Adam/Johnston Take First Win Of 2017 British GT Championship In Round 5 At Snetterton (28.05.17)

Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey

2016 British GT champions Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston took their first victory of 2017 in Round 5, the second British GT race of the day in the #1 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 at warm and sunny Snetterton in the .

Second across the line was the #6 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 driven by Sam Tordoff and, bringing the car home, Mark Farmer.

Taking the final podium spot was the sister TF Sport entry, the #11 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, piloted by Jon Barnes and Mark Farmer.

The GT4 category was won by Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty driving the #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S GT4. Second in class was the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 piloted by Alex Reed and David Pittard. Taking the final podium spot was the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 driven by Joe Osborne and David Pattison.

GT3:

The grid was led away by pole-sitter Phil Keen in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 but Jonny Adam got off to a very fast start and briefly grabbed the lead at Turn 1 before it was quickly re-taken by Keen. Meanwhile Morris in the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 squeezed Matt Griffin in the #21 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 GT3, forcing Griffin to move sharply to the right at the start.

Keen held the lead throughout the first half of the race, increasing the gap to Adam in the #1 car to over eight seconds before the driver changes.

The #1 car was slightly delayed during the driver changes and got out behind Jon Minshaw in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini. Minshaw held on to the lead and looked to have the victory in the bag before he was called in for a drive-through penalty for a short pit-stop.

The penalty for the #33 car moved Derek Johnston in the #1 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage into the lead, which he held, crossing the line over nine seconds ahead of Liam Griffin in the the #6 Lamborghini Huracán.

GT4:

Joe Osborne in the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 held on to the lead from polo-position while David Pittard in the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 moved up to second in class, closely followed by Stuart Middleton in the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4.

The leading trio remained the same up to the pit window opening. The #56 car held on to the class lead but David Pattison, now at the wheel, came under pressure from William Tregurtha, now driving the #55 HHC Motorsport entry.

As the race entered its final stages, Tregurtha in the #55 car went off and could not return. The #100 Black Bull Garage 59 entry took the lead with Sandy Mitchell at the wheel with the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 over eleven  seconds behind as the class leaders crossed the line.

The next round of the 2017 British GT Championship will be held at Silverstone on June 10 – 11.

 

1 -2 For Barwell Motorsport In Round 4 of British GT Championship At Snetterton (28.05.17)

Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey

Barwell Motorsport took its second 1 -2 of the 2017 British GT Championsip season in Round 4 after Phil Keen brought the #33 Minshaw / Keen Lamborghini Huracán GT3 home for the victory, ahead of the sister #6 entry with ex-BTCC driver Sam Tordoff at the wheel of the care he shares with Liam Griffin.

Taking the final GT3 class podium spot was the #24 Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3, driven by James Littlejohn in the car he shares with Jack Mitchell.

GT3:

Pole-sitter Jack Mitchell, in the #24 Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3, led the field from the start and started to pull away from Jon Minshaw in the #33 Barwell Motorsport. Rick Parfitt, in the 31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3, maintained his starting position in third place while Liam Griffin stayed in fourth position in the #6 Barwell Motorsport entry.

The top four positions remained unchanged for the first thirty minutes of the race with Mitchell looking to establish a sufficient gap ahead of Minshaw to allow James Littlejohn to stay ahead of Phil Keen after the driver changes.

Mitchell was one of the last GT3 drivers to pit for drive changes and had built up the 14-second lead he was looking for over Minshaw in the #33 Barwell Motorsport entry before Minshaw dived into pit-lane.

When the #24 car emerged from the pit-lane with Littlejohn at the wheel, the gap to Keen in the #33 car had been reduced to less than seven seconds. As expected, Keen pushed hard and the gap between the leading two cars began to drop.

With nine minutes left, Keen lined up Littlejohn going in to Oggies and took the lead of the race on the exit of Williams.

Having been passed by Keen, Littlejohn had to contend with pressure from the sister Barwell Motorsport entry, the #6 Lamborghini with Sam Tordoff at the wheel, with Tordoff taking second position with four minutes left.

GT4:

The GT4 category was led away from the grid by Alex Reed in the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 but, within the first six minutes, William Tregurtha in the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 T4 had taken the class lead. Sandy Mitchell in the #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S GT4 held third position.

Positions remained unchanged after the driver changes but, with less than twenty minutes  left in the race, David Pittard in the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta came under increasing pressure from Stuart Middleton in the #55 HHC Motorsport entry.

Middleton took the lead in the last five minutes and held on to take the class victory, just 1.48 seconds ahead of Pittard in the #51 car.

Ciaran Haggerty in the #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S GT4 took the final podium spot in the GT4 class.

The win for the #33 Barwell Motorsport entry means that Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen pull out a 21.5 point lead over the second-placed Team Parker Racing duo of Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris in the GT3 Drivers Standings.

The lights go out for the second British GT Championship race of the day at 16:00.

Addendum Post-race, the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 was given a 30-second penalty for a short pit-stop, dropping the Parfitt/Morris car to seventh and elevating the #30 AMDTuning.com with Cobra Exhausts Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Lee Mowle and Ryan Ratcliffe to fourth.

 

Mitchell And Keen Secure Pole Positions For Rounds 4 & 5 Of 2017 British GT Championship From Snetterton (27.05.17)

Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey

Jack Mitchell, driving the #24 Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3, took pole position for the first race of the British GT Championship one-hour double header at Snetterton on May 28.

Mitchell put in a 1:48.555 on his third lap to secure his first GT3 pole in the premier national GT championship.

“We were really shocked with the time we put in because we had been an old tyres all day and we were quite shocked how much we could really push the car and get a really good time out of it,” said Mitchell. “Hopefully going into the race we can get a really good start and pull a little gap.”

“We learned a lot from Rockingham. Each weekend we’ve been getting better and better and that is the plan throughout the year – to keep on improving,” continued Mitchell. “James (Littlejohn) knows what he’s doing. He’s very clever when it comes to set up and what he wants in the car and the good thing is we agree on what we want.”

Second on the grid for May 28’s first race will be the championship-leading #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 after Jon Minshaw put in a 1:49.431. Third quickest in GT3 Am qualifying was the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 after an under-the-weather Rick Parfitt put in a 1:49.668.

GT4 pole for Race 1 was set by Alex Reed in the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta G55 GT4. Reed set a 1:58.031, just .0009 seconds quicker than William Tregurtha in the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4.

“They don’t call it my home circuit for nothing so I’m really chuffed about this,” said Reed. “This is an ideal situation for us because we really needed that pole for the first race. We just want to win this first race, get some points and get the championship lead again so I’m really happy with it. Everything went to plan.”

Third on the GT4 grid for Race 1 will be #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S GT4 in which Sandy Mitchell put in a 1:58.076.

Barwell Motorsport will occupy the front row of the grid for Race 2 on May 28 after Phil keen put the #33 Lamborghini Huracán on pole with a 1:47.332. The #6 sister entry will sit alongside it on the front row after Sam Tordoff put in a second-quickest time of 1:47.935.

PK #33 a.a. 17.05.27

Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey

Third on the grid will be 2016 champions TF Sport, Jonny Adam putting in a 1:48.173 in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

“Barwell and Jon have done really well and Lamborghini have given us a good car this weekend so we need to build on it for the raced,” said Keen. “We’ll see where we finish in Race 1 but it always helps to start at the front.”

Taking pole position in the GT4 class for Race 2 was Joe Osborne in the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4. Osborne put in a 1:57.225 to take pole, .267 seconds quicker than Stuart Middleton in the HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4.

Osborne was quick to credit the car and the team after the session.

“To be fair, it’s the car that’s pole position,” said Osborne. “My lap was average.”

“Now we’re at the front hopefully we’re more in control of our own destiny,” continued Osborne.

The lights go out for Race 1, Round 4 of the 2017 British GT Championship, at 11:40 with Race 2 setting off at 16:00.

Snetterton Set For Sun-Drenched Rounds 4 & 5 Of 2017 British GT Championship (24.05.17)

Photo: Snetterton Grid – 2016 (BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey)

The 2017 British GT Championship visits Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on May 27 and 28 for, hopefully, a sun-drenched, action-filled Bank Holiday weekend of top-level motorsport.

The weekend sees the second and final meeting where competitors and spectators are treated to the two one-hour race format for rounds four and five which always brings about some close, highly competitive racing. The format means that the less-experienced driver will take the car to the finish in the second one-hour race, a situation which many Am drivers rarely find themselves in.

The entry list for rounds 4 & 5 looks little changed from the previous round at Rockingham. Missing, however, from the grid for Snetterton will be the #19 and #69 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT3s, driven by Parker Chase and Charlie Robertson in the #19 and Harry Gottsacker and Nathan Freke in the #69. For Snetterton, Nathan Freke will be joining Anna Walewska in the #111 Century Motorsport GT4 entry, reuniting the 2016 driving partnership.

Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 lead the GT3 Drivers Standings on 68 points after victories in rounds one and two and a fourth place last time out at Rockingham. Only 8.5 points behind is the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 driven by Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris. The Bentley Boys had a disappointing opening to the season with a fourth and a fifth in the double-header at Oulton Park but came back with a win at Rockingham after the #21 Spirit Of Race Ferrari F488 GT3 of Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin was awarded a post-race penalty for contact, demoting it to second. Parfitt and Morris will definitely be looking to take the fight to the Lamborghinis this weekend.

Cameron and Griffin, currently sitting third in the GT3 Drivers Standings on 47 points, will be looking to take maximum points at the Norfolk circuit after having shown the pace of the Ferrari F488 GT3 at Rockingham and displaying their determination to win the 2017 title.

Stuart Middelton and William Tregurtha, driving the HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4, lead the GT4 Drivers Standings on 67.5 points after taking the win in Round Three at Rockingham. Second in the GT4 Drivers Standings are 2016 GT4 champions Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson in the PMW Expo Racing / Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4.

The weather for the Bank Holiday weekend looks very good with temperatures reaching 22 degrees on Saturday with some light cloud during the day. Sunday looks warmer with a day of unbroken sunshine and temperatures again peaking at 22 degrees. After the cold and wet start to the season, a warm, dry racing weekend will be welcome.

The timetable for the weekend is as follows:

Saturday 27.05.17:

Practice: 09:25 – 10:25
Qualifying – GT3 Am: 15:55 – 16:05
Qualifying – GT3 Pro: 16:09 – 16:19
Qualfying – GT4 Am: 16:23 – 16:33
Qualifying – GT4 Pro: 16:38 – 16:48

Sunday 28.05.17:

Warm-Up: 09:30 – 09:40
Race 1: 11:40 – 12:40
Race 2: 16:00 – 17:00

Tickets are now available on the gate only, priced at £15 for Saturday (£10 for teens aged 13 – 15) and £25 for Sunday (15 for teens).

McCaig and Noble Take Dramatic Win At Round Four Of 2017 Henderson Insurance Broker LMP3 Cup Championship (21.05.17)

The #79 Nielsen Racing Ecurie Ecosse entry piloted by Alasdair McCaig and Colin Noble snatched a dramatic win in the closing laps of Round 4 of the 2017 Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship after Jamie Spence, driving the sister #23 Nielsen Racing entry went into the gravel at Stirlings following a puncture. The resulting obstruction brought out the red flag with six minutes to go.

Second across the line was the #3 United Autosports entry driven by Tony Wells and Matt Bell with Bell bring the car home.

Taking the final step of the podium was the #72 Douglas Motorsports entry, driven by Mike Newbould and Tom Randle.

The race had already endured a safety car period after CJ Wilson, driving the #2 United Autosports entry, also had an off at Stirlings. Wilson, by his own admittance, had had very little running time in the Ligier JS P3 prior to the the race but managed to recover the car back to the garage and rejoin the race, albeit some four laps behind the leaders. The #2 car did, however, finish seventh, picking up valuable points.

The result means that McCaig and Noble have increased their lead at the top of the standings, ahead of rounds five and six at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on June 10 -11.

CJ Wilson – “I Want To Race At Le Mans” (21.05.17)

Photo: United Autosports

CJ Wilson, former Major League Baseball star with the LA Angels, businessman and owner of CJ Wilson Racing, has a new sporting goal. He wants to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Ultimately my goal is to be a really fast driver, running at Le Mans whether its in GTE or LMP2,” said CJ, talking to EnduranceandGT.co.uk editor Andy Lloyd, ahead of his first outing in the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship at Brands Hatch.

“This is my first couple of months as a racer so I have a lot of room left to grow and I want to see how far my potential can take me.”

CJ Wilson has had very limited running in the United Autosports Ligier JS P3.

“We ran the Indy circuit on Friday so I had a couple of laps in the dry but it rained for my first stint so I only got four laps really. Obviously I haven’t really had a lot of chances to go round but this is absolutely a mega circuit. This is one of those tracks that as a kid you see videos of so I can see why this is such a big deal. This track is really a ballsy track. When you drive it on Forza, you don’t really get a sense of the elevation changes and the visibility of some of the corners. The Ligier is an incredible car but I’m not anywhere near experienced in that car yet. I did one test-day in the car a couple of months ago and then I came straight to here so there’s a lot of room left for me to improve.”

CJ sees huge potential for the LMP3 category as part of the development of endurance racing in the US.

“It’s good for me to have the experience of seeing this here and having a say because IMSA ask us ‘where do you think LMP3 should race?’ and I think it should be an endurance series in the States doing two-hour races. You’re then able to put multiple drivers in the car, defray the costs a little bit and make more of a show. Right now they’re running two sprint races of 40 minutes each for one driver and I don’t think that’s the best showcase for what these cars can do.”

United Autosports is also providing CJ with an example of how he would like to develop his own race team in the States.

“When you have a team like United Autosports who are obviously a first class championship winning team – that’s the team that I want my team to evolve into. To be around Richard and see how he manages everything and also to see the level of the crew, the level of preparation and professionalism – it gives me something to shoot for when I go back home.”