BRDC Superstar Adam Smalley taking victory at the Silverstone 500 British GT race

Talking points from an eventful British GT Silverstone 500 race

On a rainy day at Silverstone, anything can happen, and it did during the 2024 Silverstone 500 British GT race. A greasy circuit meant lots of cars were slipping off onto the grass and into the barriers.

Multiple Full Course Yellow and Safety Car periods had a significant impact on the outcome of the race. Those who timed their pitstops to perfection when the race was neutralised, were in the pound seat for what was a thrilling three-hour contest.

A British GT fan reading the programme at Silverstone


BRDC Superstar Adam Smalley and team-mate Shaun Balfe master the conditions

Although they may have started in fourth, the #59 line-up of Adam Smalley and Shaun Balfe were in podium contention from the moment the race got underway. Having moved up to second early on, Balfe had to concede second to the charging Giacomo Petrobelli in the opening stint, before strategically pitting under a Full Course Yellow.

Running in the top five for the middle stages of the race, Smalley emerged from the final round of stops in contention for the win. When the duelling pair of Marcus Clutton and Jann Mardenborough tangled ahead, Adam needed no further invitation to snatch the net race lead. With the former receiving a stop-go penalty for the misdemeanour and the latter spinning out of contention, Garage 59’s Adam Smalley and Shaun Balfe claimed an emphatic race win in the #59 McLaren 720S GT3 EVO.

With a superb result at Silverstone, the pairing has risen to the top of the pile, taking the lead of the championship with a 6.5-point gap to second place.

Adam Smalley and Shaun Balfe atop the Silverstone 500 British GT podium


Heroic drive from Jann Mardenborough and Chris Buncombe

Starting a lowly 17th, it looked like a tall order for the #23 pairing of Jann Mardenborough – on his motorsport return – and Chris Buncombe to get a top five, let alone a podium. They defied the odds, though, to move up to fifth by the 30-minute mark. With Buncombe astutely pitting during two Full Course Yellows, he handed over to a fired-up Mardenborough with 40 minutes to go.

The duo’s shrewd strategy released Jann back into the pack within touching distance of the podium positions. During a frenetic restart with just 25 minutes to go, Mardenborough sliced underneath both Clutton and Smalley at Club in a 2022 Hamilton-esque manoeuvre to take what was effectively the race lead. Just three corners later, he’d been clouted into Village by a disgruntled Clutton. The ensuing spin denied him a chance to fight for victory as he tumbled down the order to ninth.

By the flag, Jann had climbed back to an excellent fourth, just missing out on an overall podium. A class victory the reward for his efforts. However, a post-race penalty handed the pair a well-earned overall podium.

Jann Mardenborough on track at the British GT Silverstone 500 event


Rob and Ricky Collard in the mix once again

The father-son duo of Rob (a former winner at Silverstone) and Ricky Collard started seventh at the wheel of the #63 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2. An early pitstop meant the pair dropped to 25th early on, but an inspired recovery drive meant they were in the overall lead of the race with just 30 minutes remaining.

Unfortunately, they dropped down the order following a pit stop in the closing stages, but fifth in the final reckoning earned them valuable points in the championship race. They now lie second in the standings behind the aforementioned Smalley/Balfe combination.

Ricky Collard climbing into his British GT race car


Kevin Tse and Maximilian Goetz – the understated pacesetters of the weekend

Starting from pole, the #18 car had already established its one-lap pace in qualifying, but an ominous opening stint saw Kevin Tse open an impressive margin. Having pitted under an early Full Course Yellow, Kevin got back into the lead and headed the field for much of the race, but strategy worked against them.

The team left their final stop until much later in the race than those around them, and had to pit under green flag conditions resulting in a huge time loss and dropping them to 12th in the final results.

Maxi Goetz at the wheel of the Mercedes British GT car at Silverstone