Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson dominated the GT4 class qualifying session at Rockingham, both drivers had topped their respective Am and Pro session. It would have very likely been completely different if Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke had not been sidelined after suffering fuel pump issues during free practice two and qualifying. Johnson started the session lapping 0.4 seconds quicker than the next car in their class, Sean Byrne in the second Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4. Then Mike Robinson completed the job by recording what would end up as the class target of 1:2.878. The question still awaits… will the Optimum Motorsport duo be able to convert pole into a second successive race victory with them having to endure a twenty second pit stop success penalty after winning at Brands Hatch.
Aleksander Schjerpen (Byrne’s co-driver) was about half of a second further back in the Pro qualifying session but was still quick enough to secure them second in class after the times were combined. It showed how strong the Century Motorsport cars are to have Byrne and Schjerpen in second and Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke already proving they can fight for pole position after claiming it at Brands Hatch.
Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell continuously showed their strong pace aboard the McLaren 570S GT4 to finish the qualifying session third in class. Meanwhile, Matthew George and his teammate, the 2015 Rockingham GT4 race winner Jamie Chadwick, finished in fourth in their Generation AMR SuperRacing Aston Martin.
Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert at the wheel of the 2015 class winning Beachdean AMR Vantage qualified in fifth followed closely by RCIB Insurance Racing’s Jordan Stilp and William Phillips. Matthew Graham and Jack Mitchell aboard the freshly rebuilt Generation AMR Vantage Aston Martin qualified in seventh.
Simpson Motorsport’s Scott Malvern and Nick Jones qualified in eighth, just two tenths slower than Robinson’s. The JWBird Motorsport Aston Martin in the hands of Kieran Griffin and Jake Giddings finished the qualifying session in ninth. Eborg GT’s Maserati in the hands of Marcus Hoggarth and Abbie Eaton round out the top ten qualifiers.
©Fay Tilley 30th April 2016.