Barwell Motorsport’s Lamborghini Squadra Corse driver, Sandy Mitchell, has put the #78 Hurcan GT3 EVO II on the top of the timesheets as practice ends ahead of qualifying for the fifth and sixth rounds of the British GT Championship. The former champion shot to the top as a red flag flew, to recover the stranded car of defending champion Ian Loggie from the first corner.
When the session went back to green it was a dash for the headlines and the big mover was AMR pro driver Ross Gunn; A last-gasp effort put him in second place, 0.164 seconds off the #78’s 19th tour of Snetterton’s 300 circuit.
The late disruption to the session made the final minutes a free-for-all which ended up with key players well out of position. Of course, Jules Gounon couldn’t go for the top spot; his car was being recovered through the infield as the flag went out to end the session.
Raffaele Marciello could have gone for it, as could Dan Harper and Jonny Adam. The Mercedes-AMG, BMW M and AMR factory drivers all ended up out of the top ten. The three platinum-rated drivers were all well down compared to silver-rated talent. The best Silver-Am car placed 4th.
Behind Gunn came the McLaren 720S GT3 of Rob Bell for Optimum Motorsport. The #27 was a quarter of a second down on the Lamborghini which is shared by his former co-driver, Shaun Balfe. Will Tregurtha put both Lamborghinis in the top four with Marvin Kirchhoefer in fifth, 0.520 seconds shy of the top?
Paddock Motorsport’s Martin Plowman, Orange Racing by JMH’s Michael O’Brien, Enduro Motorsport’s Marcus Clutton, Sky Tempesta Racing’s Chris Froggatt and RACELAB’s Euan Hankey completed a top ten with 7 of the 9 Mclaren GT3 cars in it.
Worrying times for other teams with changeable conditions forecast for qualifying and the races.
Ginetta Top FP2 with Tomlinson
If anyone is going to reboot a season for Ginetta, it should be Freddie Tomlinson, whose father owns the company that built the car and whose sisters are all out racing in the support package this weekend. That’s exactly what happened in FP2 as Raceway Motorsport shook off the disappointment of the decision of the national court to lead the GT4 field into competitive action at the back of the season.
A strong performance, from arguably the slower driving of the Tomlinson / Stuart Middleton pairing, saw the Raceway Motorsport run G56 GT4 ahead by 0.167 seconds from the McLaren Artura of Enduro Motorsport. Darren Burke set the time in the car he shares with Harry George. The title of best McLaren is worthy, with five spread much more widely than in the GT3 class.
That being said, Josh Rowledge’s best effort turned DTO Motorsport’s day from despair to delight. Third in the GT4 class and the Silver Cup is an impressive turnaround after the car started the first practice session with a GT3 car in its side and coolant spilling from the wound.
Century Motorsport split a trio of Arturas, Lewis Plato setting the fastest time for the #22 car he shares with Carl Cavers. The third Artura was next, championship leaders Brown and Clarke in 4th in Silver Cup and 5th in GT4. The Century BMW took the top spot in Pro-Am.
Academy Motorsport’s championship contenders Matt Cowley and Erik Evans came next. The #61 Ford Mustang GT4 was fifth in GT4 Silver Cup and sixth overall, ahead of the Toro Verde GT run #86, Mike Simpson setting the time for second in Pro-Am.
R Racing’s Seb Hopkins came next in the Aston Martin with FP1 pacesetters Team Parker Racing in 9th, Zac Meakin setting the fastest lap for the Porsche. Paddock Motorsport’s Tom Rawlings and Kavi Jundu rounded out the top ten.
The only car known to have problems was the #1 2 Seas Motorsport machine. R Racing meanwhile was the only team to turn in less than ten laps. We don’t know why.