It was a weekend of firsts for Balfe Motorsport’s Mike Price in the GT Cup at Snetterton.
After qualifying for the first of Saturday’s races, his McLaren 570S GT4 was fourth in class.
As the lights went out he had had already made places before they reached Riches on the opening lap.
He was third in class for a while, before Moh Ritson’s similar car started to threaten.
“He got me down the inside into Riches,” said Price, after slipping to fourth on lap six, just before the safety car appeared.
From the green flag he held on to fourth, but had to fend off Carl Cavers’ Porsche Cayman for the rest of the race.
But both had moved up when second placed James Guess put his Aston Martin off at Coram.
“It became a clean five car battle. Cavers never really got the overlap, then Guess went off too, so nice to finish on the podium in third,” he added after pulling out a 0.5 secs
cushion on the final lap.
As the first race ended well, the second started even better, with Price heading the class in the early laps.
By lap seven the Orange racing McLaren of Simon Orange and Joshua Jackson had caught him, soon joined by the similar car of Ritson/Tom Rawlings.
He was down to second after nine laps, but still very close as the pit stop window approached and it was time to hand to Callum Macleod for the second stint.
It was an all McLaren top three, as Macleod was chasing Tom Rawlings and Oli Webb, but the pace was fairly even, so the gaps stayed the same and it was third again for their
second podium of the weekend.
The Fulbeck based team had some work to do on the car before Sunday’s qualifying, after Price had been hit in the rear on the first lap of race two.
It proved to be well worth the effort as Price went out and secured pole position, his first in GT4.
“The boys had worked hard on the car, so delighted with that result,” he added.
Ritson had the pace from the start again, as Price kept Jackson at bay for second. It remained fairly close, but the pressure built even more when Morgan Tilbrook’s Mercedes closed in.
Price then closed on Ritson in the class leading McLaren, who tried to challenge for another overall place into Riches.
His move failed and he spun off, handing Price the class lead.
“I was watching Jackson in my mirrors, posturing. We were fairly evenly matched over the whole lap, then I closed on the leader. When Ritson spun I thought he was going to
come back across the track into me.
"He didn’t and I went into Callum mode, no mistakes and bring it for my first win,” he enthused.
It had been three podiums from three races as they lined up for the final race of the weekend.
Initially Price was in second place again, retaining it to the pitstop window. But with the success penalty added to the stop, Macleod rejoined fourth.
He closed the gap on third, as well having to hold off Bradley Ellis’ Aston Martin. But fourth it was at the flag and time for Price to reflect on his most successful weekend so
The next round of the Championship is at Oulton Park on July 3.