#DoningtonDecider: Reed and Pittard - ‘We can only control what’s in our hands’
Alex Reed and David Pittard will be focusing on their own race rather than GT4 championship rivals HHC Motorsport at Donington Park on September 24 when the Lanan Racing pair attempt to overturn a 25-point deficit.
The GT4 title battle has been nip and tuck all year between the two Ginetta crews but turned firmly in HHC’s favour last time out at Brands Hatch when Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton compounded Reed and Pittard’s steering issue and first non-score of the season by finishing third.
The points difference ensures that Lanan’s crew must win or finish second, while also hoping their rivals come home no better than sixth or 10th, in order to claim an unlikely GT4 title. Indeed, 25 points would be the largest deficit ever overturned to win a British GT3 or GT4 title at the final round.
Nevertheless, finishing third at Brands Hatch ensures HHC’s teenagers must serve an additional 10-second success penalty while Lanan compete handicap-free. And that’s a point not lost on Reed who fully expects to be battling for a second victory of the season.
“We can only control what’s in our hands, which means winning and hoping other results go our way,” he said. “We don’t have a penalty and the Ginetta has been terrific over a full hour-long stint this year, whereas some of the other manufacturers have struggled, so in some ways I’d make ourselves favourites for the victory. In fact, I rate our chances at 70%. We’ve got to be confident.
“The issue, of course, is how many cars we can get between ourselves and HHC. I’m expecting Will and Stuart to be very strong in qualifying and potentially take pole. They’ve been very good at overturning their pitstop success penalties this season so we can’t let them build too much of a gap in the first stint. It’s imperative we don’t let that happen so we can take advantage during the driver change.”
Pittard agrees, but is also banking on Donington’s propensity for springing a surprise or two.
“You look at the previous title deciders and Donington’s had its fair share of classics, so anything can happen,” said the 25-year-old. Ourselves and HHC have both had one mechanical issue each this season, so we’re all square on that front. Of course you don’t wish bad luck on anyone and you can only focus on yourself, but history shows that things can and do happen.
“It’s important we’re in a position to capitalise if anything like that happens to HHC. We’re certainly planning to give it everything we’ve got: pole, fastest lap and victory would do very nicely! And we’re only interested in winning the title.”
While HHC’s pace has perhaps been more noticeable, it’s Pittard and Reed’s dogged consistency and mistake-free partnership that sees them head to the final round with a mathematical chance of claiming this year’s GT4 title.
“I only raced once in 2016, and that was in a VW, so finding the right opportunity for this season was very important,” added Pittard. “Alex always maintained he was only interested in battling for the championship, while Lanan have always given us a fantastic car. The pitstop success penalties ensure consistency is key, and it’s something we’ve been very aware of. Without the steering issue at Brands Hatch we’d have maintained our 100% scoring record, and possibly notched up another podium, too.”
Reed gave Lanan their maiden British GT victory last season and is uniquely placed to gauge how the team has developed since its championship debut in 2016.
“Reliability has been the biggest difference,” he confirmed. “Don’t forget we were actually due to enter a Porsche but were forced to switch to the Ginetta last minute. Without any pre-season work it took time for Lanan to get on top of the car, but everything we learnt together has gone into mounting a title challenge this season. It won’t be easy but we’d love to finish the job at Donington.”
The final round of this season’s British GT Championship takes place at Donington Park on September 23/24. Click here to reserve your tickets - advanced prices start at just £12 while kids 13-and-under go free!