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Esports: Masterclasses in Kent

7 September 2020

Words: Zak Scholes, TORA

TORA British GT Esports Championship competitors headed back to the UK on Sunday for 2020’s penultimate rounds at Brands Hatch.

After using his drop round last week, Daire McCormack looked to make a strong return by bagging GT3 pole position from the GTR Sparta McLaren of Daniel van Drumpt, while Harrison Dowell continued his stellar run by heading GT4’s front row from Jack Shaia.

Round 10 saw McCormack lead the field away once again with a fierce challenge from van Drumpt on the opening lap. There was action in the mid pack with the two GTR Quarantina BMWs of Aaron Long and Julian Murcia battling with the ART Esports Ferraris of Rohan Patrick and Jack Watkeys. It was however another crushing performance from the Irishman McCormack that saw him take an easy victory over the rest of the field. After a fantastic drive it was Bradley Thornton who took home second place after sixth while after a great launch van Drumpt eventually fell down to ninth.

The fight for GT4 class honours saw the familiar names of Ford, Aston Martin and McLaren all duking it out for the number one spot. Dowell managed to hold back the attack from the Lazarus Racing and Tolman Esports McLaren 570S GT4s of Shaia, Hawkins and Bley-Male. For the two Tolman Esports McLarens it wasn't to be however as AMS-run Aston Martins managed to fight their way through to finish third, fourth and fifth with Kieran Millward spearheading the trio.

Round 11 once again saw McCormack lead the field to take the start this time with the BMW of Bradley Thornton by his side and in GT4 it was Shaia who once again partnered Dowell on the front row.

McCormack put in another commanding drive in the Williams JIM-run Porsche to take victory, however a mid-race collision with the Tolman Esports McLaren of Bley-Male could potentially lead to a penalty spoiling his chances of another clean sweep of 400 points. It was, however, in the mid pack of the GT3 field where we saw the most action. After a troubled Round 10 for van Drumpt we saw him charge through the field to bring home a fourth place after starting last in class. Fortune didn't favour Long in the GTR Quarantina M6 as he fell from third to last in the GT3 class.

GT4 saw much of the same performance from Dowell scampering away to an early lead and never looking back. Much the same as their GT3 counterparts however the mid pack saw lots of action. Shaia, in what was the lead McLaren, made a rare mistake on the exit of Clark Curve and dropped him down the pack promoting the Vantage GT4 of Millward to second place. After a dismal end to Round 10, Richard Mead in the sole Porsche put in a fantastic drive to promote himself all the way up to 5th in GT4 behind the Tolman Esports McLaren of Hawkins, who himself made a recovery after a shaky Round 10.

In the Drivers’ Championship it is currently Jack Watkeys who sits atop the leaderboard as both Daire McCormack and Alex MacDonald have already used up their drop rounds. However, heading into the final round it looks to be McCormack’s championship to lose after a truly crushing performance from him all season. In GT4 it is to no surprise that Harrison Dowell leads the championship from Kallum Lawrence and Kieran Millward. Tyler Jones in the Lazarus Racing McLaren missed Brands Hatch and so is down in 11th overall however come Nurburgring he will still be in with a shout of winning the championship.

In the Teams’ Cchampionship ART Esports leads the GT3 standing ahead of the GTR Quarantina BMWs and GTR Sparta McLarens by a strong margin. As for the GT4 championship the AMS Vantage team, with their steady and consistent performances, top the tables with the Tolman Esports McLarens looking set to secure 2nd place. Lazarus Racing, who were some of the favourites to win, have slipped back into a distant third place.

For the final rounds of the TORA British GT Esports Championship we will head to the legendary Nurburgring to crown our champions. Will Daire McCormack cement his tale with another all-conquering performance or will we see an upset? Likewise in GT4 will Harrison Dowell be able to fend off Tyler Jones to score his maiden British GT Esports Championship victory? All will be answered next time out in Germany.