Tag Archives: British GT Championship

“I’m Looking Forward To A Very Productive Weekend” – Team HARD’s Benjamin Wallace Prepares For Rockingham and Round Three Of The 2018 British GT Championship (24.04.18)

Photo: Ian Cutting

After a positive start to the British GT Championship season at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend, 18-year old Southport-based Benjamin Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4, is looking forward to Round Three at Rockingham International Motor Speedway on April 29.

The Lips Reifen-backed driver recently competed at the Corby circuit in the opening round of the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship, with team-mate Graham Roberts, finishing fifth and sixth in class over the two races.

“Competing in Britcar definitely benefited me in learning the track in the Ginetta,” said Benjamin. “The VW Golf I had driven before at Rockingham was a very different proposition so it was interesting driving the circuit in a rear-wheel drive car. It complimented the simulator training that I’ve been doing so I feel that my preparation for this important race has been good.”

Benjamin will be keeping a close eye on tyres this weekend, given the weather forecast of changeable conditions.

“There is a risk that it might be raining throughout the whole weekend so tyre wear may not be as much of an issue’” said Benjamin. “It could all change in the next few days however. Even if it’s wet we still have to manage the tyres so it will be interesting.”

#88 a.a. 18.04.24

Photo: Ian Cutting

Round Three of the British GT Championship will be Benjamin’s third two-hour race.

“Aside from Britcar two weeks ago, my previous two-hour race was at Brands Hatch last season,” said Benjamin. “However my recent experience at Rockingham has increased my confidence hugely and I’m feeling very positive about returning to Corby with Team HARD. The grid will be packed and there are a lot of good drivers in the championship but I’ve prepared well and I’m looking forward to a very productive weekend.”

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

Benjamin Wallace And Graham Roberts Enjoy Positive Weekend At Rockingham (15.04.18)

Photo: Ian Cutting

Benjamin Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4 in the 2018 British GT Championship, was joined by 2017 Fun Cup UK champion, Graham Roberts, for the opening round of the 2018 Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship at Rockingham Motor Speedway, Corby On April 13 – 14.

Roberts will be contesting selected rounds of the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship while Wallace is focusing on his first full-season in the premier national GT championship. The Southport-based driver, however, saw the weekend as preparation for Round Three of the British GT Championship, which visits Rockingham on April 28 – 29.
The weekend consisted of practice, qualifying and two races on Saturday April 14 – a 50-minute sprint and a two-hour race, replicating the race length for the British GT Championship.

Benjamin Wallace and Graham Roberts qualified 5th in class and finished in the same position in Race One. In Race Two the #88 Team HARD pairing finished seventh in the Endurance Classification.

Benjamin Wallace found the weekend was excellent preparation for returning to the Corby circuit in two weeks for the British GT Championship.

“Rockingham was a new circuit for me in the Ginetta G55 GT4 and finding a set-up for the track, with its high-speed banking and twisting, bumpy infield sections, is challenging,” said Wallace. “As a result, the weekend has definitely helped us to prepare for the British GT weekend. We found some set-up solutions and the track-time helped me build up my experience in the car, especially at this circuit.”

#88 BC a.a. 18.04.14

Photo: Ian Cutting

Commenting on his team-mate for the weekend, Benjamin Wallace was delighted at how quickly he formed a working relationship with Graham Roberts.

“Graham was quickly on the pace,” said Wallace. “We both had the same challenges with the Ginetta, Graham probably more so because he’s only driven the car twice. It was a new experience for us both.”

Wallace is now confidently looking forward to returning to Rockingham in two weeks with the British GT Championship.

“I’m really looking forward to the British GT weekend,” he said. “The Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship experience was very positive. We probably found out more about the car and the circuit then we expected to so it was definitely the best preparation ahead of returning in two weeks time.”

Round Three of the 2018 British GT Championship, a two-hour race, takes place at Rockingham Motor Speedway on April 29.

British GT Championship Stewards Award Full Points For Oulton Park’s Shortened Race Two. (05.04.18)

After much deliberation, the British GT Championship stewards have declared that full points will be awarded for the shortened Round Two of the 2018 championship at Oulton Park.

The race started behind the Safety Car as torrential rain fell on the Cheshire circuit and the field drove four laps before being asked to form up on the grid under parc ferme rules.

As conditions did not improve, the Clerk of the Course abandoned the race and the rest of the day’s activities on safety grounds.

After initial thoughts were that the race would be declared and void, it emerged on Wednesday April 4 that was not necessarily the case.

The result of Race Two is effectively the same as the qualifying positions with the GT3 class win going to the #33 Barwell Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen with the GT4 win going to the #66 Team Parker Racing Ltd Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Nick Jones and Scott Malvern.

The British GT Championship now moves to Rockingham Motor Speedway on April 28 /29.

“The Car Felt Really Strong” – Team HARD’s Benjamin Wallace Pleased With The Opening Weekend For the 2018 British GT Championship. (03.04.18)

Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey

Southport-based Benjamin Wallace enjoyed a confident start to his 2018 British GT Championship campaign despite the wet weather at the opening rounds of the series at Oulton Park. Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4 he shared with William Phillips, left the Cheshire circuit full of optimism for the rest of the season. The weekend, and especially race-day (Bank Holiday Monday – April 2) had been hampered with rain which ultimately led to the abandonment of the meeting shortly after the delayed start for second race of the day for the British GT grid.

The #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4, piloted by Phillips and Wallace, had qualified eighth in the GT4S class for Monday’s first 60-minute race, which itself had a delayed start and ran behind the safety-car for the first three laps due to the wet circuit.

Despite the challenges of the damp track, Ben Wallace, and co-driver William Phillips, finished seventh in the GT4 Silver class in Round One of the UK’s premier national GT series.

Benjamin Wallace was pleased at the outcome of the weekend.

“It was the second time I had driven at Oulton Park in the Ginetta so I was still getting familiar with it. William and I worked on finding a good set-up for the car and we were pleased with how the car improved, and the lap-times we set, as the weekend progressed,” said the Bolton College student.

“The team had continued to work on the set-up after the first race and, going into Round Two, the car felt really strong and a great improvement on where we had been on Friday on Saturday so, yes, it was frustrating to drive behind the safety-car for thirty minutes. However the safety of drivers and marshals is paramount so Will and I completely understood why the decision was made to red-flag the race.”

The British GT Championship now moves to Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby for Round Three on April 28 – 29, a circuit that Benjamin Wallace is familiar with from his time in the VW Racing Cup and the VAG Trophy, in which he finished third in 2017.

“I’ve raced at Rockingham in the VWs and I had a good weekend there, finishing second and third,” said Benjamin. “It’s now about getting used to it again in the Ginetta G55 GT4, a rear-wheel drive car which is very different to the front-wheel drive Golfs I drove there previously. I’m looking forward to it and I’m taking a lot of confidence to Rockingham Motor Speedway.”

Win For Haigh/Adam In British GT Championship R1 At Oulton Park. Victory For Barnicoat/Balon In GT4 – Amended (02.04.18)

Photo: BritishGT / Jakob Ebrey

Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam, driving the #75 Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, got the 2018 British GT Championship to a flying start by winning the opening round from pole position.

Second across the line, and 28.243 seconds back, was the #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin of Andrew Howard and, taking the second stint, Darren Turner, Beechdean returning to the premier national GT Championship after a year out to focus on the European Le Mans Series.

Taking the final podium step in the GT3 category, and pushing hard in the final laps, was the #116 ERC Sport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Lee Mowle and, driving to the line, Mercedes factory driver Yelmer Buurman. The #116 entry finished just .251 seconds behind Turner in the #99 Beechdean entry.

In the GT4 category it was the #72 Track-Club McLaren 570s GT4 driven by Adam Balon and Ben Barnicoat that took the class win. Second in the GT4 class was the #42 Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 piloted by Ben Tuck and Ben Green with the final podium position in the GT4 class going to the #4 Tolman Motorsports Ltd McLaren 570S GT4 driven by Michael O’Brien and Charlie Fagg.

The race start was delayed by some 45 minutes due to repairs to barrier damage that occurred earlier in the morning. The 60-minute race was started behind the safety-car and was green-flagged after three laps.

Due to the slippery conditions, the first few minutes were frantic but Haigh, behind the wheel of the #75 Optimum Motorsport entry held on to the lead with Rick Parfitt Jnr in the #1 Team Parker Racing Bentley struggling in the wet.

Join Minshaw in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán took the most advantage of the challenging conditions by moving from seventh on the grid to second, 6.8 seconds behind Haigh in the #75 entry. Andrew Howard in the #99 Beechdean entry also enjoyed a solid start, moving in to third position.

As the race moved towards the driver-change and pit-stop window. Minshaw had closed to within three seconds of Haigh with Howard in the #99 car just under 17 seconds behind in third place.

After the driver changes had cycled through, Jonny Adam, 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans winner in the LMGTE Pro class, continued to hold the lead in the #75 Aston but Phil Keen, now behind the wheel of the #33 Barwell entry continued to push hard to close to just over a second behind Adam. Darren Turner, meanwhile, in the #99 Beechdean Aston Martin, having taken over from Andrew Howard, held on to third place in class.

Bad luck was to hit Phil Keen, however, after contact with the #50 HHC Motorsport Ginetta with Will Burns at the wheel caused damage to the right rear wheel of the3 #33 Lamborghini. Keen was forced to stop for a tyre change which dropped him out of contention for a podium finish.

Darren Turner then took over second place but Yelmer Buurman, now behind the wheel of the #116 ERC Sport Mercedes-AMG GT3 now had the bit between his teeth and pushed the Englishman hard over the closing laps, finishing just over a quarter of a second behind the #99 entry as they took the chequered flag.

Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam were delighted at the result in their first time out in the #75 Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin. Haigh was the first to acknowledge the support that Jonny Adam had given her.

“it’s helped because he knows the Aston inside-out and inside knowledge is everything so I’ve learned it a lot quicker,” she said.

Haigh was conscious of how hard Jon Minshaw was pushing in the #33 Barwell Lamborghini as they approached the driver changes:

“I wasn’t pushing too hard and then I saw him in my mirrors and I thought ‘Oh God, here we go’ but no, I brought it in with enough to spare. The last time I was here I was airlifted to hospital (after nasty Caterham accident) so today been a much better day!”

Jonny Adam was pleased for the team to have taken the win in its first race with new car.

“It was obviously quite greasy at the end there so it was about managing (the race from the lead) It’s a great result for the team. They’re a new customer to Aston so to win first time out (was great) and Flick drove tremendously well all week and through the weekend.”

ABBB a.a. 18.04.02

In GT4 Callum Pointon, driving the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4, led the first half of the race from Michael O’Brien in the #4 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 with Ricky Collard, at the wheel of the #43 Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 in third.

After the driver changes had cycled through, it was Ben Barnicoat in the #72 Track-Club McLaren that held the class lead, with Ben Green second in the #42 Century Motorsport BMW. The top three positions in class remained unchanged through to the chequered flag.

“We had a very tough week preparing for this event,” said a delighted Barnicoat. ”I’ve got to say huge thanks to everyone at McLaren Automotive and Track-Club for really working hard and getting us on the grid. If it wasn’t for them we really wouldn’t be here so to be on the top step is a big reward for everyone’s hard work.”

Barnicoat is keen to capitalize on the team’s momentum going into Round Two.

“We’ll try in the second race. We start sixth and we started tenth (in the first race). I’m praying it keeps on raining – a few less cars to overtake so no reason why (we can’t have a good result).”

Team mate Adam Balon was also complimentary of Barnicoat’s drive.

“It is the best possible start. Ben doesn’t have a lot of experience round here but it just shows what a good driver he is.”

“This seems to be a lucky circuit for me. In the wet – at Oulton Park, you wouldn’t have thought but there you go.”

Race Two is scheduled for 15:25 on Monday April 2.

Amendedment – Subsequent of the end of the race, the #42 Century Motorsport entry was moved down the field as a result of a pit-lane speed infringement. The penalty meant that the #43 Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 of Robb Collard and Jack Mitchell was promoted to the final podium position.

“I’ve Always Been Faster In The Race” – Team HARD’s Ben Wallace Positive After Challenging Qualifying. (31.03.18)

Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey

The #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4 of Ben Wallace and William Phillips will start Race One of the Bank Holiday British GT Championship double-header from ninth on the grid after William Phillips lapped the 4.307 km Cheshire circuit in 1:44.570.

Phillips, who was asked to drive for the Rochester-based team after Nick Worm withdrew from the first round for personal reasons, is no stranger to Team HARD, having finished eighth in the 2016 GT4 drivers standings with the team, driving alongside Jordan Stilp. In 2017 Phillips drove for Macmillan AMR in its Aston Martin Vantage GT4, finishing fifth in the GT4 drivers standings.

“We decided that William would take the first qualifying session as he has a slight edge on me,” said Southport-based Ben Wallace. “I’m not too happy with how I how qualified but as I have only had limited running in the car, I have to be satisfied with how I drove.”

Wallace put in a 1:45.493 on his fourth lap out of five to start Race Two in eighteenth place in the GT4 class.

“My race pace has typically been faster than my qualifying times,” continued Wallace. “With two hours of racing on Monday, and with the backing of Team HARD and driving alongside William, I’m confident we’ll come away with some good results.”

The lights go out for Round One of the 2018 British GT Championship at 11:10 on Monday April 2.