Ginetta G56 GT4 team Raceway Motorsport have appealed to the National Court in a bid to overturn the disqualification from Silverstone which deprived their drivers of a win. Freddie Tomlinson and Stuart Middleton finished the blue riband event at the head of the GT4 field on the road, but in doing so refused a penalty and were black-flagged by the stewards.

The issue stems from the final safety car deployment of the 3-hour encounter at Silverstone. The Raceway Motorsport machine was in the pits and left service to rejoin the track. However, the red light was on at the end of the pit lane as Stuart Middleton arrived on the scene.

According to circuit commentary at the time, the team instructed Middleton to drive through the red light as they believed the exit to be safe.

During the race, the team were issued a 131-second stop-and-go penalty for the infraction. The team instantly appealed the decision and the penalty was suspended for later investigation. Later, after video evidence of the incident was brought forward, the stewards reinstated the penalty and Stuart Middleton was required to serve his stop-and-go.

How British GT covered the incident as it happened.

The penalty may seem severe, but it isn’t. By leaving the pit lane while the red light was on, the #56 machine retained the lead lap in the class. Had the driver honoured the red light, the car would have gone a lap down to its rivals. A 131-second penalty would have put the Ginetta a lap down, where it should have been had it followed the rules.

The Raceway Motorsport run machine continued to lap at the head of the GT4 field, refusing to serve the penalty. As a result, just before the end of the race, Middleton was shown the black flag, the sign that the car had been disqualified from the race and was to return immediately to the pit lane.

Raceway’s Ginetta continued to circulate, claiming the win in class on the road but was not allowed to participate in the podium celebrations.

Under the regulations, the team have 14 days from the issuance of the disqualification to appeal the penalty. That appeal was notified by Motorsport UK to the SRO series organisers on Thursday ahead of the Donington Park race on Spring Bank Holiday weekend. The National Court has set a date of 5th June to hear the case and make a decision.

Until the court rules, in a procedure put in place after the long-running appeal saga from the 2022 Oulton Park race. In that case, RAM Racing appealed the application of pit stop success penalties when the second race at Oulton Park was red-flagged during the pit stop window. Procedures were put in place at that time to ensure that the series could operate fairly in the event of an appeal.

As such, no success seconds will be applied in GT4 during the pit stops this weekend. Instead, the series will await the verdict of the National Court and award the success seconds retrospectively in GT4 to the results of the race in the midlands this weekend.

The appeal has the potential to shake up the championship quite dramatically. More importantly, if the court chooses to reinstate Raceway’s victory, the Pitstop Compensation Time allocated to the currently known top three, the #90 of Optimum Motorsport, #12 One Motorsport machine and #61 Academy Motorsport entry, would be incorrect.

The #68 Team BRIT McLaren 570S GT4 was also disqualified from the Silverstone 500 after causing a collision with the #67 Orange Racing by JMH McLaren 720S GT3 EVO. This disqualification has not been appealed.

Nicholas Smith

Nick Smith is a time served motorsport journalist and photographer specialising in the British GT Championship. The originator of the idea behind the British GT Fans Show, which became the British Sportscar Podcast, Nick works as the shows resident expert. Away from the track Nick earns his way as a driving instructor and instructor trainer.

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