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Jan Jønck at the top of the podium at Brands Hatch

Jan Jønck and his teammate Will at the top of the podium at Brands Hatch.
Date: 06-08-2017 By: JanJonck Presse

Jan Jønck just had his maiden victory in his rookie season in British GT4 together with his teammate Will Phillips! What amazing result from 11th on the grid to 1st.

Opting for the security of wet tyres in qualifying, rather than gamble on slicks, saw the No. 42 Aston Martin line up 11th in the huge GT4 field but at the start, Will Phillips wasted no time in making up places. He gained three spots on the very first lap and within half a dozen more, he was in a big four-way fight for the podium.

There was no doubting Will’s pace and he picked his rivals off one by one before the team called him in for a late pit-stop, to hand over the lead to team-mate Jan Jønck.

The Dane emerged from the pits in second place and set about chasing down the long-term leader, who had stopped three laps earlier. Dealing with the faster GT3 cars coming through, Jan closed down the leading McLaren and set about looking for an opening, to try and make the pass.

Lap after lap, Jan harried the leader, closing back in onto the tail of the McLaren time and again, as the No. 42 Aston used its tyres better. Finally, Jan engineered his opportunity, forcing the McLaren driver onto a defensive line into Paddock, using his own momentum to come alongside into the braking area for Druids, the hairpin.

With two wheels on the grass, Jan slipped inside his rival to grab the lead and got his head down, leaving the McLaren to deal with other fast-approaching GT4 machinery. Those initial laps, freed from attacking the McLaren proved critical, allowing Jan to keep the No.42 Aston in front, all the way to the chequered flag, claiming a first-ever GT4 win for himself and Will – and a maiden British GT victory for the team.

Jan Jønck: “Will and I were disappointed after qualifying but our motto for Sunday was ‘be patient’. Watching Will carve his way through the field really made me think something special might be possible and once I’d got out and caught the McLaren, I knew we had a better car. Lapped traffic and the GT3 cars kept separating us, so I had to catch him time after time but I was working out where I could get by him and when I managed to force him to defend too hard - there was my chance. It was pretty close, with a tiny touch… but I’m very proud of that move – those are the ones you remember as a racing driver! I managed to get a lead of about three seconds, before the other GT4 front-runners started to close… but I knew I had them covered and taking the chequered flag to win our first race was just amazing! My Mum was in tears – and she wasn’t the only one. What a day!”

David Macmillan, Team Principal: “Brands Hatch was really tough last season. Our first-ever race weekend and we left licking our wounds, after the car was wrecked in someone else’s accident. So it was with a little trepidation, that we returned.

“The race started really well, with James boldly grabbing the lead in the GT3 class and Will scything through the GT4 field. Both teams showed they had winning pace, so it was heart-breaking for James and Jack, when the GT3 car’s ECU packed up.

“The GT4 battle, though, was absolutely riveting stuff. Will did a superb job laying the groundwork, bringing the car into the pits in the class lead and when Jan emerged behind the McLaren, the speed with which he latched onto its tail and started harrying for a way by, underlined what a great chance we had.

Jan dealt with everything superbly - biding his time as faster traffic separated him from his prey - but he always looked poised to make the breakthrough. And when he did – what a pass! He managed to get the Aston through a gap that was about big enough for a bicycle, to grab the lead, then built up enough of an advantage that no-one was able to catch him in the closing stages.

“It’s fantastic for the whole team to have claimed our first win. We are a close family and every single person should feel thrilled that Macmillan AMR has proved that we are not only contenders - we are now winners! Hopefully, we can convert that promise with the GT3 car at Donington Park. I can’t wait!”

  
 


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