Team Parker’s Malvern takes GT3 honours for Race Two.
Paddock Motorsport took its first pole position of its brief GT3 career when team co-owner Kelvin Fletcher put the #11 Bentley Continental GT3 he shares with Martin Plowman on pole position for Race One of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship double-header at Oulton Park.
Fletcher lapped the 4.307 km Cheshire circuit in 1:35.768, just over a third of a second ahead of Kevin Tse, making his British GT debut, in the #88 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Completing the top three for the first 60-minute contest was the #77 Enduro Motorsport McLaren 20S GT3 piloted by Morgan Tillbrook who finished .084 seconds behind Tse’s Mercedes.
The session was marred by a huge accident for Andrew Howard, at the wheel of the #7 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3. Team owner Howard went off as the #7 Aston Martin turned into Island Bend, the resulting impact causing considerable damage to both car and barrier. Howard thankfully escaped relatively unscathed but the session was red-flagged and was not re-started.
The damage to the #7 car was such that teammate Jonny Adam was unable to get out for the second GT3 qualifying session.
“I’m really happy,” said pole-sitter Kelvin Fletcher. “It was my first time at Oulton Park in a GT3 and it’s really been a baptism of fire.
“I now there’s a championship up for grabs this weekend and we’re not in that fight but I’ll certainly be defending that lead for pole position. We have good pace and we can certainly sit at that (pace) for the first 30 minutes.”
After a delay for barrier repairs, the second GT3 session got underway with Yelmer Buurman, teammate of Ian Loggie in the #6 RAM Racing Mercedes lapping in 1:34.267 after four minutes. Dennis Lind immediately responded in the #63 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini that had sustained serious damage in the morning practice sessions.
However it was Scott Malvern who took pole, lapping the #66 Team Parker Racing Porsche in 1:33.924 just .005 seconds quicker than Lind who will join Malvern on the front row for Race One.
Third quickest was reigning champion Sandy Mitchell in the #1 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini with a 1:34.011. The top five in the session were separated by less than two-tenths of a second, showing how competitive the 2021 GT3 class is.
The first of the GT4 sessions saw Matt Topham, at the wheel of the #27 Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 at the top of the timing screens with less than four minutes to go, Topham’s time of 1:43.846 remaining unbeaten for the remainder of the 10-minute session. Will Burns in the championship-leading #57 BMW was second quickest followed by Will Moore in the #61 Ford Mustang.
Nick Halstead in the #40 Fox Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 had an off at the Britten’s Chicane after the chequered flag came out, the driver escaping unscathed
Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner set the second GT4 qualifying session alight when he lapped in 1:42.982, the first time a GT4 car had gone below 1:43 in the afternoon sessions to take a double-pole for the Newbridge squad.
Jamie Caroline, returning to the British GT Championship for Oulton Park with Toyota GAZOO Racing UK, was on a charge, lapping the #15 Toyota GR Supra GT4 in 1:43.208. Charlie Robertson completed the top three in the #56 Ginetta G56.
The lights go out for Race One at 13:10 local time on Sunday September 12.