Category Archives: SRO Series

Devon Modell Steps Down From 2018 British GT Championship (09.05.18)

Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey Photography

Devon Modell, driver of the #24 RJN Motorsport Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 alongside team-mate Struan Moore, has decided to step down from the British GT Championship with immediate effect to concentrate on his business interests.

Modell, who first drove in the premier national GT championship in 2014, owns, with his family, the Gallery Superclub Maidstone and made the announcement ahead of the third round at Snetterton on May 26 – 27.

“It’s a shame,” said Modell. “I knew it was going to be a big risk to run the business and drive and compete over the same weekend. If I’m not able to be 100 per cent focused, it’s better someone else gets the chance to drive the RJN Nissan for now.”

“The Gallery Superclub is an new venture for me this year and it demands a lot of attention but I’m certainly not hanging up my helmet just yet and hope to return to the series on another occasion, maybe even later this year.”

“For now though, I will be focusing on business commitments and maybe the occasional outing in one-off events when my time permits. I would especially like to thank Bob Neville at RJN Motorsport for his understanding and wish him and Struan the very best for the remainder of the season.”

“The Future Is Bright” – Team HARD’s Anna Walewska Discusses The University of Bolton’s National Centre For Motorsport Engineering With EnduranceandGT. (01.05.18)

Photo: @BritishGT / Jakob Ebrey Photography

Anna Walewska, now in her fourth season of the British GT Championship and team-mate of Callum Hawkins-Row in the #34 Team HARD with Trade Price Cars Ginetta G55 GT, is Brand Ambassador for the University of Bolton and its new National Centre of Motorsport Engineering (NCME).

Anna’s role with the University of Bolton means that students at the NCME have the opportunity to work within Team HARD as way of providing work experience in an industry that is notoriously hard to break in to.

EnduranceandGT.co.uk editor Andy Lloyd caught up with the Hindhead-based driver, who finished third in the 2016 GT4 Drivers Standings, at Round Three of the British GT Championship at Rockingham Motor Speedway to discuss her involvement with the University.

Anna, you’ve been a Brand Ambassador for the University of Bolton for four years. How did that relationship come about?

“It originally came about because the University was looking for a female ambassador and I was racing in Britcar at the time and I won the Britcar class championship and finished third overall. That was enough for them to appoint me to the position as long as I was happy to have the students’ involvement with me and the teams I worked with.”

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Photo: @ParenRaval

Has the student involvement been there from the start?

“It’s progressed. It was not there originally but when we entered British GT, which was three years ago, we started and they’ve been with me ever since. Wherever I go, they follow.”

The idea of motorsport as an educational path is relatively new. What do you think that gives students when they’re looking at careers in an industry which is particularly difficult to get in to?

“I think, if you go to university and you come out with an engineering degree, you’ve proved your ability and commitment to a degree course and you’ve learned the theoretical side. This programme couples that with hands-on experience and a taste of the industry, at a high level, with the opportunity to look at aspects such as data, telemetry, and also the mechanical side. It gives the students a chance to see where they might like to specialise.”

“I think that what we’re giving them, and what I’m offering them, is an opportunity to find out what field they want to go in to. After that, in terms of competitiveness for them, it gives their CV an edge compared to anyone else. They can say ‘I worked in British GT with a professional team and I’ve got experience’. It’s not part of the course but it’s like work-experience. We try and give the opportunity to everyone who wants to go. And they enjoy it – it’s nice to see them progress.”

What is the step-change that the National Centre of Motorsport Engineering gives the University of Bolton from that which they had before?

“Now they have a hub – a building that is specifically for motorsport engineering called the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering. Although there’s no race team running out of it per se on campus, they still have the cars that go up to the team at the University, cars that can be worked on if they want to and the opportunity to see the prep work, the set-down work and, of course, they can visit Team HARD’s work-shop and carry out some prep work with us. They can also go externally and do some work in Rallycross as we have links with Albatec.”

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Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey Photography

What does the future hold for the NCME?

“The future is bright. There are many things that the University wants to do. I’d like to see them have an in-house race team – in years to come I think that would be a nice progression but essentially the National Centre is a facility for the students. It’s hub for them where they have fantastic facilities at a base from where it all happens.”

How many of the students have moved into the motorsport industry?

“we have one student who’s gone on into McLaren, not at F1 level but he’s working on the workshop floor. We also have few who have gone into British Touring Cars and there are two that Century Motorsport have taken on. So the programme has worked in that sense. They’ve got a job at the end of it which is what they want.”

Working in a race team is more than just having the technical skills, isn’t it? It’s the ability to work as part of a team…

“Yes. Our students get to see the highs and experience the lows. For some people it’s not for them. If the car gets smashed at the end of the day and the race is tomorrow, they’ll be up all night working on it. On a degree course, you wouldn’t necessarily see that. It gives them the opportunity to ask themselves the question: ‘Do I want to be involved in this?’. And most of them do!”

You can read more about the University of Bolton and the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering here.

“I have Full Confidence Going Into The Next Round” – Team HARD’s Ben Wallace Takes The Positives From British GT Championship Round Three at Rockingham (29.04.18)

Photo: @ParenRaval.

Southport-based Ben Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4, alongside team-mate Joshua Jackson, finished tenth in the GT4 Silver class after the first two-hour race of the 2018 British GT Championship season at Rockingham Motor Speedway on Sunday April 29.

The weekend saw a supreme effort from Team HARD who worked miracles to get the #88 Ginetta out for Saturday April 28’s qualifying sessions following damage sustained to the car in practice. The hard work of the Rochester-based team was recognised by the Championship organisers when they were awarded ‘Team of the Weekend’.

“The team was fantastic,” said 18-year old Ben Wallace. “It was definitely a team success and it was great that the work of Team HARD in getting the car ready for qualifying was rewarded with a trophy for ‘Team of the Weekend’.”

Due to a mechanical failure preventing the car from setting a qualifying time, Ben Wallace started from 34th on the grid but the pace of the LIPS Reifen-backed driver in the Ginetta G55 GT4 was soon evident after Benjamin made up sixteen places in the early part of the race.

Contact with another competitor caused a steering-arm to snap and the resulting repairs cost nearly 20 minutes in the pits. Wallace handed the car over to team-mate Joshua Jackson who drove an excellent second-half of the race to bring the car home tenth in class and claim 1.5 Championship points.

Despite the delay in the pits, the pace he could show in the car excited Ben Wallace.

“I felt I could have easily finished in the top five,” said Wallace. “You could see how much quicker I was compared to the other cars and I felt really good in the car.”

“It was nice to prove that I can be as quick as anyone else in the field,” continued Wallace. “It’s a real boost and I now have full confidence going into the next rounds. We will certainly be higher up the grid for Rounds Four and Five at Snetterton, if not a top-ten team, even top five.”

The British GT Championship now moves to Snetterton, Norfolk for Rounds Four and Five on May 27.

A Race Of Two Halves – ERC Sport Win At Rockingham (Updated) (30.04.18)

Photo: @ParenRaval

In a race where the final result was decided as much in the Race Control office as it was on track, victory went to the #116 ERC Sport Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Lee Mowle and, taking the car to the chequered flag, Yelmer Buurman.

4.352 seconds behind, in second place, was the #17 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage piloted by Derek Johnston and Marco Sorensen. However, post-race penalties were to add 30 seconds to the finishing time of the #17 car and moved it to seventh.

The #7 Team Parker Racing Ltd Bentley Continental GT3 with the driver line-up of Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod completed the top three finishers, 19.4 seconds behind the #17 entry.

In GT4, victory went to the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Patrick Matthiesen and Callum Pointon with second in class going to the Stephen Johansen / Jesse Anttila-piloted #54 UltraTek Racing Team RJN Nissan 370Z GT4.

Taking the final podium position in the GT4 category was the #62 Academy Motorsport Aston Martin V8 Vantage driven by Will Moore and, taking the second stint, Matt Nicoll-Jones.

GT3:

Jon Minshaw, at the wheel of the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3, led the field from pole position at the start, closely followed by Flick Haigh in the #75 Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage. Taking most advantage of the start, however, was series newcomer Sam De Haan, taking the first stint in the sister #69 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini. De Haan moved into third position, less than a quarter of a second behind Flick Haigh, after ten minutes.

The race was neutralised with the first of four safety car periods after Shaun Balfe in the #101 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 650S GT3 hit the wall at Turn 12 after 13 minutes. Seven minutes would elapse before the race could resume green-flag running.

At the re-start Flick Haigh spun on oil and dropped down the field, allowing Graham Davidson in the #47 Jetstream Motorsport Aston Martin to move in to third.

Jon Minshaw, meanwhile, was looking to consolidate his lead in the #33 entry but was frustrated by a second Safety Car period when the #50 HHC Motorsport Ginetta GT4, driven by Mike Newbould, spun at T5. Recovery meant the race was neutralised for four minutes, allowing the field to again close up.

As the pit-window approached Minshaw continued to hold the lead ahead of Davidson with De Haan in third.

There was drama for reigning GT3 champion Rick Parfitt Jnr after contact with Derek Johnston in the #17 TF Sport Aston Martin resulted in a spin at Turn 9, dropping the #1 car down the order.

In what was very much a ‘game of two halves’ things got really interesting as the race moved into its second hour.

After the driver-changes had cycled through, the third safety-car period of the race with 46 minutes to go allowed the field to close up and, when racing resumed, it was the #47 Jetsteam Motorsport entry, now with Maxime Martin at the wheel, that held a slim lead over Phil Keen in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini. Drama, however, was about to unfold when the #47 entry was handed a stop-go penalty for track limit infringements. Phil Keen then took a short-lived lead before the #33 entry was given a stop/go penalty for a pit infringement.

With 20 minutes remaining, Yelmer Buurman, now behind the wheel of the #116 ERC Sport Mercedes took the lead. Marco Sorensen, driving the #17 TF Sport Aston pushed hard but was unable to get closer than a little over two seconds from the lead car.

Darren Turner, taking the second stint in the #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin looked set to take the final podium position but was chased down by Callum Macleod in the #7 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 in the last 5 minutes. Turner finished fourth.

There was trouble for the #75 Optimum Motorsport entry after a fire at the driver change delayed the Jonny Adam leaving the pit, the car eventually finishing fifth.

Post-race, however, there was to be more discussion after the #17 TF Sport Aston Martin was given a 30 second penalty for involvement in the spin of Rick Parfitt Jnr in the #1 Team Parker Racing Bentley. As a result, the #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage, driven by Andrew Howard and Darren Turner, moved up the order to be awarded the final podium position.

GT4:

The GT4 category saw a closely fought battle in the first hour between Charlie Fagg in the #4 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570s GT4 who led from class pole and Patrick Matthiesen in the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4.

After the driver changes had cycled through it was Callum Pointon, now driving the #55 entry that held the lead with Michael O’Brien behind the wheel of the #4 Tolman Motorsport entry in second.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Jesse Antilla, driving the #54 UltraTek entry moved in to second place, a position he held to the chequered flag, with Matt Nicoll-Jones moving in to the final podium position in the final 5 minutes.

Rounds Four and Five 0f the 2018 British GT Championship takes place at Snetterton on May 26 –27.

ERC Sport Win At Rockingham. HHC Motorsport Takes Victory In GT4. (29.04.18)

Photo: @ParenRaval

In a race where the final result was decided as much in the Race Control office as it was on track, victory went to the #116 ERC Sport Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Lee Mowle and, taking the car to the chequered flag, Yelmer Buurman.

4.352 seconds behind, in second place, was the #17 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage piloted by Derek Johnston and Marco Sorensen.

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Photo: @ParenRaval

The #7 Team Parker Racing Ltd Bentley Continental GT3 with the driver line-up of Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod completed the top three finishers, 19.4 seconds behind the #17 entry.

In GT4 victory went to the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Patrick Matthiesen and Callum Pointon with second in class going to the Stephen Johansen / Jess Anttila-piloted #54 UltraTek Racing Team RJN Nissan 370Z GT4.

Taking the final podium position in the GT4 category was the #62 Academy Motorsport Aston Martin V8 Vantage driven by Will Moore and, taking the second stint, Matt Nicoll-Jones.

Full Race Report to follow.

Barwell Motorsport / Minshaw / Keen On Pole For British GT Round 3 At Rockingham. Tolman Motorsport Ltd Dominate GT4. (28.04.18)

Photo: @ParenRaval

Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen put the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 on pole for Sunday April 29’s Round Three of the 2018 British GT Championship at Rockingham Motor Speedway after Minshaw and Keen lapped the Corby circuit in an aggregate time of 3:03.063.

Second on the grid will be the #75 Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage driven by Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam with an aggregate time of 3:03.755. Aston Martin took two of three top positions in qualifying after Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim went third quickest with an aggregate time of 3:05.755 in the #11 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage.

Qualifying got underway in wet but drying conditions and it was Flick Haigh in the #75 Optimum Motorsport who set the early pace with a 1:32.844 set in the closing seconds of the ten-minute session, nearly a full second quicker than Jon Minshaw in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini. The session saw Lee Mowle in the #116 ERC Sport Mercedes-AMG GT3, spin and make contact early in the ten-minute period and unable to set a time. Yelmer Buurman got the#116 entry out in the GT3 Pro session but the #116 will start from the back of the class grid as a result of not setting a time in the Am session.

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Photo: @ParenRaval

With Jonny Adam taking over the #75 entry for the GT3 Pro session, it seemed inevitable that the Wakefield-based team would be enjoying its third pole position of the season. Phil Keen, now behind the wheel of the #33 Barwell entry, had other ideas and put in a 1:29.235, nearly 1.7 seconds quicker than Adam’s best of 1:30.911.

Jon Minshaw made the best use of limited running to put in a quick lap in the Am session.

“I managed one clear flying lap but that was all I needed,” said Minshaw. “But Flick (Haigh) did a great job. I though I’d done it till that last lap. I got baulked coming in to Tarzan and that lap was over.”

Jon Minshaw, however, sees the two-hour race on April 29 as a chance to get some good points but is not hopeful of a victory given the success penalty from Round Two.

“If it’s wet, we may have a chance (of the win). I think, if it’s dry, we will be lucky to be in the top six,” said Minshaw.

Phil Keen was equally happy with pole position

“The track improved for us,” said Phil Keen. “I think it was getting dryer and dryer. Barwell and Jon did a great job with the car.”

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Photo: @ParenRaval

The GT4 class was dominated by the Tolman Motorsport Ltd entries with the #4 and #5 McLaren 570S GT4s topping the time-sheets in the Am session with a 1:35.584 set by Charlie Fagg in the #4 car and a 1:36.98 put in by Lewis Proctor in the #5 entry. Third quickest in the first GT4 qualifying session was the #42 Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 piloted by Ben Green.

Michael O’Brien in the #4 entry and Jordan Albert in the #5 car locked out the front row of the class grid with a 1:35.645 and 1:35.815 respectively to put the #4 entry on class pole with a 3:10.645.

The session did not go all the way of Tolman Motorsport Ltd, however, after David Pattison, behind the wheel of the #56 entry, spun on the entry to Gracelands, briefly causing the Am session to be red-flagged with 07:34 to go.

Charlie Fagg was delighted to get pole for Sunday’s two-hour race.

“I thought ‘we’re on new tyres now. We’ve got to utilise everything we’ve got!’ The car was amazing, straight out of the box, “ said Fagg. “I didn’t have to push too hard or do anything stupid. The track was certainly better than I thought it was going to be.”

The lights go out for Round Three of the 2018 British GT Championship at 13:10 on Sunday April 29.