Intelligent Money British GT Championship Latest

Beechdean AMR’s Gunn Quickest in British GT FP1 at Donington

(Photo: Paren Raval)

Beechdean AMR went quickest in the opening practice session for round four of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship after Ross Gunn set a 1:24.118 round the 4.02 kms of the Donington Park GP circuit. Gunn’s time, in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 he shares with team owner Andrew Howard, was just .074 seconds quicker than the #15 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by John Ferguson and Mercedes factory driver Raffaele Marciello, the Swiss-Italian pilot setting a 1:24.192 early in the session.

Third quickest in the GT3 category was the #13 RACE LAB McLaren 720S GT3 Evo in which Euan Hankey set a 1:24.205 in the car he shares with Lucky Khera.

In the GT4 class, McLaren Arturas occupied the top three spots on the timing screens with the #90 Optimum Motorsport entry of Charles Clark and Jack Brown going quickest, Clark setting a time of 1:32.879. Second quickest in class was the #36 DTO Motorsport entry driven by Josh Rowledge and Aston Millar which lapped in 1:32.996 followed by Harry George and Darren Burke in the #17 Enduro Motorsport Artura with a 1:33.297.

#36 DTO Motorsport McLaren Artura GT4 (Photo: Paren Raval)

2022 champion GT3 champion Ian Loggie, along with teammate Jules Gounon, were tenth quickest in the GT3 category, the #1 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes lapping in 1:24.707 in the hands of the French driver who was competing at the 24h Nürburgring with Mercedes-AMG Team Getspeed less than a week ago.

2023 Silverstone 500 winners Darren Leung and Dan Harper in the #91 Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 were 11th quickest overall.

The first of two practice sessions got underway in perfect conditions with an ambient temperature above 20 degrees and the track temperature climbing from 12 degrees.

Sam Neary in the #8 Team Abba Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 set the early pace with a 1:25.087 before Marvin Kirchhoefer lapped in 1:24.647 on his fourth tour in the #88 Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 he shares with Alex West.

Times started to tumble as Mercedes factory driver Raffaele Marciello lapped in 1:24.596 in the #15 RAM Racing Mercedes. Marciello was pushing hard and set a 1:24.192, nearly three-tenths of a second quicker than Kirchhhöfer’s McLaren.

Jules Gounon, teammate of 2022 GT3 champion Ian Loggie, took over the #1 RAM Mercedes with 40 minutes of the session remaining and immediately set about putting the #1 car through its paces. Gounon lapped below 1:25 to set a 1:24.707 before returning to the pits.

It took until past the half way mark of the 60-minute session before Marciello’s time was beaten as Ross Gunn in the #97 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 lapped in 1:24.118.

Times then remained fairly static as the session drew to a close. The top 15 cars in the GT3 category lapped within one second, evidence of how closely the BoP regulations make SRO-organised GT racing amongst the most competitive in the world. In the GT4 class, one second separated the 10 quickest cars.

The second free practice session for Round Four of the 2023 Intelligent Money British GT Championship gets underway at 12.20 on Saturday May 27 with the first of the four ten-minute qualifying sessions getting underway at 16.00 later in the afternoon.

The lights go out for the two-hour race at 13.00 on Sunday May 28.