It was a late lap in the closing stages of the session from TF Sport’s Jonny Adam that saw the team top the timing sheets for free practice one at Snetterton whilst Matthew George topped the timing sheets for the GT4 class for Generation AMR SuperRacing.
Derek Johnston (Jonny Adam’s co-driver) led the session as an hour had passed, then the pro drivers headed out onto the circuit. It was reigning champion Adam who set the lap time of 1:47.909, which was well inside his current British GT lap record time, that set the quickest time nobody was able to beat. Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen were in second, just 0.221 seconds separated them from the TF Sport pairing ahead. When the session finished the Barwell pairing had almost half of a second gap to Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s Alasdair McCaig and Rob Bell in third. The second of the Barwell Motorsport pairings with Liam Griffin and Alexander Sims at the wheel finished the session in fourth place, 0.037 seconds behind the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse duo.
Team Parker Racing’s Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris finished the session in fifth place, 1.2 seconds down on the Aston Martin. It was Mike Simpson who battled to put the Ginetta run by Tolman Motorsport into sixth place, just 0.013 seconds behind the Bentley. The second of the Ginetta G55 GT3 cars in the hands of Luke Davenport and David Pattison finished in seventh after Davenport crashed out early in the session without setting a competitive time.
The Aston Martin run by Appleby Engineering for Generation AMR SuperRacing with James Holder and Matthew George made a statement during the opening session of the weekend by topping the timing sheets for the GT4 class with a comfortable gap. It was Matthew George at the wheel when the quick lap time of 1:58.282 was set, two tenths quicker than the qualifying lap record at Snetterton for the class. nobody else was able to get close enough to challenge for the top spot during the session.
Championship leaders Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson were the duo to be second on the timing screens in their PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport Ginetta. They finished about seven tenths of a second behind the quickest time but were 0.106 seconds quicker than Lanan Racing’s Joey Foster and Alex Reed.
Just twelve months ago Jamie Chadwick became the youngest ever champion in the British GT championship when partnered with Ross Gunn. She started her return to the championship at the same venue by managing to lap just 0.030 seconds slower than third place in the Aston Martin she shares with Paul Hollywood run by Beechdean AMR.
The Generation AMR with Macmillan Racing pairing of Matthew Graham and Jack Mitchell made it three Aston Martins in the top five. Championship returnees Ade Barwick and Bradley Ellis rounded out the top six. Another championship returnee, Andrew Jarman took seventh place, he lapped just 0.4 seconds slower than the second placed Ginetta of Robinson and Johnson. However, he was half of a tenth of a second quicker than the McLaren of Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell.
Century Motorsport’s two Ginettas ended the session in the garage as both cars had issues. Nathan Freke and Anna Walewska finished in ninth, they had to miss the last fifteen minutes of the opening session after Walewska nudged the barriers. Aleksander Schjerpen failed to complete a flying lap when the second of the G55s blew its engine on the out lap of the session.
©Fay Tilley 7th August 2016.