McNeilly blasts from eighth to victory in final Donington Park GB4 contest

McNeilly blasts from eighth to victory in final Donington Park GB4 contest

28 May 2023

Fox Motorsport’s Liam McNeilly went from eighth to victory in the final race of the weekend at Donington Park.

He took the lead on the eighth lap with a move on Jeremy Fairbairn, and then held on to take the flag 0.4s clear of Evans GP’s Cooper Webster, with Fortec’s Aditya Kulkarni earning a first GB4 podium with third.

Three-time race winner Tom Mills fell just short of taking a fourth podium from the weekend as he surged from 13th on the grid to fourth, and only half a second away from the podium.

Graham Brunton Racing’s pole sitter Harry Burgoyne claimed fifth having led the early stages of the race, and five seconds ahead of KMR’s Fairbairn, who eventually finished sixth having led late on.

Front row starter Sid Smith took seventh for Fox Motorsport, half a second ahead of Evans GP’s Kai Daryanani who ended his debut weekend in eighth.

KMR’s Jack Clifford finished less than two tenths of a second away in ninth, while Josh Irfan completed the top-10 despite a late spin at the Fogarty Esses.

Burgoyne fended off a challenge from Smith at the start, and established a lead of approaching a second at the end of the first tour from Fairbairn, while McNeilly gained three positions straight away.

After closing the gap, Fairbairn snatched the lead from Burgoyne on lap three and built a lead of over a second, while McNeilly and Webster continued their charge, taking third and fourth positions from Kulkarni on lap five.

Fairbairn continued to grow the gap, and was 1.6 seconds clear by the time McNeilly, Kulkarni and Webster found their way past Burgoyne on lap seven. But next time around, McNeilly took 1.4 seconds out of Fairbairn’s lead, and made a move stick around the outside of McLeans moments later.

In half a lap, McNeilly built a lead of 1.5 seconds over Fairbairn, while Webster applied big pressure having found his way into third, which became second on lap 10 when he passed the KMR contender.

McNeilly had a lead of 1.2 seconds at this point, but Webster was quicker and narrowed the gap to half a second starting the penultimate lap, McNeilly just missing out on taking the win a lap early after crossing the line with a couple of seconds still on the race clock.

But McNeilly kept his cool despite the pressure behind, crossing the line four tenths ahead while Webster took his fourth second place of the weekend, 4.5 seconds clear of Kulkarni who fended off the charging Mills in fourth.

Mills once more made good progress throughout the contest, moving up two places on the first lap, and into eighth by lap three. Up to sixth by lap nine and fourth on the penultimate lap, he just ran out of time in his pursuit of a fourth podium of the weekend, but still extended his championship lead over nearest pre-race rival Colin Queen, who stalled on the grid and finished a lap down, with Webster and McNeilly benefiting in the championship as a result.  

The GB4 field are back in action at Snetterton on 17-18 June.

GB4 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Donington Park race three provisional result:
1. Liam McNeilly, Fox Motorsport, 13 laps
2. Cooper Webster, Evans GP, +0.432s
3. Aditya Kulkarni, Fortec Motorsport, +4.985s
4. Tom Mills, KMR Sport, +5.478s
5. Harry Burgoyne Jnr, Graham Brunton Racing, +7.179s
6. Jeremy Fairbairn, KMR Sport, +12.684s
7. Sid Smith, Fox Motorsport, +14.852s
8. Kai Daryanani, Evans GP, +15.347s
9. Jack Clifford, KMR Sport, +15.516s
10. Josh Irfan, Elite Motorsport, +26.545s
11. Harri Reynolds, Elite Motorsport, +43.452s
12. Thomas Lee, Evans GP, +51.499s
13. Colin Queen, Fortec Motorsport, +1 lap
14. Ruhaan Alva, Fortec Motorsport, +2 laps
DNF. Dylan Hotchin, Dylan Hotchin Racing, 4 laps completed