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Disappointment for Smith & Plowman in chaotic Donington Race

There was disappointment for the McLaren GT3 crew of Mark Smith and Martin Plowman, who endured a bruising three hour race at Donington Park over the weekend, the GT3 crew showed flashes of pace and briefly led the chaotic race only to be left unrewarded by sheer bad luck.


Smith and Plowman showed top-five potential during the opening practice sessions, something that was backed up by a strong qualifying performance. Smith in particular shone in the GT3 session, setting the seventh fastest time with a terrific effort. Plowman backed up the hard work by going eighth in the Pro session, securing a start on row four. 

Starting on a wet track Smith held position during the opening laps and gradually started edging towards the front in the drying conditions. As the leaders pitted for dry tyres Smith was now leading and with more rain looming the strategy was to hold on until the predicted rain returned but the rain didn’t arrive soon enough, and he eventually he had to pit for slicks. Within five minutes of rejoining the race the rain came and the race suffered a lengthy stoppage when multiple cars hit standing water and crashed at turn one.


When the race restarted Smith was carving through the field once again but was hit by the Audi causing a puncture forcing him to pit. In the later stages of the race Plowman was rudely turfed into the gravel by the understeering RAM Racing BMW which made it a fruitless weekend.


Mark Smith: 

“If we made a list of all the things that could’ve gone wrong, we probably ticked most of them today! It’s a shame because we had brilliant pace on Saturday, but it was just dumb luck on Sunday that undid us. We were waiting for more rain to arrive in the first stint, but it only came about two minutes after we had to change strategy and Martin was out on slicks! Then I got a hit at the hairpin that punctured a tyre. I was watching the pressures dive before I finally had to give in. Then the salt in the wound was Martin being hit by the BMW late on. Let’s hope Spa brings us that bit of luck that makes the difference.”


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