Intelligent Money British GT Championship Latest

Barwell’s Balon and Mitchell on pole for Silverstone 500

The #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Evo of Adam Balon and Sandy Mitchell will start from pole position for the Silverstone 500, the duo lapping in an aggregate time of just over three-quarters of a second quicker than the #32 Redline Racing Lamborghini of James Dorlin and Alex Malykhin.

Pole position in the GT4 class went to the #42 Steller Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Senna Fielding and Richard Williams with the #61 Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang GT4 starting from second on the class grid.

The first qualifying session got underway with 19 cars taking to the circuit. James Cottingham at the wheel of the # 4 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 set the early pace with a 1:59.467 but was overtaken to provisional pole by Kevin Tse in the #93 Sky Tempest Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 who lapped in 1:59.440.

There was drama for the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo which Michael Igoe was supposed to pilot for the first session. The #18 Lamborghini remained in the garage with a broken wheel speed sensor and was unable to take part due.

In the final few seconds of the session, Alex Malykhin in the #32 Redline Racing Lamborghini moved to the top of the timing screens with a 1:59.303, .137 second quicker than Tse in the #93 Mercedes.

James Cottingham was third quickest with a 1:59.467 in the #4 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes.

2018 GT3 drivers champion Flick Haigh was 12th quickest with a 2:00.534 in the #75 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren that Haigh will be sharing with Jonny Adam.

As the second session got underway it was the #8 Team Abba Racing Mercedes that took provisional pole, Sam Neary lapping in 1:57.585 to compliment his father’s 1:59.757.

Sandy Mitchell then put in a 1:56.765 in the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini to take provisional with a gap of over a second to the #8 Mercedes.

James Dorlin in the #32 Redline Racing Lamborghini managed to get within a second on aggregate of Mitchell’s Lamborghini.

Photo: Paren Raval

As the session drew to close, GT3 pole had been taken by the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini with the #32 Redline Racing Lamborghini completing the front row. Third quickest on aggregate was the #4 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes of James Cottingham and Lewis Williamson. The #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini in the hands of Phil Keen got out for the session but will start from the back of the GT3 grid.

Adam Balon was delighted with pole but very aware of the challenges that the new-for-2022 Pirelli P Zero DHF tyres bring to the GT3 class.

“These tyres for our car, there’s a narrow window and we got it right today,” said Balon. “We did a qualy run (in FP2) and I think that helped build confidence for Sandy and I think that was the right decision. The car’s clearly got the pace but it’s tough to get it in the window (with these tyres) and keep it in the window.

“Over a one-lap pace we got it right but tomorrow’s a whole different ball game. There’s plenty to go wrong and plenty of unexpected stuff to happen so we’ll see.”

Photo: Paren Raval

In GT4 the first session saw the #42 Steller Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4 in the hands of Richard Williams go quickest with a 2:09.721 with the #61 Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang GT4 in the hands of Marco Signoretti second quickest with a 2:10.444. Josh Miller in the #23 R Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 completed the top three with a 2:10.509.

Quickest in the second session for the GT4 class was Sennan Fielding in the #42 Steller Motorsport Audi who put in a 2:09.114. Fielding’s time was sufficient to take pole position in class with the #61 Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang second quickest.

The lights go out for the Silverstone 500, Round 3 of the 2022 Intelligent Money British GT Championship at 11:30 on Sunday May 8.