Preview: GB4 aces geared up ahead of Donington Park four-race thriller!

Preview: GB4 aces geared up ahead of Donington Park four-race thriller!

24 May 2023

The GB4 Championship heads to Donington Park this weekend (27-28 May), with a four-race thriller set to take place in the East Midlands.

KMR Sport’s Tom Mills enjoys an extended championship lead heading to the East Midlands, and will start at least one race this weekend from pole position. This is because round four, originally scheduled for Silverstone last time out, was cancelled after torrential rain forced the abandonment of the Saturday schedule.

That race will instead take place at Donington Park, and will be the first contest of the event at 14.15 on Saturday, with all Silverstone entrants permitted to take part. Mills will start the race from pole courtesy of his qualifying efforts at the home of the British Grand Prix, before the rain took hold.

The rest of the weekend will follow the usual format, with qualifying on Saturday morning forming the grid for the remaining three races, the first of which is scheduled to start at 17.45 on Saturday evening. The two further races will follow on Sunday at 10.35 and 15.55.

Mills heads to Donington with a 37-point lead over Fox Motorsport’s Liam McNeilly; the series returnee has won two of the five races held so far this year, combined with two other podiums to give him a strong early advantage.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend at Donington” Mills said. “Our pace has been strong there in the past, with KMR taking a clean sweep of wins at the final round last season with myself and Jarrod Waberski.

“We topped the times at the pre-season test there, so I’m hoping we’ll have the same performance this weekend. It’s going to be busy with four races, but it’s nice to go into a weekend already knowing I’ll be on pole for at least one of them!”

McNeilly had a tricky Silverstone weekend in comparison, and compared to his Oulton Park exploits where he clinched his first victory, but still took a brace of top-eight finishes to consolidate his championship position in his first single-seater season.

McNeilly is just two points ahead of Elite’s Harri Reynolds, who is another graduate from the Ginetta Junior Championship. Reynolds took his own first win of the season last time out after controlling the final Silverstone encounter and is aiming for more at Donington Park.

“My first win in single-seaters was very important,” he said. The car is still very new to me with only a handful of test days, however Elite Motorsport has been amazing in bringing me up to speed quickly. I just need to make the most of every opportunity I get to drive the GB4 car.

“For sure, it’s given me extra confidence for Donington. The win has taken the pressure off in some ways and now we know we can compete. Although the competition this year is very high, Donington has brought me success in the past so I am looking to continue that this year as I am feeling more comfortable in the car with every lap I do.”

American duo Colin Queen (Fortec) and Jeremy Fairbairn (KMR Sport) are next up, with both having stood on the podium, and in the Fairbairn’s case, taking a win also.

Cooper Webster lies sixth for series newcomers Evans GP, but has taken advantage of the break in races to head back to Australia and take a double win in the S5000 category. He’s refreshed and ready to add to his GB4 podium tally this weekend.

Josh Irfan returns to the grid this weekend for Elite Motorsport, having taken a podium on his debut weekend at Oulton Park and impressing further in British F4 since then. He’s equal on points with Graham Brunton Racing’s 15-year-old Scotsman Harry Burgoyne Jnr, with KMR Sport’s Australian Jack Clifford ninth.

Fortec’s Indian duo Aditya Kulkarni and Ruhaan Alva are next up, with Alva taking his first GB4 podium at Silverstone. Privateer Dylan Hotchin continues to improve in his distinctive pink car, while Fox’s Sid Smith will re-adapt to the 18-minute ‘sprint’ contests in GB4, having contested the 24-hour race for Citroen C1s at Silverstone last weekend, alongside his Le Mans class-winning father Rob!

Finally, Evans GP’s Thomas Lee will again make the commute from Taiwan to race in GB4, where he’ll be joined in an expanded three-car line-up for the Australian-Malaysian team by Kai Daryanani. Having competed in British F4 so far this season, Daryanani becomes the third Indian driver on the grid, highlighting GB4’s rising international appeal.

All the race action this weekend will be streamed live via the official GB4 website, Facebook page and the MSV TV YouTube channel. The broadcasts feature full build-up and post-race interviews, and are fronted by Jon Jackson with commentary from Lewis McGlade and Piers Prior.

GB4 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Donington Park entry list:
#3. Jack Clifford, KMR Sport
#8. Kai Daryanani, Evans GP*
#16. Josh Irfan, Elite Motorsport*
#17. Harri Reynolds, Elite Motorsport
#21. Tom Mills, KMR Sport
#23. Aditya Kulkarni, Fortec Motorsport
#27. Ruhaan Alva, Fortec Motorsport
#37. Cooper Webster, Evans GP
#48. Liam McNeilly, Fox Motorsport
#50. Dylan Hotchin, Dylan Hotchin Racing
#56. Thomas Lee, Evans GP
#62. Colin Queen, Fortec Motorsport
#68. Harry Burgoyne Jnr, Graham Brunton Racing
#87. Jeremy Fairbairn, KMR Sport
#99. Sid Smith, Fox Motorsport

*Ineligible for Silverstone carryover race