The #11 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam took pole position for the final round of the 2016 British GT Championship at Donington on September 11.
The team gambled on the conditions being considerable drier for qualifying, in contrast to the rain and drizzle that affected the two morning practice sessions.
Johnston set a time of 1:29.366 in the GT3 Am qualifying session, .011 seconds quicker than the #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by Andrew Howard, returning for the final round of the Championship.
Pro driver Adam then went on to set a lap-time of 1:27.602, the quickest time of the GT3 Pro session, to put the #11 car on pole with a aggregate time of 2:56.968, .414 seconds ahead of the #79 Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 650S GT3 driven by Alasdair McCaig and Rob Bell.
Third on the grid for Sunday’s two-hour race will be the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 driven by Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen. Minshaw drove a solid GT3 Am qualifying session and, once the session was fully underway, was never outside the top three times, being narrowly beaten to second quickest time by Andrew Howard in the #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the dying seconds of the session.
Despite showing no lack of pace after sitting out Round 8 the #1 Beechdean AMR car was unable to capitalise on it after Rory Butcher, drafted in for the final round, encountered gearbox problems in the first lap of his Pro qualifying session and had to return to the garage. As a result, the #1 car will start from the back of the GT3 grid for Sunday’s two-hour race.
The driver pairing of Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt in the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3, currently lying third in the GT3 Drivers Championship, qualified fifth on the GT3 grid with an aggregate time of 2:57.839.
Beechdean AMR had better luck in GT4 qualifying after the Championship-contending #407 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 was put on pole by Jack Bartholomew and Ross Gunn.
Bartholomew finished the GT4 Am qualifying session in third position, .345 seconds behind the provisional time of 1:36.734 set by Sandy Mitchell in the #59 Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4. Gunn, however, recently moved to the Beechdean GT4 entry after the withdrawal of Jordan Albert, put in a storming 1:36.030 to take the class pole ahead of the #59 Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570s GT4 in which Ciaran Haggerty drove a 1:36.522, nearly half a second behind the #407.
Third on the GT4 grid will be the #50 PMW World Expo Racing / Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 with the GT4 Drivers Championship-leading driver pairing of Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson.
The two-hour race comprises the final round of the 2016 British GT season, starts at 13:00 on Sunday September 11, with the Am drivers leading the cars off the grid. In contrast to Saturday, the weather forecast looks dry all day, boding well for a fascinating and exciting final race of the season.