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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Jodie Sloss and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt return to the podium at Brands Hatch

Jodie Sloss and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt scored a runner-up finish at Brands Hatch, as the Forsetti Motorsport's all-female duo continued their excellent rookie campaign driving together in the GT Cup Championship.

Rianna O'Meara-Hunt, Jodie Sloss, Forsetti Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4, Brands Hatch 2024, GT Cup Championship
Photo credits: Nexus Agncy

Jodie Sloss and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt secured a podium finish in the GT Cup Championship at Brands Hatch. Racing on the formidable Grand Prix circuit, the Forsetti Motorsport duo scored a runner-up finish in the second endurance race of the event. Both drivers had limited experience of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit heading into the weekend and therefore three top-6 results marked a solid return and a sizeable haul of championship points in Group GTH.

The Forsetti Motorsport duo of Sloss and O’Meara-Hunt made a brilliant impression on the GT Cup Championship in the first round of the season at Donington Park. Rianna secured a driver of the day award, while Jodie showed much improved speed compared to her previous appearances in the series during the 2022 season. The pair finished on the Group GTH podium three times in four races and were targeting their first victory as they tackled the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

After a series of productive test sessions on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on Friday, Saturday morning saw the duo take part in free practice and qualifying. This would be the first time that Rianna drove on the Grand Prix circuit, a sizeable challenge for the young Kiwi racer. The Forsetti Motorsport duo set the fifth fastest time in Group GTH during practice, with O’Meara-Hunt aiming to build up her confidence in qualifying.

A lengthy delay prior to qualifying led to a shortened session, with an in-session red flag also preventing a clean session. Nonetheless, Rianna did an excellent job to set the third fastest time in Group GTH on her first laps of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

Lining up third on the grid for the opening race of the weekend, Rianna made a clean start and although dropped to fifth in Group GTH, she remained in contention for a podium spot. This was her first start at Brands Hatch, with the challenging nature of the opening sector favouring the more experienced racers. O’Meara-Hunt set about chasing the Mercedes AMG GT4 of Charles Dawson while gaining further familiarity on the Grand Prix loop.

At the halfway point, the gap to Dawson was still a manageable two seconds while a podium position remained within reach. Rianna continued to set consistent times in the closing stages and this saw her take the checkered flag fifth in Group GTH, just four seconds away from the rostrum.

The first pit stop race of the weekend took place over a reduced distance of 40 minutes with Jodie taking the start. Holding her fifth position in Group GTH at the end of lap one, it was a solid start for the Forsetti Motorsport driver who was getting up to speed among some competitors who already had one race under their belt. Protecting her position against Jon Currie in the opening stages, Sloss began setting personal best sectors before settling into her top-5 position.

Rianna O'Meara-Hunt, Jodie Sloss, Forsetti Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4, Brands Hatch 2024, GT Cup Championship
Photo credits: Ollie Media

On lap seven, Jodie lost out to SVG Motorsport driver James Townsend who negotiated the Group GTC car of Chris Murphy while moving ahead of Sloss. Tucked in behind her rival, Jodie kept the gap between herself and Townsend to less than a second and was ready to capitalise on any mistake from her rival. Handing over to Rianna sixth in Group GTH, it was a promising first stint of the weekend for Sloss.

Following the pit cycle, the Forsetti Motorsport duo remained sixth in Group GTH with O’Meara-Hunt running just ahead of Marcus Clutton. The British GT Championship race winner was in hot pursuit of the Kiwi racer and made his move on lap 22. Now in seventh, Rianna was able to set consistent lap times and this saw her and Clutton gain on the SVG Motorsport Ginetta G56 of Liona Theobald. Overtaking her fellow female racer, O’Meara-Hunt moved into sixth position and held this result to the checkered flag to end the first day of racing at Brands Hatch.

The action on Sunday got underway with a free practice session, with the Forsetti Motorsport duo showing improved speed from the previous day. This led to a second-place result in Group GTH before Jodie took part in qualifying. Looking to further improve her times, Sloss was pushing hard and this saw the young Scottish driver set an overall best Group GTH sector one time. While in third position, Jodie had an off through the gravel which led to a red flag halting the session. Nonetheless, Sloss qualified third and would be targeting a podium finish in the two races to follow.

Race three of the weekend was the second endurance race and would take place over 50 minutes with Jodie behind the wheel. It was a good start for Sloss who held the runner-up position in Group GTH while starting to build a sizeable gap to the third-place driver. On lap five, the newly reclassified Group GTC Ginetta of Ray Harris moved ahead, with Sloss tucking in behind her competitor.

One lap later, the Group GTC machine of Chris Murphy pulled into the pits which gave Jodie some clean air in front. She took advantage of this and set a series of extremely fast and competitive times, growing the gap to third by 17 seconds at the end of lap 11. An excellent stint came to a conclusion on lap 16 with Jodie handing over to Rianna for her final contribution of the weekend.

O’Meara-Hunt rejoined the race second in Group GTH and was six seconds behind her Forsetti Motorsport teammate Mikey Porter. Porter began to edge away from Rianna, however a personal best time on lap 23 saw the gap remain under ten seconds. The pair of Aston Martin Vantage GT4 machines were the class of the field and this allowed O’Meara-Hunt to secure an excellent second place result in Group GTH and stand on the podium for the first time at Brands Hatch.

Rianna O'Meara-Hunt, Jodie Sloss, Forsetti Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4, Brands Hatch 2024, GT Cup Championship
Photo credits: Nexus Agncy

Jodie’s speed in Sunday’s first race was particularly impressive and she was aiming to replicate this in her solo contest. Lining up from tenth on the overall grid, third in Group GTH, Sloss made a good initial start. As the drivers dropped down into Graham Hill bend, a concertina effect led to Jodie contacting the rear of the McLaren Artura GT4 driven by Michael Orant. This caused damage to the Aston Martin and forced Sloss into the pits at the end of the third lap to retire from the race. It was an unfortunate end to a promising weekend for the Forsetti Motorsport duo who adapted superbly to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

Sloss and O’Meara-Hunt have made an excellent start to their maiden campaign driving together in the GT Cup Championship. With both drivers showing similar performance, the well-balanced nature of the Forsetti Motorsport team allows the drivers push each other forward. This was highlighted by an excellent runner-up finish in the second pit stop race, with both Jodie and Rianna making excellent contributions.

The next round of the GT Cup Championship will take place at Snetterton on the weekend of 1st/2nd June.



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