Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw has secured the first pole position for the new Lamborghini Huracan after the team dominated the GT3 Am drivers qualifying session at Oulton Park. The team have locked out the front row of the grid for the opening race on Monday after Griffin took second in the qualifying session with Team Parker Racing close behind in their Bentley Continental with Rick Parfitt Jnr at the wheel. Whereas in the GT3 Pro drivers qualifying session Seb Morris stole pole position in the Team Parker Racing Bentley for the second encounter on Monday! This will see Team Parker start on pole position for the second time this year after they claimed pole position at the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch.
Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw was towards the top of the timing screens throughout the whole of his qualifying session after he set the second fastest lap on his first flying lap before improving straight away to take the top spot. His lap time was 1:35.579, other competitors tried to beat his fastest time but kept failing to better the times.
Liam Griffin in the sister Lamborghini run by Barwell Motorsport was the competitor who came closest to beating Minshaw’s time but had to settle for second place. His lap time was just 0.039 seconds slower than Minshaw’s pole position time. During Monday’s opening hour-long race Minshaw will have to serve a pit stop success time penalty after being successful at Rockingham whereas the sister car with Liam Griffin and Adam Carroll at the wheel will not have any penalties to serve.
Team Parker Racing’s Rick Parfitt Jnr came close as he was only a tenth further back after he had one last attempt to top the times, the lap time he put in leapfrogged the Bentley to third ahead of Derek Johnston in the championship leading TF Sport run Aston Martin.
Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s Alasdair McCaig was another competitor to improve the second time around in his McLaren 650S, he brought the car home to take fifth on the timing screens.
Beachdean AMR’s reigning champion Andrew Howard was next in his Aston Martin. Will Moore had saved his best lap time until last as he jumped up into seventh aboard his Optimum Motorsport run Audi R8 LMS. Rounding out the top eight was Mark Farmer in his TF Sport run Aston Martin.
Richard Neary set the eleventh fastest lap time but has to start last on the GT3 grid after he failed to set the second mandatory flying lap time.
During the GT3 Pro qualifying session it featured late changes when Team Parker Racing’s Seb Morris set a blinding lap time to take the second race’s pole position, also being the second for the team so far this season. The top eight of the Pro driver’s session were covered by just 0.7 seconds, there were also four different manufacturers within the top eight.
Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s Rob Bell led the first round of the flying laps during the session but was unable to improve afterwards. This left the door open for Morris who managed to snatch pole position on his second run by 0.031 seconds.
Phil Keen put in a late effort which helped the Barwell Lamborghini secure third place on the grid for the second race. He only just narrowly beat Ross Gunn in the Beachdean run Aston Martin by 0.014 seconds. Jonny Adam was less than half of a tenth behind the Aston he raced last year. Straight after his qualifying session Jonny Adam immediately had to sprint to the airport for his flight to the Nurburgring in Germany to partake in the 24 Hours race.
Adam Carroll was right behind Team Parker’s Seb Morris after the opening few laps of the session before he had his fastest lap removed for not respecting the track limits around the Cheshire circuit. He will now have to start from sixth on the grid ahead of PFL Motorsport’s Jody Fanin followed by Jon Barnes in the second of the TF Sport Aston Martins.
Ninth on the grid is Mike Simpson aboard the Tolman Motorsport run Ginetta G55. Rounding out the top ten is Joe Osborne in the AMDTuning.com BMW Z4.
The British GT returns to Oulton Park for the traditional two one-hour bank holiday races on Monday.
© Fay Tilley 29th May 2016.