Stewart and Lewis Proctor took their McLaren 720S GT3 to third place in the Silver-Am category in a gruelling three-hour race to maintain their push for back-to-back class titles.
It was a result that had looked unlikely for the Aberdeen-based father-and-son duo after three pre-event test sessions in evolving track conditions on Thursday in which a suitable car set-up proved difficult to achieve.
Fifth in Silver-Am qualifying, following a pair of challenging practice sessions on Saturday led to a number of set-up changes aimed at widening the McLaren’s performance envelope and improving its handling.
The benefits of the tweaks were obvious as Lewis set the pace in Sunday morning warm-up – the first time a Greystone GT car has topped an official British GT Championship session in only the Silverstone-based team’s third outing in the series.
The renewed confidence this result brought was clear as Stewart swiftly made up a position and reached his first pitstop fourth in class.
Said stop took place just past the 30-minute mark – some time earlier than planned – and was a direct reaction to the safety car appearing on track following an incident.
Unfortunately for Lewis – installed in the McLaren at the pitstop – the safety car did not pick up the leading machine as planned, and he instead lost around 20 seconds to many rivals on-track before being waved past to continue his challenge.
Once racing resumed, he showed strong race pace and ran second for much of the remainder of his stint, before a drive-through penalty – given for exceeding track limits – moved him back a spot.
Another unplanned trip to the pits – to have the cause of a vibration diagnosed – with an hour to go ended the battle for second, but both Stewart and Lewis kept the pressure up on their rivals for the remainder and reached the chequered flag in a podium position.
The duo’s third podium in as many race weekends kept them third in the Silver-Am points table.
Lewis Proctor said: “We made a huge amount of progress from Thursday testing through to the race, so I feel pretty positive leaving. If you look at our pace as a whole on Sunday, I’d say third in Silver-Am is about where I’d expected us to be as a pairing. We had to chase the set-up on Thursday because the track conditions changed so much it was impossible to get a baseline reading of where we were and even by qualifying we weren’t really in the window. But some pretty big set-up changes for raceday transformed the McLaren; I was quickest in warm-up and both Dad and I had a lot more confidence to push in the race. We definitely lost time with what happened with the safety car, but you simply can’t know that until after the event, so it’s just one of those things. I got a drive-through for track limits, but it probably didn’t change the result in Silver-Am. What was very important is that the McLaren was fast in clean air – my fastest lap was faster than the class winner – and that means we’ll go to Snetterton with a lot of confidence to do even better.”