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Blake Angliss Celebrates Superb First British GT Podium

Blake Angliss put in a brilliant performance in treacherous conditions to secure a breakthrough podium finish in the British GT Championship at a stormy Donington Park this past weekend (25-26 May).

Angliss headed into the event aiming to build on a fantastic performance at Silverstone last time out, when he and team-mate Alex Walker were in the fight for class silverware behind the wheel of their Paddock Motorsport prepared McLaren Artura GT4.

Pre-event testing took place on Thursday and an encouraging day of running left Angliss feeling confident of a competitive showing over the weekend. They made further progress through practice on Saturday, with the pace and potential of the McLaren clear to see.

While Angliss wasn’t quite able to hook up an optimum lap-time in his ten-minute qualifying segment, a solid run combined with Walker’s best effort secured them a great sixth on the GT4 grid for the big three-hour race the next day.

A brief but heavy rain shower when the field were halfway round the green flag lap set the tone for the race ahead, with drastically changing weather and track conditions leading to the most chaotic and challenging race of Angliss’ fledgling British GT career to date.

Walker made a brilliant start on a now wet but drying circuit to move the Artura up to second overall in the GT4 class, before handing the car over to Angliss with some slick tyres at his disposal. He would only enjoy them for a few laps though before the rain returned with a vengeance.

Impressive car control saw the Coventry-based racer successfully slide his way back to the pitlane without incident, as a large number of cars around him made visits to the circuit’s grass and gravel. The race was red-flagged at that point, with a 50-minute break to allow conditions to improve.

With Walker having jumped in during that latest pitstop, he tackled the race restart. Settling into fifth in GT4, he was able to make progress back into the top three around a safety car interlude as the frenetic action continued on a once again drying track.

Angliss took over again with just over an hour left on the clock, though he immediately headed into a poorly-timed safety car period. With a number of the other front-runners benefitting by putting under yellows, the #11 Artura crew would lose crucial track position and ended up a lap down on the leading trio.

The 21-year-old talent was in prime position to secure second place in the Silver Cup class though and with slick tyres beneath him, he completed the job in fantastic style with a run of fast and consistent lap times building a gap of over 18 seconds to the car behind.

Blake Angliss: “It’s a really exciting moment to get my first podium finish in the British GT Championship. After the disappointment of missing out at Silverstone this feels even sweeter, especially having achieved it in the most chaotic race I’ve ever been part of.

“We’ve kept making good strides forward with the McLaren and we had great pace in both the dry and wet conditions. That proved to be vey useful in the race as we went from sunshine to monsoon and every level of track conditions inbetween.

“Alex made a great start to get us from sixth into podium contention, and we all felt we could be on for a great result. Fortune was on my side to not have any dramas in the rain on slicks, but the team made a great call to bring me in when they did and we avoided potential disaster at the first corner.

“There was one moment of bad luck as the timing of pitstops meant we ended up a lap down and unable to fight for an overall GT4 podium finish, but ultimately in a race of such chaos, we played our cards to the best of our abilities and we’re delighted with the end result. We’ve shown we can be contenders at the front of GT4 and that’s where we want to stay.”

The 2024 British GT Championship season continues next month (21-23 June) with its annual overseas meeting, with Angliss set to compete at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium for the first time.

Podium image from Craig Wheeldon Photography, track image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.


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