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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Gracie Mitchell achieves podium finish on Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship debut

Gracie Mitchell enjoyed a fantastic debut weekend in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship at Donington Park, showing excellent speed in both wet and dry conditions and ending the meeting with a podium in the Am class.

Gracie Mitchell, Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship, MDD Racing, Donington 2024
Photo credits: Robert Borowik Media

Gracie Mitchell enjoyed a fantastic debut weekend in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship at Donington Park. Racing for MDD Racing, Mitchell showed excellent speed in both wet and dry conditions to end the meeting with a best result of third in the Am class.

After qualifying in fourth, Gracie finished race one in fifth, before showing superb racecraft in a challenging race two to claim the third step on the podium. Missing out on a double podium by just three tenths of a second, it was an encouraging series debut for the young driver.

Racing in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship marked a significant step-up for Gracie who began her circuit racing career in the Fun Cup Championship last season. After a successful debut in the one-make endurance series, Mitchell returned in 2024 and is fresh off scoring her first top-10 result in the championship. Now driving for MDD Racing in a Ginetta G56 at Donington Park, Gracie was looking to take her career to the next level.

Gracie drove the Ginetta G56 during an in-season test for the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship two weeks ago and this fuelled her appetite to compete in the next round of the championship. With three twenty-minute races across the weekend, the sprint format was in contrast to Mitchell’s exploits in the Fun Cup Championship, but still offered significant track time to develop her skills.

A number of pre-event test sessions allowed the drivers to get up to speed on the challenging Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit. On Thursday, a limited number of drivers took to the track, however Gracie was able to bank vital experience. Friday’s running saw a busier track with Mitchell placing third in the Am class and in contention to stand on the podium during the three races to follow.

The first competitive session of the weekend was qualifying on Saturday morning, with Gracie aiming for a strong starting position. The session was disrupted by a red flag after Harry Mangion’s Ginetta G56 became stranded, thus leading to a mid-session break. In the closing stages, Mitchell was able to improve her lap time and set a 1:39.858 which placed her fourth among the Am class competitors.

Race one of the weekend took place on Saturday afternoon with the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship drivers getting underway with a rolling start. Falling to fifth in the Am class on the opening lap, Mitchell settled in and found her rhythm. Running behind Callum Noble, the MDD Racing driver was setting personal best sectors in pursuit of her rival.

Despite Noble edging away from Mitchell in the early exchanges, on lap six Gracie was able to pull back time on her Am class competitor with a personal best time. Gaining a second on Noble during lap seven, the pair were also in contention for a podium position in class as Peter Mangion was only a few seconds ahead. During the middle of lap ten, Mitchell slashed the deficit to less than a second and was gaining in confidence with each passing lap. Just running out of time in the closing stages, Gracie finished her debut Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship in fifth place within the Am class.

The second race of the weekend took place on Sunday morning and was held in extremely wet conditions. Gracie lined up ninth overall, fourth in the Am class courtesy of a strong second fastest lap time in qualifying. Gaining one overall position on the first lap, the MDD Racing driver adjusted to conditions superbly and was displaying excellent pace. After the Pro class car of Ben McKenna moved back ahead, Gracie found good pace and was beginning to chase Peter Mangion for a step on the Am class podium.

As the drivers became more comfortable in the conditions, the lap times improved with Gracie continuing to do well to hold off Callum Noble. On lap six, fellow Am class driver Matt Shaw spun at Redgate corner and this promoted Mitchell into a podium spot. During the latter stages of the race, Gracie’s pace improved further as she closed in Mangion, just missing out on a chance to make a move. Taking the checkered flag in eighth position overall, it was a maiden Am class podium finish for Mitchell in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship.

Race three of the weekend took place late on Sunday afternoon with the track now predominantly dry, although some damp patches remained. Mitchell lined up from third in the Am class, eighth overall, and made a good start to hold a provisional podium spot at the end of the first lap. Despite losing out to Pro class driver Harry Mangion, it was an encouraging start to her final race at Donington Park. Despite falling to the rear of the field shortly after, Gracie was determined to fight back and challenge for her second podium of the day.

The MDD Racing driver was soon able to pass Callum Noble for fourth in the Am class, with Harry Mangion finding the gravel trap shortly after. This promoted Mitchell to ninth overall, fourth in class with her next target being Am class rival Peter Mangion.

By lap nine, she had cut the gap to her rival to two seconds and was showing excellent race pace in the closing stages. As a result, Mitchell closed right in on her rival and took the checkered flag just three tenths of a second behind Mangion, setting a personal best time on the final lap of the race.

Gracie enjoyed a fantastic debut in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship and was able to stand on the podium in a challenging race two. Showing excellent pace in both wet and dry conditions, Mitchell adapted superbly to the Ginetta G56 and was gaining confidence with each passing lap. Forming a productive partnership with MDD Racing, Gracie will be looking ahead to the potential of future races in the series alongside her Fun Cup Championship campaign.

You can help Gracie return to the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship grid by supporting her crowdfunding campaign here.



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