A shortened free practice 2 has ended at Brands Hatch with Greystone GT’s Callum MacLeod boasting the fastest time of the session. MacLeod headed a GT3 class which at one point had five of the six Mercedes-AMGs entered line astern at the top of the time sheets. Late improvements introduced variety to the mix but MacLeod and his co-driver Mike Price held out a the head of the pack.

In GT4 a relatively late improvement saw R Racing’s Seb Hopkins and Josh Miller take the top spot in the session. The fastest time was almost half a second clear of Toro Verde’s best placed Ginetta in a class where the top six were covered by less than a second.

The session was stopped early due to an off track moment for Simon Orange aboard the Orange Racing by JMH McLaren 720S GT3 EVO. Orange lost control of the #67 machine at Paddock Hill and made some contact with the barriers. The car was able to drive back to the pits but the session wasn’t restarted due to the need for barrier repairs.

GT3 – MacLeod Holds Out for FP2 Top Spot

For Callum MacLeod the second free practice session netted a top spot but had the full hour been run, we can question if this would be the outcome. MacLeod’s time of a 1:24.240 was impressive but the red flag came out just as the traditional battle for the bragging rights was getting under way and BMW, Aston Martin and Lamborghini all split the Mercedes-AMG top six which had dominated the timing screens for much of the session.

Dan Harper took second place in the #91 BMW M4 GT3 he shares with Darren Leung, his time was just 0.383 off the fastest pace and the first two sectors of his in lap hintedt at improvement before he was forced to the pits by the stoppage.

Ross Gunn on the other hand was on a cooling lap before going again, his best was just 0.008 off Harper’s best with Shaun Balfe shown as in fourth place a further 0.183 seconds behind. The time was set by Sandy Mitchell.

Behind the #78 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVOII came a solid block of Mercedes-AMG. Jules Gounon aboard the #1 2 Seas Motorsport machine took 5th, Raffaele Marciello for RAM Racing took 6th and Sam Neary used the recently upgraded Abba Racing AMG EVO to hold 7th in GT3, 4th in the battle of the Benzes. Neary was the first driver outside the top second.

Championship hopeful Jonny Adam came next. the #4 2 Seas Motorsport machine rounding out the list of front running AMG GTs. Michael O’Brien set the fastest time aboard the Orange Racing McLaren before Simon Orange’s mistake, while Mark Sansom rounded out the top ten.

Seb Hopkins and Josh Miller's R Racing Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4
Seb Hopkins and Josh Miller took the top spot in GT4 while championship protagonists struggled. Credit: BritishGT.com

GT4 – R Racing On Top as Optimum Hit Troubles.

While R Racing will be pleased by their success in Free Practice 2, where Seb Hopkins secured the top spot by almost half a second from James Townsend’s Toro Verde Ginetta. The big story from the session comes from the championship contenders where both the #90 Optimum Motorsport McLaren Artura GT4 and the #29 RACELAB McLaren Artura GT4 spent time in the pits.

Ian Gough for RACELAB told the circuit commentary they were saving on tyres after finding and fixing a software glitch in FP1. According to the commentator the facial expressions didn’t match the confidence in Gough’s voice as the car which sits 3rd in the overall GT4 title was not turning laps.

What we don’t know is what hobbled the championship leading #90 machine which is 33 points clear at the top of the table and just needs to secure 5 points to take the championship this weekend. We do know that the Optiumum car only turned 5 laps for Charles Clarke and Jack Brown, placing in 27th, to R Racing’s 16th.

Nicholas Smith

Nick Smith is a time served motorsport journalist and photographer specialising in the British GT Championship. The originator of the idea behind the British GT Fans Show, which became the British Sportscar Podcast, Nick works as the shows resident expert. Away from the track Nick earns his way as a driving instructor and instructor trainer.

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