Century Motorsport has won the British GT Championship with their #91 M4 GT3 and drivers Darren Leung and Dan Harper, in a dramatic season finale at Donington Park on October 22nd.
Going into the finale, Leung and Harper were thirteen points behind championship leader James Cottingham and well within reach of the championship. Darren Leung qualified well in the #91 and started second after two other cars were penalized during the session. Leung put in a fantastic drive to move into the lead and build a gap on the second-place car, but that gap was erased with a caution period just before the pit stop to get Harper into the car.
The British GT series uses extra time in the pits as a way to balance performance, and the #91 then had to sit an additional twenty seconds in the pits before exiting, a result of them winning the previous race at Brands Hatch. Harper got into the car with 56 minutes left in thirteenth position and had just gotten by the championship-leading Mercedes when that car was given a penalty for overtaking under a caution period. Harper then had to just to get to fifth place to win the championship and put in some fantastic passing moves to get into second by the end of the race.
The championship was a great start to Harper’s career as a BMW works driver, after being promoted from BMW Junior Team status earlier this year. “Words can’t describe the emotions yesterday,” he said on social media the day after the race. “The feeling of it almost out of reach after the safety car bringing Darren’s twenty-second gap back to zero just before the pit stop, to climbing through the field and crossing the line to become champions! What an amazing performance by Darren and what a pleasure it has been to work with him and all the Century Motorsport boys and girls all year!”
In the nine British GT races in 2023, the #91 of Harper and Leung had four podium finishes, including wins at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, as well as an additional three top-five finishes. Century Motorsport also competed with the M4 GT4 in the GT4 class and won the team championship in that category, as well as the Pro-Am drivers’ championship with Michael Johnston and Chris Salkeld. —David Haueter
[Photos courtesy SRO]