLaren lost time after a miscommunication in a pit stop which resulted in Gus Bowers being forced to serve a penalty which in turn cost them time and dropped the car to sixth in class, the crew still securing all-important points.

Team Principal Charlie Kemp said: “I am delighted that we were able to take a win. That was an intense three hours and the crew worked brilliantly, especially having had so little sleep after the engine change. Jordan and Patrik drove a great race and Jordan coped especially well with the pressure at the end with the Mustang never far away, and this brings them within 2.5 points of the championship lead! It was shame that Gus and Chris’ car had its pit stop issues but they both showed really good pace and a points finish is still a great reward after the engine dramas on Saturday.

HHC Donington

“The next stop is Snetterton where we go back to the two-race format and Jordan and Patrick will carry a pit stop penalty in the first race, although it will be less severe for just a one-hour race. We are focussing on the GT4 title now with both cars in contention for the championship as it is incredibly close at the top of the table.”

Sunday’s race results place Jordan Collard/Patrik Mathiesen third in GT4, just 2.5 points off the lead, while Gus Bowers and Chris Wesemael are now fifth, 8.5 points off the class lead. HHC Motorsport is now second in the GT4 Teams’ Championship, with an 11-point gap to close over the remaining three races.

The next rounds of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship are at Snetterton, Norfolk, on October 3/4.

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HHC Motorsport is celebrating the lead of the GT4 class of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship after a dramatic weekend at Brands Hatch.

HHC leads British GT after dramatic Brands Hatch weekend

The Yorkshire-based team, with its brace of McLaren 570S GT4 racecars, emerged from qualifying with a fourth and fifth on the class grid for its two driver pairings of Gus Bowers/Chris Wesemael and Jordan Collard/Patrik Matthiesen.

At the start of the two-hour race, with a set-up designed to maintain a consistent pace over the longer duration, Patrik found himself boxed behind in the traffic at the start and was shuffled back in the pack as the field streamed through the first corner. Gus made up places and was running competitively in the GT4 battle until he ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend and the sister car of Patrik was able to jump back ahead.

HHC Tyre Change

A safety car at the start of the pit window was perfectly timed for HHC Motorsport as Gus had picked up a puncture. Amazingly, he limped back to the pit lane on three inflated tyres without doing damage to the McLaren and the safety car allowed the field to bunch up which actually helped Gus and Chris as it negated their 20-second success penalty at their pit stop, the downside to a class win last time out at Donington.

Both cars pitted together and were double-stacked meaning one was refuelled, new tyres added and drivers changed before the second car took its turn. Blasting back into the race, the two HHC Motorsport McLarens found themselves fighting for a class podium result, car 58 of Jordan and Patrik also using the clever pit strategy to overcome a 10-second success penalty from a podium finish at Donington. However, there was a sting in the tail for car 58 as Jordan suffered a rear tyre failure, possibly as a result of running over shards of debris on the racetrack. Sadly, that caused the car’s retirement from the race.

HHC Drivers

Chris was left to uphold HHC’s honour and battled up to fourth in class despite the car’s earlier puncture and time loss, but there was more drama to come as the two TF Sport Aston Martins tangled late-race and a time penalty for Jamie Caroline’s car vaulted Chris and Gus to third in GT4 and with that result, the class lead in the championship!

“I’m delighted and maybe a bit surprised!” admitted HHC Motorsport Team Principal Charlie Kemp. “We had to overcome the success penalty from winning Donington and a puncture as well as a Balance of Performance that perhaps wasn’t overly kind to McLaren, so to come away as championship leaders is amazing! It was an up-and-down race: we’d gain a few places, lose a few, then we had punctures and drama right at the end with the Astons, but it proves that you never know what the race might bring. To lead the championship with two young drivers, new to GT4 and the demands of pit stop races and longer stints in the car is outstanding, especially as they are only going to get better as drivers. This puts us in a really positive position for the rest of the season. Things change so fast in British GT that in real terms both of our McLaren 570S GT4s are in contention for the title so it is still maximum attack from both cars for the remaining rounds.”

Chris Wesemael/Gus Bowers lead GT4 in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship with Jordan Collard/Patrik Matthiesen seventh. The next round is at Donington Park on September 19/20th.

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HHC Motorsport had a weekend of highs and lows capped off with a superb double podium in rounds 3 & 4 of the British GT Championship at Donington Park.

HHC British GT Championship at Donington Park

During Saturday’s qualifying sessions car 58 piloted by Patrik Matthiesen and Jordan Collard secured a outstanding double pole positions for Sunday’s two races. Chris Wesemael and Gus Bowers in car 57 lined up sixth and eighth respectively.

HHC British GT Championship at Donington Park

Sunday brought a change in weather meaning all drivers had to adapt to the wet weather conditions. The first race was the two-hour endurance race, the first of the season with refuelling during the pit stops. Matthiesen for the first time at the wheel of a McLaren GT4 car in wet conditions defended well however the wet pace of the cars around him was eventually far too strong and he started to fall back down the order when he handed over to Collard who also found the conditions tricky.

Wesemael started car 57 and maintained his position away from the line. He then went looking to build on his solid start. As the battle containing a number of cars including the 58 ahead intensified this gave Wesemael a chance to close in. On the 40 minute mark he capitalised on the tussle between Matthiesen and the Academy Mustang passing them both at the final corner. However shortly after the Mustang found a turn of pace to get back through. Wesemael would hand over the car to Bowers from fifth place. Both cars would then maintain their positions during the final stint finishing with the 57 car in fifth place and the 58 in sixth.

HHC British GT Championship at Donington Park

As the second race approached the weather began to change with the track drying out. It was a tough call for the teams whether to gamble on slick tyres or play it safe on the wet tyres. Car 58 from pole decided to stick with the wets and try to gain an advantage from being first on the grid. Bowers and the 57-crew decided to gamble and pitted during the lap to the grid for slick tyres and to start from the pit lane. During the opening laps Bowers found it difficult for grip but as the track began to dry, he found some serious pace over the wet weather tyre runners. He began to make his way through the field picking off each of his competitors as he went with some fantastic overtakes.

HHC British GT Championship at Donington Park

Collard in the 58 had some very hard fought battles with the other GT4 runners losing out to a couple in the process. As soon as the pitstop window opened the 58 pitted to go onto slick tyres and to swap driving duties over to Matthiesen. Bowers however stayed out and tried to capitalise on the advantage gained. When they did stop, he did so from second place behind the Pro-AM GT4 car of Euan Hankey and Mia Flewitt. As Wesemael took over the 57 he had a gap of about 30 seconds to close, but his pace was so strong he started reeling in the Flewitt McLaren at an outstanding pace.

Eventually with six minutes left on the clock he made his move for the lead and took the opportunity. He then used the remaining time to build his lead. In the 58 car Matthiesen jumped up to third during the pitstop rotations and began the work of trying to close in on Flewitt in second however the gap built up from first stint was too much despite his outstanding pace. As the chequered flag fell car 58 took a great third place. Out in front though Wesemael on his 25th birthday held on for his and Bowers’ first ever British GT win.

HHC British GT Championship at Donington Park

The next round of the British GT Championship takes us to Brands Hatch for a two-hour endurance race on 29th and 30th August.

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HHC Motorsport kicked off their 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship in fine fashion at Oulton Park with a double podium.

HHC Double Podium British GT

The championship winning team has an all new line up for the new season, with 3 former HHC drivers returning to the fold in the form of Jordan Collard and Patrik Matthiesen in the 58 car, and Gus Bowers, who will partner Chris Wesemael in car 57.

Wesemael HHC

In the first qualifying session Matthiesen put the 58 car in third place and Wesemael placed the 57 car in sixth. The session was immediately followed by the second Qualifying session with Collard in charge of the 58 which again finished third whilst Bowers put the 57 in eighth after having his best lap time disallowed for track limits.

In the first of the two races on Sunday afternoon both cars showed good pace. Matthiesen held his position from the start despite several frantic opening laps which had a number of side by side moments.  A penalty for the Speedworks Supra GT4 boosted him into second, however Matthiesen had to race hard to keep the TF Sport Aston Martin and the Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang behind him before he pitted to hand the car over to Collard.

Wesemael maintained his position during his first ever British GT race start and for the entirety of his stint, despite being under immense pressure from the cars around him. He handed over to Bowers in his starting position.

Wesemael HHC

Collard came out of the pits and got his head down with some great and consistent pace that matched that of the leading No.95 Aston and allowed him to slowly pull away from the chasing Aston and Supra behind him. He held the second place all the way to the chequered flag for the first podium of the season.

Bowers also making his debut in British GT, showed a mature drive to keep out of trouble and bring the car home in fifth, a great effort and some valuable early points for the two British GT Rookies.

The team did a great job in the tight turnaround time sorting out some minor damage from the first race and making some necessary set up changes to both cars before race 2.

Collard had to take evasive action on the opening lap to avoid being taken out by a re-joining GT3 car, this lost him time but he managed to maintain his third place despite pressure from the chasing pack.  Bowers pulled off some very impressive overtakes during his stint to hand the car over to Wesemael in fifth.

A large 3 car accident during the pit window caused the safety car to be deployed.  The number of GT4 cars that were yet to pit took the opportunity to come in, including the 58 car who then re-joined in third.  Unfortunately, the damaged cars were unrecoverable in the remaining time meaning the safety car stayed out until the chequered flag, which saw Matthiesen in the 58 car cross the line in third place to claim their second podium of the day.  Wesemael brought the 57 car home in a credible fifth having been denied further progression by the safety car.

Leaving Oulton Park Collard and Matthiesen are joint first in the overall GT4 standings and Bowers and Wesemael are in joint fourth overall. The team’ s standings see HHC in a strong second place going into the next two rounds at Donington Park on 15th and 16th August.

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Leading British sports car team HHC Motorsport has confirmed its second driver combination for the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship.

Patrik Matthiesen will be joined by Jordan Collard in the second McLaren 570S in the highly-competitive GT4 class of the championship alongside the sister car of Gus Bowers and Chris Wesemael.

Patrik has altered his plans to return to the UK racing scene, having raced in the championship in an Aston Martin last season and for HHC in one of the Yorkshire team’s Ginetta G55 in 2018, taking a win on his way to fourth in the series.

Patrik Matthiesen will be joined by Jordan Collard in the second McLaren 570S

Jordan Collard has close ties to GT racing, father Rob also lining up on the Intelligent Money British GT Championship grid in the GT3 class this season and brother Ricky a race winner in the GT World Challenge Europe. Jordan also has close ties with McLaren having recently graduated to McLaren Academy Driver status. He joined the McLaren Driver Development Programme last year and finished fourth in his 570S in GT4 of the British GT Championship.

Said Patrik Matthiesen: “It has been a long wait for the start of my racing season and I have altered my plans a little, but I cannot wait to be back on the grid of the British GT Championship. The category is always really competitive and I am sure that we will be at the front of GT4 as the McLaren has proved itself to be a great GT4 machine. Working with Jordan will be a boost as well as he knows the car really well from last season so I am sure that we will be fighting for wins. It is also great to be back with HHC who I raced for in 2018 so I am sure that together we will have a successful season.”

Jordan Collard said: “I am really excited about the start of the British GT season. I believe we have a great car run by a top team and I am sure that Patrik and I will make a really good pairing to be able to fight for the GT4 title. The McLaren is a car that I know well from last year and I am really pleased to be continuing my association with such an iconic brand, so with all the ingredients in place I believe a successful season is ahead of us.”

HHC Motorsport team principal Charlie Kemp said: “I am really pleased to have Patrik and Jordan confirmed for 2020 alongside Gus Bowers and Chris Wesemael. Obviously, the last few months have been tough for everyone in so many different ways, so I am particularly pleased that we are able to confirm a two-car assault on the Intelligent Money British GT Championship. I firmly believe that we are going to be a front-running team this year with the driver pairings we have in place and we are all looking forward to another great season working with McLaren.”

The opening rounds of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship are at Oulton Park, Cheshire, on August 1/2

 

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Leading British sports car team HHC Motorsport has confirmed its first driver combination for the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship.

Gus Bowers joins Chris Wesemael in the first of the two McLaren 570S GT4 chassis in the GT4 class of the championship. Both drivers will be in their first year of GT racing, but as a silver/silver combination are expected to mount a consistent Championship campaign.

Wiltshire’s Chris Wesemael will graduate to GT racing in 2020. Chris dominated the 750MC RGB Sports 1000 series in 2019 with 11 wins from 14 races to win the title having finished as runner-up in 2018. Chris tested HHC’s McLaren last year and is excited about the step to GT racing.

“I am super-excited about being in the car and working with Gus,” said Chris. “Between us, I feel that we will make a strong team and with such a good car and HHC behind us I am sure that we will be really competitive. The McLaren will be very different from the Mittell I drove last year, but I am super-positive about it. I think we will be able to fight for wins. Gus and I get on really well already and I am really looking forward to the season. I can’t wait to get started.”

Gus Bowers reunites with HHC Motorsport, with whom he drove in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge in 2018. Last season, Gus finished 10th in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge, with several top 10 finishes.

Gus Bowers - HHC Motorsport

Said Oxford-based Gus: “I am really excited to be graduating to the British GT Championship. To be back with HHC Motorsport and to have a team-mate in Chris with whom I can work with and develop so positively. British GT is the ideal place for me to develop as a driver and to learn about a more powerful race car after the Ginetta G40. In addition, in such a competitive championship, I will be able to gauge myself against some of the best GT4 drivers around. This will only be my third year of racing and we looked at different options, but with HHC’s track record and the support it gets from McLaren Customer Racing, it was an ideal fit. HHC is determined to win and I can’t wait to work with Chris and the team to grow with them with my long-term goal being to drive in the FIA WEC.” Gus also has additional responsibilities as reserve driver for the team’s GT4 European Series programme and to undertake sim and track testing work to develop him both as a driver and HHC’s McLaren 570S GT4.

HHC Motorsport team principal Charlie Kemp said: “We have a structured, development programme that incorporates significant on and off-circuit activity for both drivers, that we feel will provide a superior platform for their continued growth and success. In addition, our strong relationship and ability to work closely with McLaren Customer Racing on both driver and car performance allows us to mount a strong challenge in British and European GT racing series.”

Ian Morgan, Director of Motorsport, McLaren Automotive said: “The 570S GT4 has achieved strong results in the British GT championship over the past few seasons, and has challenged for the title with customer teams. Last year saw HHC Motorsport take the opening race weekend of the season, and remained in the hunt throughout the full calendar, so it is great to see them confirm a return for 2020 with an exciting line-up of Chris and Gus. The season is shaping up to be the biggest for McLaren Customer Racing to date with more cars and teams racing globally than we have seen previously, and the British GT grid will see the most McLaren entries ever.”

The opening rounds of the British GT Championship are at Oulton Park, Cheshire, on April 11-13 and news of the second driver line-up at HHC Motorsport will be announced shortly.

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Leading British GT and sports car team HHC Motorsport is planning a return to the GT4 European Series.

As a McLaren Customer Racing team, HHC has enjoyed a superb season in the British GT Championship with its brace of McLaren 570S GT4s, with a fairy-tale win first time out at Oulton Park.

Now, the team spearheaded by Charlie Kemp and Jody Hemmings, is looking at bursting back on to the European scene and to add to its win tally with the McLarens. HHC enjoyed a successful campaign in 2018 running a Ginetta G55 for Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha, taking two race wins and second place in the drivers’ championship. Now, with a season of experience of running the McLarens, pus circuit knowledge of the European tracks from 2018, the time is right for a return to the GT4 European Series.

“Our aim is to be back on the grid in 2020 with either one or two cars,” explains Charlie Kemp. “We are aiming to grow into one of the leading sports car and GT teams and we are keen to remind the World that we are not just a British team: we race and win outside the UK as well. Part of this GT4 European Series initiative is to showcase our abilities to a wider audience, but we also feel that we are in a position to win races and pitch for the 2020 crown. We were winners in 2018, the McLaren won in the series in 2019 and if we put all that together we are in a good place for 2020. The GT4 European Series is a fiercely completive championship and good results in that arena are a perfect shop window for any team and we aim to be front-runners next season.

“We are talking to a number of drivers and would welcome new enquiries. We came so close to the championship in 2018 that we are determined to bounce back and win it – it is unfinished business for us and we are aiming to win the title with McLaren on our return.”

The 2020 GT4 European Series begins at Silverstone on May 8-10, before visiting Paul Ricard, Zandvoort, Spa, Nürburgring and Budapest. HHC will announce its confirmed driver line-up for 2020 shortly.

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