The #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 won a lights-to-flag victory in Round Four of the 2016 British GT Championship at the hands of Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr.
Second was the #79 Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 650S GT3 driven by Alasdair McCaig and Rob Bell. Completing the GT3 podium was the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán with Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw at the wheel.
In GT4 Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson took their second class win of the weekend in the #50 PMW World Expo Racing / Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 ahead of the #60 Ebor GT Motorsport Maserati GT MC GT4 driven by Abbie Eaton and Marcus Hoggarth. Third in class was the #75 RCIB INSURANCE RACING #75 Ginetta G55 GT4 with the driver pairing of Aaron Mason and Rob Barrable. Mason was making his British GT debut this weekend at Oulton Park.
Starting from pole Morris, in the #31 Bentley Continental GT3, knew he had to pull out a five second gap to be able to hand the car over to his team-mate Parfitt in a position for him to contest the lead. Morris drove a superb stint, eventually extending his lead to over 11 seconds from the #79 Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 650S GT3 driven, in the first stint, by Rob Bell.
After the hand-over, Parfitt kept his composure to control the race from the front before it was red-flagged due to an incident involving the #73 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Anna Walewska. Walewska thankfully exited the car without injury.
Both Morris and Parfitt were delighted with the win.
“It was a great first stint,” said Morris. “I didn’t expect us to be as quick as we were but we’d made quite a few changes to the car between race one and race two. The clear air makes a massive difference round here with downforce levels. I saw all my friends and family cheering me on so I kept putting in fastest laps. The engineer was telling me the gap and it was getting bigger and bigger so the confidence was in the car.”
“A few years ago I never thought I’d be in the GT3 class but I have a world-class team-mate who is phenomenal,” said an ecstatic Parfitt. “Team Parker Racing is incredible, the Bentley is beautiful and this is an amazing moment which I shall remember for a very long time.”
Jon Minshaw who, with Phil Keen, drove to third in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3, was still smarting after a penalty in race one.
“I’m pleased we got a podium,” he said. “I feel a bit miffed about the first race. I did everything I could. I handed it over in the lead but a technical infringement cost us dearly.”
GT4 saw some very close racing with the class win finally being taken by the #50 PMW World Expo Racing / Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson to complete a perfect weekend for them. The #50 took the lead with minutes to go in the race after the #73 Century Motorsport car, driven by Anna Walewska, went off at Lodge, bringing out the red flag.
“I can’t complain,” said Johnson who was driving when the race was red-flagged. “Two wins in one weekend is rather special. I think Michael did a fantastic job, particularly in the first race. His speed was incredible. I‘ve got a faultless car which is fantastic to have and it was a waiting game. Anna was being defensive and I had to wait for her to make a mistake which she did.”
“Yeah, couldn’t be happier,” said Mike Robinson. “That’s about as perfect as motorsport gets for a weekend. The car was faultless all weekend, the team was faultless all weekend and Graham was faultless all weekend. We’re absolutely delighted.”
Also delighted was Ebor GT Motorsport who came second in the #60 Maserati GT MC GT4.
“Yes, over the moon,” commented Abbie Eaton from the podium. “It was always going to be a work-in-progress and this weekend we’ve just made a few changes to it and it seems to have come to us. Race one we had a brake failure which was a first for me in 14 years of racing so I put that to the back of my mind and really went for it on lap one.”
Round Five of the 2016 British GT Championship will be held at Silverstone on Sunday June 12.