Shaun Balfe breaks duck with Donington Park win in final round of British GT Championship
Shaun Balfe’s dominant win in the British GT Championship ended a 16-year victory drought at Donington Park.
Balfe, 47, was joined at the top of the podium with Balfe Motorsport team-mate Rob Bell, who sealed the win after fending off a late fightback from Mercedes GT3 driver Callum McLeod.
Balfe, of Fulbeck, said the team’s victory in the final round of the championships will go down in the history books.
“It felt really good,” he said. “We had been knocking on the door for a few rounds and, on the day, the racing gods decided that we should win.
“I’m over the moon for the team. What a way to end the season.
“The car was strong and we knew it. Our attitude was ‘we’re there to win’.
“There was maybe a little bit of cautiousness from others around us, but it was just flat out from us.
“It was really good to deliver the first McLaren 720S GT3 win in the British GT, which will go down in the history books.
“It gives us lots to think about over the winter.”
The McLaren 720S was dominant enough for a second pole position.
Balfe’s strong driving from the off saw him build a huge 25-second gap to his nearest rivals, before handing over to Bell.
The Newcastle driver took over after a perfect pit stop, but a late safety car period after a race altercation between two competitors all but erased Bell’s lead.
However, with rivals just a car length away, Bell created a gap that allowed him to fend off the late attentions of McLeod to take a well-earned victory.
The win saw them secure third place in the championships, a strong achievement having pulled out of the first two races at the Oulton Park round.
Balfe Motorsport said it aims to return to racing in 2020.