TF Sport 1-2 On The Grid For Round 3 Of 2017 British GT Championship At Rockingham (29.04.17)

Photo: Paren Raval (instagram.com/parenraval)

TF Sport put both its 2017 British GT Championship Aston Martin Vantage GT3s on the front row of the grid for Sunday April 29’s two-hour race.

Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam, fresh from his Blancpain GT Endurance Series Pro-Am victory at Autodromo Nazionale Monza last week, put the #1 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 on pole for Round 3 at Rockingham Motor Speedway.

Johnston set the third fastest time in the first session with a 1:17.808, behind Mark Farmer in the sister #11 car and the #24 Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by Jack Mitchell. Adam then set the second-fastest time of Q2 with a 1:16.542 to put the 2016 champions on pole.

Qualifying started with the sad news that the #29 2Racing McLaren 570S GT4 would be taking no further part in the weekend’s activities as it had sustained more damage than first thought after its impact with the barrier coming out of the hairpin with Marcus Hoggarth at the wheel.

Second on the grid in the GT3 class was the #11 sister car driven by Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes. Farmer put in a 1:17.704 in Q1 after which Jin Barnes broke into the 1:16s with a 1:16.891 to take second place on the grid by more than half a second on aggregate time from the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 piloted by Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.

Ginettas locked-out the first three positions on the grid in the GT4 class, putting to bed the concern that the mature design would struggle to compete against the contemporary McLaren 570S GT4s.

Pole position in the category was earned by the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by the young driver pairing of William Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton. Both Silver drivers, it was Stuart Middleton, who drove the first stint and set the quickest time of the pair, who set a 1:22.580. Tregurtha then went out and set a 1:22.885 to put the Roecliffe-based team on class pole for Sunday’s two-hour race.

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Photo: Paren Raval ( (instagram.com/parenraval)

Second in class was the #51 Lanan Racing entry with the driver pairing of Alex Reed and David Pittard. Pittard was second quickest in Q3 with a 1:22.605 after which Alex Reed set a 1:22.605.

Completing the Ginetta qualifying 1-2-3 were 2016 class champions Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson in the #501 PMW Expo Racing / Optimum Motorsport entry with an aggregated time of 2:46.031.

The lights go out for Round 3 of the 2017 British T Championship at 13:10 on Sunday April 30.

Tim ‘Shmee150’ Burton Looks Forward To Debut Outing In 2017 MINI Challenge (29.04.17)

Photo: Paren Ravel

Tim Burton, better known to his Youtube fan-base as ‘@Shmee150’, the world’s most popular supercar vlogger with nearly 1m subscribers and over 375m views of his famous vlogs, is approaching his first race of 2017 with confidence.

Tim had an outing in an Audi TT Cup car in 2016 and feels that, for 2017, he has prepared well for his debut appearance in the 2017 MINI Challenge at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, England.

“This time around I feel like I‘m going to be a little bit more competitive and hopefully up a little bit more with the pack” explained Tim Burton in an interview with the editor of www.EnduranceandGT.co.uk Andy Lloyd.

“Racing side-by-side is perhaps a slightly new experience from that perspective but I’ve been comfortable with the car,” continued Tim. “I’ve had a few training days and Charlie Butler-Henderson has been showing me the ropes. He’s currently top of the standings in MINI Challenge after the first race weekend so, fingers crossed, It’s going to go quite well.”

Well-known for his love of the McLaren brand, could he be persuaded to look at a GT4 drive in 2018?

“Maybe in the future there might be room for something like that. I think I’ve got to get a little bit more used to racing at this level,” said Tim. “In the future, who knows where it goes from this.”

The EnduranceandGT.co.uk team of Andy Lloyd, Paren Ravel and Roger Jenkins wish Tim ‘Shmee150’ Burton the very best of luck for his first race in the 2017 MINI Challenge.

The flag drops for the Race 1 at 10:55 on Sunday April 30.

2016 Champion TF Sport Sets Quickest Time In Interrupted FP2 For British GT At Rockingham (29.04.17)

Photo: Paren Raval

2016 champions TF Sport set the quickest time in Free Practice 2 for Round 3 of the 2917 British GT Championship in a session that was interrupted twice.

Prior to the interruptions, however, was the news that the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3, which set the quickest time in FP1, would not be out for the session as technical issues had necessitated an engine change.

The session, which started at 11:45, was red-flagged after 25 minutes, to retrieve the beached #42 Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in which William Phillips ‘ran out of talent’ at going into Gracelands.

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Photo: Paren Raval

The session was neutralised a second time with 25 minutes to go after Marcus Hoggarth in the #29 In2Racing McLaren 570S GT4 understeered coming out of the hairpin and put the car sideways into the barrier. The car was recovered back to the garage with early reports of little front-end damage. However with damage to the side to repaired, the team has got significant work to do to get the car prepared for GT4 qualifying at 16:03.

With times that did not match those of the earlier practice session, quickest on the GT3 s was the #1 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in which Jonny Adam set a 1:17.885. Second quickest was the #6 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in which Sam Tordoff set a 1:18.472.

Completing the top three in class was the TF Sport sister car, the #11, in which Jon Barnes set a 1:18.504 as the session drew to a close.

PMW Expo Racing / Optimum Motorsport again set the pace in the GT4 category after Graham Johnson set a 1:23.504 before handing the car over to Mike Robinson.

Lanan Racing was second quickest after David Pittard set a 1:23.827 early in the session in the #51 Ginetta G55 GT4.

Joe Osborne completed the top three in class with a 1:24.015 set in the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570s GT4.

Qualifying gets underway at 15:35 while the lights go out for Round 3 of the 2017 British GT Championship at 13:10 on Sunday April 30.

Barwell Motorsport Sets Early Pace in British GT FP1 At Rockingham (29.04.17)

Photo: Paren Raval

The one-hour Free Practice 1 session got underway at Rockingham under grey skies and an ambient temperature of a little over 11 degrees.

Quickest overall was the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 which set a 1:17.255 early in the session with Phil Keen at the wheel. Second quickest was the #21 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 GT3 in which Matt Griffin set a 1:17.662 in the first ten minutes.

Third quickest was the sister Barwell Motorsport Huracán, the #6 entry, in which ex-BTCC driver Sam Tordoff set a 1:17.766, again early in the session.

Richard Neary in the #88 Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, was clearly allowing the car to settle down after extensive rebuilding work following the accident in Race 2 at Oulton Park. Neary set a 1:21.044.

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#59 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S GT4, in which Akhil Rabindra set a 1:25.552 (Photo: Paren Raval)

Quickest in the GT4 category were the 2016 champions Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson in the #501 PMW Expo Racing / Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 in which Mike Robinson set a 1:23.480.

Second quickest in class was the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 in which Mike Pattison, who drove for the complete session, set a 1:23.811.

Completing the top three in GT4 was the #66 Team Parker Racing-run Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR. Scott Malvern and Nick Jones both had seat time during the session with Malvern setting a 1:23.884 in the first ten minutes.

Free Practice 2 gets underway for a further one-hour session at 11:45.

The four ten-minute qualifying sessions begin at 15:35 with the GT3 Am drivers on-track for the first session.

2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Gets Underway At Monza (20.04.17)

Photo Above: Olivier Beroud / Vision Sport Agency

The second round of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series and the first round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, the TM Performance 3 Hours of Monza, takes place at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on April 22 – 23.

53 cars are on the entry list for the first three-hour race of the Blancpain GT Series season. There are 30 Pro entries, 18 entries Pro-Am entries and 5 entries in the Am category.

The manufacturer with the most cars on the grid this weekend will Mercedes with 13 examples of the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Rabastens, France-based AKKA ASP is bringing four Mercedes-AMG GT3s, two with full Pro driver line-ups and two with Pro-Am line-ups. HTP Motorsport is also entering four AMG GT3s, three with Pro line-ups and one with a Pro-Am line-up. It was the #84 Mercedes-AMG team HTP Motorsport entry which won the opening round of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series, the Sprint Cup race at Misano, where the driving duties were shared by Franck Perera and Maximilian Buhk. For the TM Performance 3 Hours of Monza, Buhk and Perera will be joined by Jimmy Eriksson.

Three Mercedes-AMG GT3s have also been entered by Black Falcon and a further two by Team Zakspeed.

Lamborghini and Ferrari are also represented by 10 entries apiece.

Ferrari F488GT3s have been entered by Kessel Racing, Spirit of Race, AF Corse, Kaspersky Motorsport and Rinaldi Racing.

Lamborghini will be hoping that the results seen in the first round of the British GT Championship can be repeated on Italian soil. Two Huracán GT3s have been entered by GRT Grasser Racing Team, both with Pro driver line-ups. Attempto Racing has two Huracán GT3s on the entry list, one with a Pro line-up and one with Pro-Am drivers. Ombra Racing, Raton Racing and Orange 1 team both bring one example apiece. Barwell Motorsport, fresh from a double victory at the opening weekend of the 2017 British GT Championship, has entered two Huracán GT3s, both with Pro-Am line-ups. Adrian Amstutz, Martin Kodric and Patrick Kujala will pilot the #77 entry while Leo Matchitski, Miguel Ramos and Richard Abra will share the driving duties in the #78.

Audi is represented by seven R8 LMS’. All have Pro driver line-ups with the exception of #26 Sainteloc Racing which fields Pro-Am drivers.

Team WRT will have four Audi R8 LMS’ on the grid, the #2 and #5 cars entered by Belgian Audi Club team RT and the #3 and the #17 entries in the name of Team WRT. ISR also has two entries on the grid, the #74 and #74 cars.

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Photo: Pascal Saivet / Vision Sport Agency

Bentley will have just two Continental GT3s on the grid. Bentley Team M-Sport has entered the #7 car to be driven by Steven Kane, Guy Smith and Oliver Jarvis, fresh from his victory in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07 LMP2 at the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The #8 will be driven by Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet and Vincent Abril. Both Kane and Abril enjoyed success in the Sprint Cup race at Misano where they finished second.

Additionally, in the packed 53-car grid, will be four McLaren 650S GT3s, two Jaguar G3s, two Nissan GT-R GT3s and an Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Porsche 991 GT3 R and a sole BMW M6 GT3.

There is plenty of track-time for all drivers with a one and a half hour Free Practice session on Saturday at 10:45, a Pre-Qualifying session of similar duration at 16:05, and hour-long Qualifying session on Sunday April 23 at 09:50 with the lights going out for the start of The TM Performance 3 Hours of Monza at 14:45 local time.

The GT3 category was refined and developed by the SRO Organisation and the Blancpain GT Series represents some of the best GT3 racing in the world. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, this is a race-weekend not to be missed.

Minshaw, Keen & Barwell Motorsport Make It Two Out Of Two At Oulton Park For British GT Championship (17.04.17)

Photo Above: Britishgt.com/Jakob Ebrey

Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán took maximum points away from Oulton Park as they wrapped up victory in the second race for the British GT field of the day.

In a race full of incident and one that will be hotly discussed in the paddock, Minshaw brought the #33 Huracán home for the win when the one-hour race was red-flagged following a significant collision between the #88 team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Richard Neary and the #7 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 with Ian Loggie at the wheel.

The resulting contact at Hilltop sent the #7 Bentley spinning sharply to driver’s left with the Mercedes left stationary in the centre of the track. Following cars had to take avoiding action to the right, sending cars spinning down the circuit.

After neutralising the race behind the safety-car it was decided that, due to the damage to the safety-barriers, the race should be red-flagged with over ten minutes left to run.

The final result placed the #1 TF Sport Aston Martin, with Derek Johnston at the wheel, in second place, followed by Mark Farmer in the sister #11 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Chasing the top three up to the point the race was neutralised was Duncan Cameron in the #21 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 GT3. Given the minutes left in the race, Cameron must feel frustrated at the early culmination as the Ferrari was showing its pace with the race drawing to a close and a podium spot was potentially on the cards.

For Team Parker Racing and its pair of Bentley Continental GT3s, Oulton Park will be race the team will want to forget. As the grid assembled, the talk was that, with the success penalty to be taken by the Lamborghini crew and a drying track, this was Team Parker Racing’s to lose. However Seb Morris in the opening stint managed to make contact with his team mate Callum Macleod in the #7 car and was involved in two other incidents so did not hand the car over to Rick Parfitt Jnr in the position they expected.

The final insult was the collision of the #7 which brought out the safety-car, an incident that Ian Loggie laid firmly at the feet of the #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3.

In GT4, the provisional results showed a victory for the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta G55 GT$ with Alex Reed taking the final stint. Second in class was the #29 In2Racing McLaren 570S GT4 piloted by Marcus Hoggarth.

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Photo: Britishgt.com/Jakob Ebrey

In third place in the GT4 class was 2016 GT4 champions Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson’s, Robinson taking the second stint, #501 PMW Expo Racing / Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4. The #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S GT4 was leading the class as the red flag went out but was subsequently given a penalty, moving it to seventh in class.

The second round of the 2017 British GT Championship will be held at Rockingham on April 29-30