Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse drivers Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty have secured their second pole position in a row after claiming the GT4 pole at Spa-Francorchamps. Both drivers comfortably topped the AM and PRO qualifying sessions in their McLaren 570S to claim the overall GT4 pole position. They will have fierce competition on their hands from Ginettas as positions two to five are taken by Ginetta G55s from multiple teams. Alex Reed and Joey Foster secured theirs and Lanan Racing’s best ever qualifying position in the British GT championship by qualifying second in British GT GT4 class ahead of Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke in the Century Motorsport run G55. Next up in fourth is the Optimum Motorsport/PMW Expo Racing Ginetta G55 of Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson followed by RCIB Insurance Racing’s Aaron Mason and Rob Barrable.
There was a brief period of rain prior to the AM qualifying session which meant that sector two of the circuit was significantly wet for the start of the session. Times began improving throughout the twelve-minute session, although drivers had no other option than to remain on the Pirelli treaded tyres due to a portion of the circuit being wet. Sandy Mitchell’s pace in the front meant he ended the session 0.5 seconds faster than the next British GT GT4 competitor which was Generation AMR Macmillan Racing’s Jack Mitchell. Alex Reed was another four tenths further back behind.
The drivers were still having to use wet tyres for the start of the pro session before some felt it was time to switch onto slicks. Ciaran Haggerty was first to make the most of the slick tyres when he set his fastest lap time of 2:43.993 which secured he and Sandy Mitchell pole position. They didn’t only get the class pole position but the overall pole position of both British GT GT4 and the GT4 European Series. Joey Foster took a different approach and went fifth quickest in the Pro session for the British GT GT4 class. the fastest lap put in by Foster paid off as he and Alex Reed took second in the British GT GT4 class after times were combines. Nathan Freke’s late lap time of 2:44.948 was the second fastest individual drivers’ lap times of the day. This helped move the Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 up eighth places.
Optimum Motorsport/PMW Expo Racing’s Johnson and Robinson were just under three tenths of a second further back to Nathan Freke’s fastest pro time. Race winner from Silverstone Rob Barrable lapped the circuit fourth quickest of the British GT GT4 class to claw back five positions as the circuit began to dry. Jack Mitchell and Matty Graham’s Generation AMR Macmillan Racing Aston Martin dropped from second to sixth when the chequered flag came out. Ebor GT’s Abbie Eaton set a fastest lap that would’ve seen her comfortably inside the top five cars but the lap time was removed which sees them start seventh place. Teammate Marcus Hoggarths consistency sees them lining up one place ahead of the current championship leading Aston Martin of Beechdean AMR’s Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert. RCIB Insurance Racing’s Jordan Stilp and William Phillips set the eighth quickest combined time with Century Motorsport’s Aleksander Schjerpen and Sean Byrne taking ninth. Scott Malvern posted a blinding lap time during the mixed conditions session which helped his Team Parker Racing Porsche Cayman to set the sixth fastest time during the Pro session. When times were combined he and co-driver Nick Jones finished in tenth place
©Fay Tilley 9th July 2016.