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McKAY STAYS ON TOP WITH PODIUM FINISH ON HOME SOIL

Dan McKay continued to dazzle in the GT4 European Series as he and team-mate Benjamin Lessennes remained atop the championship standings as they took a third-straight podium finish at Brands Hatch after a double victory to open the season in Italy.

The Equipe Verschuur duo claimed third place in race one, finishing a mere 0.180s behind the car ahead and fought back to seventh in race two, despite a drive-through penalty just 16-minutes before the end of the one-hour contest.

Expecting a tough weekend on a circuit which wouldn’t suit their McLaren 570s GT4, the team worked hard as usual and dialled the car in quickly, helping Ben take an impressive P2 in qualifying one, before Dan swept to pole position in his session.

Ben slotted into second place at the start of race one and held his position through a stint disrupted by a full course yellow and Safety Car. Dan was straight on to the rear of Akhil Rabindra’s Aston Martin after taking over, but couldn’t find a way past, finishing agonisingly close at the flag.

Starting from pole for race two, Dan was passed by Jan Kisiel when the Scot clipped a kerb. Running well in second place, he slipped to third when Ricardo van der Ende got by but regained the spot just before the pit stops when the Dutchman spun.

There were further dramas for the team when they were given a drive-through penalty for a track-limit violation, which dropped the car to tenth position. Ben quickly climbed to eighth however, and after a Safety Car, also gained seventh in a good recovery drive.

Remaining at the top of the championship standings, Dan and Ben have a 16-point advantage as they prepare for the next round at Paul Ricard in France. Practice takes place on Friday, May 31 with qualifying and the first race on Saturday, and the second on Sunday, June 2.

Dan, Ben, and the Equipe Verschuur team would also like to wish fellow competitor Luc Braams a speedy recovery as he recovers from surgery for pancreatic cancer. Get well soon Luc.

Dan McKay

“We expected a difficult weekend as the McLaren hasn’t historically gone well at Brands Hatch; we’re quite good in fast corners and traction zones, but even Druids at Brands you roll the speed quite a lot. We had a different BoP which we knew would help but we didn’t think would make much of a difference, so for Ben to get P2 and me to get Pole Position was quite a surprise.

“The car was in the sweet spot in qualifying definitely. Equipe Verschuur always has a good car – when we’re complaining about something it is usually the last one or two percent – and having raced there a few times before definitely helped.

“Both of us went into the races thinking if we finished in the top-six we’d be doing well, so to come away with third in race one was good. The drive-through penalty in race two was tough but we went in trying not to lose the championship lead, so we have to be happy with that.

“We’ve come out with a podium finish at a circuit which doesn’t suit us. The team and Ben did great jobs. I think Paul Ricard will suit us more, from our point of view that was our worst round and we did well so we’re optimistic for the rest of the year. We just need to keep it clean, keep it on the circuit, and not make stupid mistakes.”

Source. Torque

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