Reigning Sports Car Championship Canada title-holder, Marco Signoretti, had his first ever outing in the Ford Mustang GT4 at Donington back in 2019 but an accident on the warm up lap for his team mate meant that the Canadian didn’t get to race.
Fast forward three years and Marco is back at Donington, this time standing on the top step of the podium holding a trophy!
Marco joined Academy Motorsport to race the #61 Mustang alongside Matt Cowley in the British GT Championship. They make a strong pairing and have been making good progress, which was rewarded with victory at Donington Park. Here’s Marco’s take on the weekend:
“I was really looking forward to the Donington weekend. It was the first track on the calendar that wasn’t completely new for me.
“During free practice I was able to bring back the good memories I have of the track. It’s great to feel how much more confidence I have in the car since the last time I drove there.
“After we warmed up, we started to work on the car. We have a new Pirelli tyre this season so the team and engineers have been creative with set-ups, trying to get the most out of it. My teammate Matt has lots of experience at Donington and he contributed a lot to set the car up and kindly shared a lot of tips with me about the track.
“We qualified the car in fourth place and we knew we had better race pace than outright qualifying speed so we were really eager for the three-hour race.
“I started the race; there are three mandatory stops and each stop needs to have a driver change, meaning Matt would finish. I was able to get past an Aston Martin on the opening lap at Old Hairpin. A few laps later our group avoided a spinning Audi, which bunched us up again. After a good battle with last year’s champions in the BMW the team made a perfectly timed call and we pitted the car from second place just as the Safety Car was coming out.
“Matt had a solid stint, racing hard with the Aston Martin of Darren Turner. A three-hour race at Donington is very hard on the car’s brakes. We knew a lot of the cars would struggle and we also managed our resources. The Aston Martin actually came into the pits for the last stop and its brakes caught fire. Luckily the Mustang has strong cooling and brake durability so we felt the benefits of this engineering.
“My last stint had to be 50 minutes minimum because I had stopped early for that first safety car. I overtook the Aston Martin for the overall lead and started to open up a gap. I kept it tidy the whole stint, trying not to abuse track limits so I could hand over a strong car for Matt to finish with.
“Matt got in the car for the final 40 mins, drove brilliantly with very consistent pace and managed the gap to secure our first win of the season, and my first win in British GT.
“Matt did everything he needed to. Not only is he very helpful but he’s really quick and we get along great together. The team executed their jobs perfectly, every pit stop was strong and the shot calling was clean and concise.
“I am so grateful to gain experience from these races in British GT. I want to thank the team Academy Motorsports for their flawless performance all weekend and Multimatic Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to race overseas.”
Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey