William Tregurtha became the youngest ever winner of the British GT4 championship after he and team-mate Stu Middleton come home second at Donington Park on Sunday.
The pair, just 17-years-old, completed the double by winning the Silver class title too for HHC Motorsport, finishing on the podium for the seventh time from 10 races this season.
"It’s been really, really good and the best year of racing I’ve ever had," said Tregurtha afterwards. "In three years of racing cars, to go from Ginetta Juniors to then winning Ginetta Junior, and now winning British GT4 in my first season, it’s unbelievable.
"Right from the first race when we got on the podium, we were so happy with that and we’ve just been learning and learning ever since – and still learning in today’s race.
"At the start of the year I said I really wanted to win the championship and now here we are. We’ve hardly done any testing all year, so to do what we have is so good and I can’t thank everyone enough."
Tregurtha started Sunday’s two-hour encounter and although edged back to fourth, he swarmed all over the back of the No.100 McLaren and piled on the pressure. On lap 11, a spin for the GT4 leading Aston Martin of Will Moore enabled Tregurtha to move into the GT4 podium placings and on the subsequent tour a huge development occurred.
An excursion at the Old Hairpin for Reed’s Ginetta meant, whatever happened, the HHC duo would be crowned champions but Tregurtha maintained his focus and concentration and set about making up more ground. Pressuring lap after lap, as the race reached the 45-minute mark he got ahead of the McLaren to take second place and when the pit window opened he moved into the lead.
He pitted after almost one hour and 10 minutes of racing to hand over to Middleton who had to remain stationary in the pits for an extra 10 seconds over the minimum pit-stop time, as a result of a ‘success penalty’ from the previous round.
When the race order settled after the stop, the North East Caravans-backed driver held third place and closed to within just a few tenths of a second of the No.72 McLaren of Adam Mackay. Trying to attack while also defending from the advancing Joe Osborne, the HHC car was edged back to fourth with just over half an hour to run.
Around 15 minutes later, though, Middleton moved back into the top three with a superbly judged and executed pass on Mackay on the run from McLeans into the crested right-hander at Coppice, and he then climbed through into second after Osborne slid off the road at the Old Hairpin. Holding the runner-up spot to the flag, the HHC Ginetta ended a glorious season in magnificent style.