Success for Jordan in Spa debut
Tolman Motorsport and the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme (DDP) finished runner-up with Jordan Collard and Lewis Proctor in Round 7 of the 2019 British GT Championship at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (20-21 July).
A fourth podium for the successful teammates promoted their #5 car to second in the GT4 Drivers’ standings.
True to form, the Ardennes Forest's infamous microclimate delivered a torrential downpour during the build-up to British GT qualifying, although the rain abated, and the track quickly went from wet to dry during the two GT4 segments.
Wets were still the tyre of choice at the start of GT4-Am Qualifying, but the grip increased, lap times improved, and drivers were soon calling for slicks as their treaded rubber overheated.
Collard in #5 was ultimately unable to improve on tenth in changeable conditions, but Proctor enjoyed fresh slicks in the GT4-Pro session and ended the day seventh in the combined times.
From row four of the grid, Collard in the #5 McLaren 570S progressed rapidly, overtaking the pole-sitting BMW M4 and a Ford Mustang before using momentum gathered at Eau Rouge to drag past the #95 Aston Martin for third position.
The Hampshire driver went on to make it a Tolman Motorsport-McLaren DDP one-two, executing another decisive move on the #97 car before holding station as teammate James Dorlin’s rear gunner for the remainder of the first hour.
The Tolman Motorsport McLarens pitted in unison and a flawless driver-change ensured Josh Smith in #4 continued to lead, although a ten-second success penalty resulted in a loss of track position for the #5 entry, now in Proctor’s hands.
Proctor was untroubled in third place for much of his stint; focused on preserving his and Collard’s podium position, he ran cleanly and consistently, and eventually picked up the runner-up spot to earn 27 points and jump to P2 in the GT4 Drivers’ Championship.
“It’s all about getting solid results now,” said Collard. “We have accumulated a good tally of finishes so far and we’ve always been there or thereabouts in the final stages of each race when it really matters. We’re delighted that this result puts us second with a small five-point deficit to the leaders in the GT4 Drivers’ standings, but we’re here to win the British GT Championship and that’s what we will be trying to do in the final two rounds at Brands Hatch and Donington Park.”