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Short Stands Tallest With Brilliant Brands Hatch GT Cup Victory
Apr 29 2023

Short Stands Tallest With Brilliant Brands Hatch GT Cup Victory

Morgan Short brought home a brilliant victory for National Motorsport Academy's Mosler, sharing GT Cup Championship wins with Track Focused's James Wallis on Saturday at Brands Hatch GP circuit. 


Youngster Wallis added to his Donington double with a strong performance to claim the win in Round Five in Kent, before a great defensive drive from Short meant he took the Mosler MT900's first win in the championship since 2018 in the Endurance outing.

On a day where the Group battles were closely-fought until the chequered flag, overall celebrations confirmed a GTO double for Short, while GT3 wins were shared by Track Focused and Orange Racing with JMH Automotive - the latter taking their first Group win of the year.

GTC wins went the way of Lamborghini teams Woodrow Motorsport and Blackthorn Motorsport after a thrilling scrap between the pair, while GTH spoils were earned by RAM Racing who did the double after a late overtake in the second race to deny Makehappen Racing in a superb dice.



A pair of 15-minute qualifying sessions kicked off the serious business on Saturday morning, with Wallis picking up from where he left off last time in Leicester with a scorching lap under sunny skies to grab the early advantage.

Bragging rights were swiftly sealed as Wallis lowered his time to 1m23.977s to grab pole position by just over four tenths of a second, with a flying Lucky Khera joining the Mercedes GT3 driver on the front row ahead of the sister Orange Racing with JMH Automotive McLaren 720s of Tom Roche.

Fourth overall was reward for the nostalgia-inducing Mosler MT900, along with Group GTO pole position for Short and the National Motorsport Academy squad. GTC spoils went to Topcats Racing and Charlotte Gilbert's Lamborghini Huracan, while an entertaining to-and-fro contest for GTH pole was won by Phillip Carter, the Greystone GT man earning his first pole position in GT Cup.


Sprint Race

Saturday afternoon's race action commenced with a 25-minute Sprint to decide the fate of Round Five. Wallis began a relentless escape mission at the head of the field as Racelab's Khera was otherwise occupied by his own battle with the fellow McLaren of Roche, which slipped up the inside under braking for Surtees on lap one.

The duo continued to scrap over second place, Roche fending off Khera into Paddock Hill Bend before cementing second spot after a safety car interruption. Despite the best efforts of Roche, Wallis completed the task at hand by taking a 4.3s victory - his third of the season and second solo success - over the reigning champion, both ahead of the GTO-winning Mosler of Short which made its way around Khera's McLaren late on.

GTC also enjoyed an entertaining tussle over the top spot. The pole-sitting car of Topcats Racing lost vital ground at Surtees with an off on the first lap, gifting two more Lamborghini Huracans a shot at success. Taking the wheel of the Woodrow Motorsport car, Kevin Clarke caught and passed fellow Lamborghini rivals Blackthorn Motorsport, holding on in the final sprint to add a first GT Cup Group win ahead of Charlotte Gilbert (Topcats Racing) and Patrick Collins (Orange Racing with JMH Automotive).

More lap one squabbling further back proved the undoing for the top two starting cars in GTH, Gustavo Xavier sneaking through to give RAM Racing's Mercedes the Group win on his GT Cup debut. Makehappen Racing's second Mercedes also slipped by to take second with Jon Currie behind the wheel, the top three rounded out by Feathers Motorsport's James Guess.


Pitstop Race

What followed was a thrill-a-minute Endurance Race later in the afternoon, with the National Motorsport Academy finally getting their moment in the sun after a fine drive from Short.

The Mosler made its way to the front of the field with a shorter pit stop than GT3 opposition, having battled with Richard Chamberlain's Porsche 935 in the early laps, and held on under pressure from Roche in the Orange Racing with JMH McLaren which gave chase as the top GT3 machine.

He would come up short by a mere 1.4s after having a sniff heading into Clearways at one stage in the final minutes, but it was enough for the GTO and GT3 pair to get their first Group wins of the 2023 season. Sam Maher-Loughan had initially headed a four-car fight for the lead, but spun the Track Focused Mercedes into the Surtees gravel trap. The GT3 podium was rounded out instead by Sacha Kakad/Hugo Cook (J&S Racing) in their Audi R8 and Morgan Enduro Motorsport's McLaren 720s.

GTC honours this time went the way of the Blackthorn Motorsport Lamborghini of Gilbert Yates, while Woodrow Motorsport and Orange Racing with JMH rounded out the Group podium.

In GTH it would be an intriguing battle for victory. Strategy calls kept Makehappen Racing's Chris Hart out longer than their rivals during mandatory pit stops, but a charging Seb Morris caught and passed the similar Mercedes in the final stages heading into Paddock Hill Bend to make it double delight for himself and Xavier.

Feathers Motorsport finished third once again after Tom Canning overtook Greystone GT's McLaren at Westfield, to ensure the team now lead the overall championship.


#7 Morgan Short 

“The car was absolutely perfect. I can’t thank the team enough because it was just such a huge effort for us even to be here, never mind be on the podium - first overall podium, first win in the Group. In the races last time, we were quick in quali but suffered a bit in the races. This time our race pace was as good as anyone's; I was behind Lucky all race - after the safety car he got away but I caught back up and got past him. It was brilliant!”


#67 Tom Roche

“It’s my first GT3 win. The McLaren is an amazing car to drive, there’s lots of guys who’ve done lots of miles in there and are very good. It’s been a lot to learn quickly, but it’s been very fun and I’m really enjoying it. Donington was a bit of a disaster for us, but so much better this weekend so far. Hopefully there should be overall wins coming soon!”


#62 Kevin Clarke

“I was really pleased with that because we are punching above our weight a bit and I’m doing work with Matty to get him up to speed and I’m absolutely over the moon with the way he went today. He’s moved on leaps and bounds and that’s just fantastic to see. It’s rewarding for me too because it shows I’m doing the job right and I’m over the moon. We worked all day yesterday, in every session, all through the car and if you’d offered me two fourth places I’d have taken them but then today it’s just all come together!”


#42 Gustavo Xavier

“Perfectly executed from the team, really happy with the results so I couldn’t ask for more. At the start I got stuck behind a Cup Porsche, and I couldn’t pass because they had a bit more speed on the straights so that compromised me in my stint but Seb did a very good job in the end and got it home!”

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