In the wake of the tragic passing of Her Majesty the Queen, it was decided that the British GT race weekend would continue, with all competitors observing a period of silence across both days as a mark of respect. The GB4 cars also ran without SD’s sponsorship logos. However, despite the sombre atmosphere, it proved one of the most successful weekends of the season for the team.
Tom Mills, son of team owner Kevin, claimed his first win in the series alongside another podium finish, while Jarrod Waberski secured a pair of rostrum finishes, bringing his podium tally up to 11 for the season so far.
A strong start to the event helped the pair secure second and third on the grid for the first race in the frantic 15-minute qualifying session, with Waberski taking up a spot on the front row ahead of Mills, and behind championship leader Nikolas Taylor.
Waberski held position on the first lap of the race, while Mills slipped behind championship contender Max Marzorati. The British driver fought back next time around, but the race was soon turned on its head as rain began to fall, with Taylor dropping out of contention on lap four as a result and promoting the KMR drivers to first and second.
The safety car was deployed as Taylor’s car was recovered, and when the race resumed, the KMR duo looked to seize the initiative, but there was pressure from behind courtesy of Elite’s Jack Sherwood.
Sherwood fought past Mills at Paddock Hill with a couple of minutes remaining in the 18-minute contest, and moments later found his way past Waberski at Graham Hill Bend to take the lead. It all changed again just a few seconds later as Sherwood fumbled exiting Surtees, giving the KMR pair a run on him down Pilgrims Drop.
Waberski snatched the lead back while Mills went around the outside of Sherwood at Hawthorns and then did the same to his team-mate a corner later to take the lead. While Mills created a gap at the front entering the final lap, Sherwood moved past Waberski again into second, denying the team a 1-2 finish, but with both drivers on the podium and Mills earning his first win of the year, it was the squad’s best result of the season.
Things didn’t quite go the same way in Sunday morning’s race two, with the pair again starting from second and third on the grid. Going wheel-to-wheel through Druids, there was contact and Mills came off worse, picking up a puncture and had to pit to replace the Pirelli tyre at the end of the first lap.
Waberski was unscathed, and spent the whole race stuck behind the rear wing of Taylor, finishing just seven tenths of a second behind at the chequered flag to claim second, while Mills recovered to eighth, a lap behind due to his pit stop.
The final race of the weekend was a smoother one. Mills and Waberski lined up in sixth and seventh on the grid for the reverse-grid contest on Sunday afternoon, and the pair brought their cars home in third and fourth place after some clean but combative racing.
Mills was already up to third at the end of the first lap and ran as high as second before being demoted by Taylor late on, while Waberski rose to fifth on lap one and into fourth on lap six, where he remained until the chequered flag.
In all, the team scored 135 points across the three races, its second-highest tally of the year, and gained significant ground on Teams’ Championship leader Hillspeed, who only managed 87 in comparison. KMR is now just five points behind with three races remaining at Donington Park in October, while Waberski and Mills sit third and fourth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, and still in contention for their own titles, too.
Tom Mills said: “Race one was one of the best we’ve had all year. At the beginning, we didn’t have a very good start but then it all started kicking off, the rain started spitting.
“As soon as we were under safety car it then bucketed it down and we lost all tyre temp. The first two laps after the safety car were really slippery, Jack was just maximising it better. When he got by me, I saw what he was doing and I then started to do some of that. He got caught up behind Jarrod out the back into Hawthorns and I managed to get past all of them. I was then the first into every corner to understand what the grip level is but thankfully I was able to hold on until the end.
“Race two, obviously the low, you never want to be in an incident with your team-mate but that was sorted internally, and it was great to finish back on the podium in race three. I’m looking forward to Donington.”
Jarrod Waberski said: “Overall it was a really good weekend with really strong pace throughout the event. We scored some consistent results, and closed the gap in the championship too.
“I’m looking forward to the final round at Donington Park, as we are still within a shout for the championship! Thanks to the team for their hard work, and it’s full push now ahead of the last races.”
Team principal Kevin Mills said: “That weekend threw pretty much everything at us but overall it was a very positive one for the team as we claimed another win and three other podiums at what could prove to be one of the most important rounds of the season.
“Obviously for Tom to take his first win at this level was a milestone moment for the team. It wasn’t just the win, but the way he did it, his driving after the safety car was sensational and as for the sequence of moves which won him the race, I’m not sure you’ll see much better this year. To have Jarrod up on the podium too just made it even more sweeter.
“Obviously the contact in race two was a big comedown and actually caused a fair bit of damage to Tom’s car. For most teams, this sort of thing could have had a big impact but we dealt with it internally and came back fighting later in the day to end the weekend with another podium.
“Tom and Jarrod had excellent pace and we’re so close in the Teams Championship now, with both drivers still in contention for their championships too. Despite it being one of our best weekends of the year, we’ve lost some points that could have put us at the top, but that gives us even more motivation heading to the season finale at Donington.”
The final round of the GB4 Championship season takes place at Donington Park on October 15/16.