Jenson Team Rocket RJN’s James Baldwin and Michael O’Brien, drivers of the #2 McLaren 720S GT3, took their second pole position of the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship when the duo produced an aggregate lap time of 2:49.375, .085 seconds quicker than the #78 Barwell Motorsport driver pairing of Rob Collard and Sandy Mitchell.
Completing the top three on the grid for Sunday August 30th’s two-hour race will be the #6 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Ian Loggie and Yelmer Buurman who set an aggregate lap time of 2:49.611.
Class pole position honours in the GT4 category went to Patrick Kibble and Connor O’Brien in the #95 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 who took their second pole position of the season with an aggregate lap time of 3:03.827 .730 seconds ahead of teammates Jamie Caroline and Daniel Vaughan in the #97 entry.
James Kell and Sam Smelt completed the top three in class in the #23 Speedworks Motorsport Toyota FR Supra GT4.
Qualifying had initially been declared a wet session as light rain fell on the iconic 2.43 mile (3.92 kms) Kent circuit. However as the 4.15pm start time approached, the track was dry.
The #2 Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren 720S GT3 set the pace in the GT3 Am session, lapping in 1:24.797 with Dean Macdonald in the #9 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren second quickest with a 1:24.999 with less than four minutes remaining.
Andrew Howard, driving the #7 Beechdean Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 pitted early to allow plenty of time to hand the car over to teammate four-time British GT champion Jonny Adam who had topped the time sheets in both the morning’s practice sessions.
The session finished with James Baldwin in the #2 MacLaren heading the timing screens with Macdonald’s McLaren second. Nick Jones, winner of Round Four at Donington Park two weeks previous, was 13th quickest with a 1:27.341 in the #66 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3.
The GT3 Pro session saw Jonny Adam go quicker than his morning practice times with a 1:23.773 but it was not enough to put the #7 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin on provisional pole. That honour went to Michael O’Brien in the #2 McLaren who continued the good work of teammate James Baldwin with a lap time of 1:24.797.
Championship leaders Adam Balon and Phil Keen qualified 10th in the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Sunday’s two-hour race after the Lamborghini factory driver lapped in 1:23.959 to set an aggregate time of 2:50.523.
As the session finished, O’Brien’s time was enough to secure the #2 driving duo’s second pole position of 2020, after heading the grid in Round Three.
Moving into the GT4 qualifying sessions, it looked as if pole position honours were there for the taking for Redhill-based TF Sport, the #95 and #97 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4s having finished 1 – 2 in the morning’s practice sessions.
And so it was that, after less than five minutes, Connor O’Brien in the #95 entry was quickest with a 1:33.166 with teammate Daniel Vaughan second on the timing screens with a 1:33.443.
James Kell, however, had other ideas and although O’Brien and Vaughan improved their times, the pilot of the #23 Toyota put in a 1:32.780 to split the TF Sport entries. As a result, Daniel Vaughan had to dig deep and produced a 1:32.771 in the closing seconds to regain second place.
With a .714 second gap between the #97 and #95 cars going into the final qualifying session, it was going to take a monumental effort from Jamie Caroline in the #97 entry to take the class pole position from the the sister car.
Patrick Kibble in the #95 car lapped in 1:31.770 which was sufficient to take the GT4 class pole position, the second for the #95 crew in 2020.
Round Five of the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship gets underway at 1.00pm on Sunday August 30.