|Fantastic season for Contempo Concept-sponsored Sky Tempesta Racing capped off with class podium at finale Recovery drive by Tse and Froggatt falls short of victory by 0.56 seconds Tse misses out on Silver-Am Drivers’ Championship by 1 point despite podium finish in every race The 2023 season of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship waved its checkered flag for the final time this year at the much-anticipated “Donington Decider” last weekend, where Kevin Tse 謝榮鍵 and Chris Forggatt completed a stellar comeback drive to take P2 in the Silver-Am class. Notwithstanding their best efforts of coming from the back of a 34-car grid, the Contempo Concept-sponsored #93 Sky Tempesta Racing McLaren 720S GT3 Evo fell short of the class win by 56-hundredths of a second. Despite being on the back foot due to a Quailyfing incident, Tse and Froggatt staged an incredible recovery drive and completed a perfect season with podium finishes in each of the 9 rounds. At a weekend when the duo were fighting to hold onto their lead in the class championship, their runner-up finish saw the title of Silver-Am Drivers’ Champions slip out of their hands in the penultimate lap of an action-packed race.
Tse and Froggatt arrived at the famous Donington Park in the lead of the Silver-Am Drivers’ Championship with a small margin of 9.5 points, with their main contender in the #72 Lamborghini. Right from the get-go, the Sky-liveried McLaren, which has been a force to be reckoned with all season long, showed signs of promising pace. The pair were running high on confidence having clinched their first victory of the season at the same daunting track. However, the team was hit with a major setback during the first part of qualifying, as Tse got tangled up in an incident with another fast-approaching McLaren while warming up his tyres on the out lap. Rear damage to the car meant the team was unable to send the car back out on Saturday, eventually leaving them with no time for the grid-setting session. Despite being hit by another car, Sky Tempesta Racing was penalized for the incident with a Drive-Through Penalty to be served in the first 3 laps of the race.
Fantastic work by the Garage 59 mechanics, who have played a key role as a partner in the success of the #93 McLaren this season, helped rebuild the car and line it up on the grid for the 2-hour race. Tse was tasked with the first stint on Sunday afternoon’s winner-takes-all season finale. The Asian driver was tasked with one of his toughest forays in the McLaren GT3 this season, as he got away cleanly at the start but dropped right to the back of the pack after having to serve his mandatory penalty through the pit lane on lap 2. He remained focused and resilient as he fought his way through the pack, navigating the GT4 traffic and making his way up the order. The race was interrupted by an early Safety Car, which threw a spanner in the works for Tse’s progress and fight back to the top. The car had an incredible race pace, which was evidenced by the fact that it had made its way to P3 in class, setting the fastest lap until that point in the process before a second Safety Car came out towards the end of the hour.
Tse came into the pits to hand the car over to Froggatt and put on some fresh tyres right as the race restarted. It was a well-timed stop by the team as the Silver-rated British driver came out and slotted into P2 in class, right on the tail of their title rivals. Froggatt drove his heart out, eventually managing to make the pass with 20 minutes remaining and putting himself momentarily in the class lead. He defended from the #72 Lamborghini for several laps but was forced to concede his lead, being compromised while lapping a GT4 on the penultimate lap. Despite a last-ditch effort, Froggatt was unable to retake the advantage and crossed the finish line 0.56 seconds behind class P1.
In what proved to be a humdinger of a season finale, Tse and Froggatt’s epic recovery drive was mellowed by the realization of losing the championship. The Sky Tempesta Racing crew was left with a bittersweet feeling as they fell short of seeing out the Silver-Am title by a mere 1 point after 9 rounds of intense racing. Despite the disappointment, the team celebrated a commendable season with podium results in every round and a solid fight for the crown. Tse showed immense growth as a racing driver throughout the season, getting a taste of the cruel nature of motorsports and taking the loss of the championship on the chin.