British motorsport history made on Pirelli rubber in 2018

7th December 2018 | 0 Comments
British motorsport history made on Pirelli rubber in 2018
British GT champions Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam

History was made in Pirelli’s third season supplying the British GT Championship when Flick Haigh became the first woman to be a champion in the series.

Haigh was a newcomer to the series at the start of 2018 but was expected to be a contender, particularly as she had joined forces with Aston Martin factory driver Jonny Adam, already a two-time British GT champion. That was demonstrated at the opening round at Oulton Park, where Haigh claimed pole position and victory in the first race (the first such feats for a woman), helped by a great first stint in her Optimum Motorsport-run Vantage GT3 in wet conditions.

Another win from pole position in the penultimate race of the season at Brands Hatch gave Haigh and Adam the advantage heading into the deciding round at Donington Park, where their fourth-place finish was enough to clinch the title: for Haigh, a momentous first for British GT, and for Adam, his third title with a third different team-mate and a third different team.

The rising popularity of the GT4 category was signalled via the arrival of new models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG. In British GT, the class proved very close once again, with the top three in the final standings covered by just three points. The new BMW M4s of Century Motorsport came out on top, with Jack Mitchell edging out his team-mates Ben Green and Ben Tuck by a single point.

The 2017 British GT4 champions Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha took their HHC Motorsport Ginetta to the highly-competitive GT4 European Series, where grids peaked at over 40 cars. They were one of three crews to end the season tied on points at the top of the standings, only missing out on another title on countback.

Pirelli also celebrated record-breaking success on the rally stages, as it won both the British Rally Championship and BTRDA Rally Series with Matt Edwards – the first driver to win both titles in the same year. The combination of Edwards, co-driver Darren Garrod, their M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 and Pirelli tyres proved to be the package to beat from the beginning in the BRC, as they claimed victory on gravel at the Pirelli International Rally and on asphalt at the Ypres Rally in Belgium and the Ulster Rally. Edwards wrapped up the title on home soil at Wales Rally GB, where he went on to take his fourth win of the season.

Team-mate Alex Laffey made it a one-two in the final standings for Pirelli, while the company’s support of young rallying talent continued with Jordan Reynolds winning the Cadet title and James Williams runner-up in the Junior category.

Pirelli also claimed the Scottish Rally Championship crown once again, this time with Andrew Gallacher and Jane Nicol in their Ford Focus WRC. The pair ended the year by winning the national event at Wales Rally GB: even more reason to celebrate.

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Category: Motorsport