RCIB Insurance Racing’s pairing of Rob Barrable and Aaron Mason managed to fight their way through the horrific conditions to take the class victory around the Silverstone GP circuit. The race was affected quite a lot by the weather as well as being interrupted by multiple safety cars. However, the duo did not let it get them down or give up they fought back and came away victorious. This was Ginetta’s fourth win throughout the five rounds completed so far this year.
The race was full of unpredictable issues occurring due to the horrific conditions drivers were facing as well as the added safety car periods. The GT4 field was looking strong after thirty-three took the start, with both British GT GT4 class cars and GT4 European Series entries. Century Motorsport’s pairing of Nathan Freke and Anna Walewska proved that you don’t have to start at the front to claim podiums, they started ninth on the GT4 field by managed to fight through to take second. Beechdean AMR’s pairing of Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert rounded out the British GT GT4 podium after running within the top three for most of the race.
Most of the race saw the clouds open and rain heavily, the opening laps of the race were run under safety car conditions. When the racing got underway after three laps behind the safety car it was Jack Bartholomew in the Beechdean Aston Martin who reacted the fastest to take the lead from Sandy Mitchell in the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren. Bartholomew drove around the outside at Copse to take the lead of GT4. Marcus Hoggarth aboard the Ebor GT run Maserati fought his way up from twelfth to third before the safety car was deployed to allow marshals to clear up debris off the circuit after just thirty-four minutes of the race gone.
Due to so many drivers deciding to pit this brought RCIB Insurance Racing’s #75 Ginetta into the mix, they stopped a lap later than most of the other competitors and safety cars positioning on track helped Barrable to continue leading after taking over from Aaron Mason. He only had to make up half a lap on the other competitors which was enough to hand Barrable the lead after the racing resumed. With Barrable’s background in Rallying it was obvious he would be able to cope a lot better than most of the other drivers, he drove well and handed the car back over to Mason. The team decided to delay their final stop hoping to be able to see out a short rain shower. This paid off as the team were able to swap onto slicks at the same time as changing drivers. During the pit stops the drivers were held for an additional ten seconds after they finished third at Oulton Park meaning they had pit stop success penalties to serve. It soon became clear they were able to stop and serve the penalty on top of the minimum stop time before heading back out on track without any issues. Barrable was soon able to catch up and pass reigning Team’s champions Academy Motorsport’s Aston Martin with Matt Nicoll-Jones at the wheel to retake the lead of the GT4 class.
When Barrable took the chequered flag he was eighteen seconds ahead of second on the road, which was a European GT4. He was over a minute ahead of second place in the British GT GT4 class finishers which were Nathan Freke and Anna Walewska. The Century Motorsport duo managed to keep out of any trouble and stay penalty free during the three-hour race which saw them take second place in British GT GT4 class. Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert were next up in the British GT GT4 class finishers, which rounded out the podium finishers. Dennis Strandberg and Matt Nicoll-Jones took fourth place aboard their Academy Motorsport run Aston Martin.
The second of the Century Motorsport run Ginettas in the hands of Aleksander Schjerpen and Sean Byrne managed to fight to take fifth place after starting from thirteenth on the grid. Abbie Eaton and Marcus Hoggarth finished in sixth after the latter suffered a spin and they also had a fifteen second success penalty to add to their pit stop after finishing in second at Oulton Park.
Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty were looking strong to win the race until they started suffering an unknown misfire on the McLaren which eventually forced them to retire from the race. Matty Graham aboard the Generation AMR Macmillan Racing Aston Martin spun into the gravel during the awful conditions at the start of the race. Championship leaders Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson were very unfortunate to be on the end of a heavy whack from Richard Neary’s BMW Z4 GT3. This ruled the Optimum Motorsport/PMW Expo Racing pairing out of the race after being stranded out on the circuit. Alex Reed and Joey Foster were looking strong and within a chance of being on the podium until they started suffering technical issues which ended their race aboard the Lanan Racing Ginetta early.
Due to all of the above suffering issues and being unable to complete the race this promotes Beechdean’s Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert back to leading the championship by 3.5 points ahead of Johnson and Robinson. The Optimum Motorsport pairing have a 21.5 point gap over Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke. Jake Giddings finished thirteenth in class but after setting a lap time of 2:15.206 he took the Sunoco Fastest Lap of the Weekend Award and also now holds the new British GT4 lap record around the Silverstone GP circuit.
The next time the championship is back on track will be for round six of the season at Spa-Francorchamps located in Belgium on July 8th/9th.
©Fay Tilley 17th June 2016.