Joe Osborne went quickest in the opening practice session for rounds three and four of the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship at Donington Park, the McLaren factory driver and championship commentator lapping the 2.4873-mile Leicestershire circuit in 1:27.183 early in the session.
Osborne’s #36 Balfe Motorsport 720S GT3, which he shares with teammate Stewart Proctor, was making its debut in the premier domestic GT championship.
Second quickest in the 60-minute session was the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 which, in the hands of Phil Keen, lapped in 1:27.634. Keen and teammate Adam Balon took the win in race two on the opening weekend of the championship at Oulton Park.
Third quickest in a session that started in dry, overcast and cool conditions, was the #6 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, Yelmer Buurman putting in a 1:27.695 in the car he shares with teammate Ian Loggie.
Quickest of the GT4 category was the #23 Speedworks Motorsport Toyota GR Supra GT4 driven by Sam Smelt and James Kell, Smelt lapping in 1:36.208. Second quickest of the GT4 class was the #58 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S G4 in which Patrik Matthiesen put in a 1:36.335.
Osborne was one of the first out of the pits as the session opened and quickly established the pace of the #36 McLaren, a brand-new chassis for the 2020 session. Osborne pitted after four laps, handing the car over to teammate Proctor who remained in the #36 McLaren for much of the remainder of the session.
Free Practice 1 ran uninterrupted with the exception of a very brief red flag to recover a car that was stationary at The Esses. The pause allowed most of the grid to pits.
2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge champion Andrea Caldarelli, making his debut in the British GT Championship as a replacement for Dennis Lind in the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini, took over from teammate Michael Igoe to put in a 1:28.358 as the session approached the half-way mark. The Italian driver improved again to 1:28251 in the second half of the session to finish sixth quickest overall..
Winners of race one at Oulton Park, James Baldwin and Michael O’Brien in the #2 Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren, lapped in 1:29.084 to go twelfth quickest. O’Brien commented that the pairing were happy with the progress that they had made in the session.
Free Practice 2 gets underway at 12:10 for 60 minutes with the four 10-minute qualifying sessions to set the grid for race one starting at 16:00.
The lights go out for the first race, run to the two-hour endurance format, at 11:05 on Sunday August 16.