Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen made it three wins so far this season after winning race one at Snetterton after an entertaining battle with James Littlejohn and Jack Mitchell.
In the GT4 class the racing was just as close but nobody was able to deny the HHC pairing of Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton the win during the opening race. The duo overcame their ten second success penalty during their pit stop to take the class victory of the sixty minute race.
The combination of the pit stop success penalties and one of the silver cup pairings starting on pole set the race up to be entertaining. Minshaw and Keen won the race ahead of Barwell teammates Liam Griffin and Sam Tordoff by 3.8 seconds. Macmillan AMR’s James Littlejohn and Jack Mitchell started from pole position in their Aston Martin. Mitchell fired off the line and instantly began opening a lead. His lead was 14.2 seconds back to Minshaw when the pit window opened but he and Littlejohn had a five second success penalty after finishing third at Rockingham. By the time Littlejohn re-joined the circuit their lead had been closed rapidly by Phil Keen after taking over driving duties from Minshaw.
Barwell opted to pit at the first opportunity and had no penalty to serve, so when Keen got out onto the circuit his plan was to rapidly close the gap. After being fastest in both of the practice sessions and the Pro qualifying it was no surprise to see Keen breaking his own GT3 lap record in his Lamborghini. He soon made his way past the Aston Martin V12 Vantage of James Littlejohn but the latter made it very difficult for Keen. The move to pass was made at Oggies with just nine minutes of the race remaining.
Further back in the field Barwell Motorsport’s Liam Griffin had been running in fourth before co-driver Sam Tordoff took over the wheel. Tordoff took advantage of Team Parker Racing’s success penalty to exit the pits in third place. The battle for the lead allowed Tordoff in the sister Lamborghini to close in during the closing laps before he took his chance to sweep around the outside of Littlejohn at Palmer – making it a Barwell Motorsport 1-2. Macmillan AMR’s Littlejohn held on to take third at the flag.
Team Parker Racing’s Rick Parfitt Jnr qualified the Bentley in third and run in that position before the pit stop took place, he and co-driver Seb Morris had a ten second penalty for winning at Rockingham. The penalty meant they dropped to fourth by the time Morris exited the pits. Morris was unable to make up any places by the time the chequered flag came out – taking fourth place on the road. The duo were handed a thirty second penalty that was added to their race time in place of a drive through as their pit top was too short – dropping them to seventh. AmDtuning.com’s Lee Mowle and Ryan Ratcliffe crossed the line in sixth but were promoted to fourth.
Both of the TF Sport run Aston Martin’s had a tough day, the reigning champions Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam were never in the fight for the win on the way to taking fifth. In the sister car Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes suffered a wheel issue during the first stint, putting them a lap down.
Spirit of Race’s Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin had to take a seven second success penalty which contributed to the sixth place finish ahead of the penalised Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris Bentley.
Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing’s Richard Neary and Martin Short were in a close fight for eighth with Team Parker Racing’s Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod. The Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing duo came out on top with the Team Parker duo finishing in ninth.
The pit stop success penalties usually prevent most pairings from winning consecutive races in the British GT but HHC Motorsport’s Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton overcame their ten second penalty to extend their championship lead and win the opening race of the day.
Lanan Racing’s Alex Reed put the Ginetta on pole position for the opening race but lost the lead to Tregurtha by the end of the first lap. Tregurtha opened a gap of almost five seconds over Reed before the pit window opened. The HHC pairing had ten seconds to serve in additional time to the pit stop. Reed’s Lanan Racing co-driver David Pittard emerged from the pits in the lead of the race ahead of Stuart Middleton in the HHC run Ginetta.
Middleton reeled Pittard in before the two endured a game of nose to tail racing which allowed Black Bull Garage 59’s Ciaran Haggerty to close in and join the battle after taking over driving duties from Sandy Mitchell. Less than one second covered the three drivers before Middleton made his move for the lead at Brundle and securing the position as he exited Nelson. Middleton crossed the line 1.4 seconds ahead of David Pittard. Ciaran Haggerty completed the podium a further 2.2 seconds further back.
Track-Club’s Adam Balon and Adam Mackay took the spoils for the Pro/Am driver pairings in fourth as the top three were all Silver Cup pairings. Academy Motorsport’s Will Moore occupied fourth during the race but he and co-driver Matt Nicoll-Jones finished in fifth. Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson finished the race in sixth ahead of Tolman Motorsport’s David Pattison and Joe Osborne.
Picture Credit: Jakob Ebrey
©Fay Tilley 28th May 2017