Teenager Sandy Mitchell has clinched third place in the season-long Silver Cup of the Blancpain GT Endurance series after a dramatic finale in Barcelona.
The Angus 18-year-old’s tile hopes were crushed after his Lamborghini Huracan GT3 was pitched into the wall of the Circuit de Catalunya by a rival, but he fought back with the determination which has characterised an impressive debut season in Europe’s premier sportscar series.
And while stewards handed his rival a drive-through penalty after deeming them responsible for the incident, the Letham’s racer’s Euro hopes had disappeared.
“Without the contact we’d have been in a far better position to battle for the class win in the race and the Silver Cup,” said Mitchell, who partnered with team-mates, Italian Michele Beretta and Croatian Martin Kodric, recovered to finish fourth in the three-hour season finale.
“I went for a move up the inside into turn 10, but he clipped the kerb then ran into me. That spun me into the wall and the rear of the car hit it hard,” he said.
“Once back on track it was obvious there was damage to the rear wing and rear diffuser.
“That meant the car lost a lot of rear downforce, so for three-quarters of my 60-minute stint it was very lively at the rear. I had a lot of oversteer.
“But I managed it quite well and I was very happy with how I drove. I think it’s the best stint I’ve done all season,” added the British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star and Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program talent.
Mitchell, backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Whisky in the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini, said: “Without the hit we would have finished first or second.
“But overall we know again the car was exceptionally fast. It was a very positive weekend in terms of qualifying and the race pace.
“Right through the season the team has been brilliant and but for the unfortunate bad luck we experienced in the opening two races at Monza and Silverstone, we’d have lifted the Silver Cup. But that’s motorsport.
“It’s been a big step up in driver class moving to a European championship on the big Euro circuits, but I’ve enjoyed every moment.
“And I’ve got to say a huge thank you to all my sponsors who have contributed to the season’s success.
“I’ve progressed a lot throughout the season and I’m really confident now racing and competing at this level. Now I can’t wait for next year.”