Mitchell’s record

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Sandy Mitchell be­came the youngest driver ever to win a Bri­tish GT race when he helped the Ecurie Ecosse Mclaren team to its maiden GT4 win at Snet­ter­ton. Mitchell and team­mate Ciaran Hag­gerty won race one, and with Mitchell be­ing aged just 16 years and 169 days he sur­passes Jamie Chad­wick’s record of 16 years and 348 days old when she won at Rock­ing­ham last sea­son. “Youngestever win­ner in Bri­tish GT: yeah, it’s got a nice ring to it,” he said. “It’s not sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will over the next few days. I’m just chuffed we got not only our first podium of the sea­son but we’ve done it with a win!”

Talk about trial by pub­lic: the so­cial me­dia re­ac­tion to the mul­ti­ple accidents that hap­pened dur­ing Snet­ter­ton’s Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship meet­ing were dis­ap­point­ing and in­fu­ri­at­ing in equal mea­sure.

Hunter Ab­bott’s Power Maxed Chevro­let Cruze bar­rel rolled and smashed in to an ITV cam­era tower, which left a shaken, un­in­jured and for­tu­nate cam­era op­er­a­tor lay­ing on the grass. That was af­ter there had been a huge shunt in the sec­ond race of the day, where mul­ti­ple cars col­lided on the Bent­ley Straight and it brought about a red flag. It left Dan Welch with a se­verely bat­tered car.

Those were the two big talk­ing points af­ter the sixth meet­ing of the sea­son, but there were more in­stances where driv­ers were in the fir­ing line.

Ir­ri­tat­ingly, there were a swarm of ill-in­formed peo­ple pass­ing judge­ment on a sub­ject about which they clearly knew noth­ing on so­cial me­dia fo­rums. Some of the key­board war­riors need to think twice be­fore putting fin­gers to key­board.

Some were sug­gest­ing that Ab­bott him­self should be stopped from rac­ing in the BTCC or, at the very least, banned for a while.

What ut­ter tosh: he was a vic­tim of cir­cum­stance when two cars touched side-by-side while he was try­ing to avoid a col­li­sion ahead. What else was he sup­posed to do? Dis­ap­pear?

And as for Welch’s ac­ci­dent, AMD Tun­ing.com Audi S3 driver Ol­lie Jack­son was fined £500 and was given three penalty points on his li­cence for his part in the clash with the Pro­ton man.

That cen­sure was handed out be­cause there is a very ro­bust ju­di­cial sys­tem in the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship and it is one of the most proac­tive se­ries out there when it comes to driver dis­ci­pline. There are spy in the cab cam­eras, data and steer­ing traces and sev­eral an­gles of ITV footage that can all be taken in to ac­count when as­sess­ing who is to blame. The of­fi­cials don’t sim­ply ig­nore this stuff. They look in depth at every in­ci­dent – even some that they aren’t asked to – to make sure that stan­dards do re­main high.

The ar­gu­ment is that the BTCC is just smash and bash. That is non­sense. There is some touch­ing and rub­bing, but the fact that there was such out­rage fol­low­ing Snet­ter­ton, af­ter two size­able accidents, shows just how un­usual it is.

I wish some on­look­ers would just leave the judge­ments to the peo­ple who have ac­cess to all of the fac­tors, rather than serv­ing up their own ver­sion of rough jus­tice.

Ab­bott was in the fir­ing line af­ter Snet­ter­ton

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