British GT Snetterton Round Up
Double victory for TF-Sport in GT3 while Tolman Motorsport and Century Motorsport claim GT4 wins in Snetterton double header.
Starting from pole TF-Sport’s Mark Farmer led the race early on in the Norfolk sunshine until lap nine when both the Jetstream Motorsport Aston Martin of Graham Davidson and the Team Parker Racing Bentley got the better of Farmer.
Just a few minutes into the race later the Safety Car was sent out so the marshals could safely recover the stricken Balfe Motorsport’s McLaren. While the Safety Car was out the pit window opened and this turned the pitlane into a very busy place while virtually the field pitted.
Jetstream’s Aston Martin pitted in the lead and with no success penalty it should have re-emerged in the lead. Unfortunately problems and confusion in the pitstop meant that TF-Sport’s Nicki Thiim was now in the lead. The Dane remained out in front for the remainder of the race taking the flag ahead of the Jetstream Aston Martin.
Further back Team Parker Racing, who were running P2 before the stops, fell back to P10 after a slow pitstop. This allowed Barwell Motorsport’s #33 Lamborghini to claim the last step of the podium after circulating in P4 prior to the pitstops.
Optimum Motorsport’s Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam had an eventful afternoon. Starting back in P9 they made their way to P4 at the flag, but because of contact with the Beechdean Aston Martin they had a 30s penalty added to their race time in lieu of a drive-through and saw them classified in P9.
Pole-sitter Ben Tuck in his Century Motorsport BMW was off as the rolling start got the race underway. By the time the Safety Car was sent out, the BMW driver was enjoying a 4s lead. The Century Motorsport pairing a Silver Cup pair have to serve longer pitstops than the Pro/Am pairings. As more or less the entire GT4 field all piled into the pits the Pro/Am pairings would be stationery less.
Indeed the Pro/Am pairing of Pattison and Osborne in their Tolman Motorsport McLaren pitted in P3 and left in P2 behind the Invictus Games Racing Jaguar who was now P1. A short pitstop saw the Invictus Games Racing team serve a penalty, but Osborne had already overtaken the Jaguar and held on to that lead to take the flag.
Behind the #56 Tolman Motorsport came the sister #4 McLaren of O’Brien and Fagg. This was at the expense of the UltraTek Nissan as they too had a penalty. Completing the podium was the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin of Moore and Nicoll-Jones. In fact that final spot could have been anyones between the McLaren, Aston and the Team Parker Mercedes as only 1s covered these three cars at the end of the race.
Century Motorsport’s BMW of pole-sitter Green and Tuck finished the race down in P6 after all the hard work early on had been un-done by the safety car.
Again starting from pole, the TF-Sport Aston Martin managed to hold off the field until the pitstops. Thiim though couldn’t make the break at the start due to the Safety Car deployment as a stricken McLaren of Barnicaot had to be retrieved. Once racing got back underway again, the two TF-Sport Aston Martins were running together, albeit 2s apart. Sorensen had leap frogged the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini at the start to be able to maintain some pressure on his team mate.
When the pitstops had all taken place, Johnston emerged in the lead courtesy of the 10s success penalty of the sister Aston Martin. Benefitting also from not having to serve a pitstop success penalty was the Beechdean Aston Martin who had now leap frogged up to P2 from starting P4. There the Aston Martin remained for the duration, glued to the bumper of the TF-Sport Aston and no matter what Howard could do he couldn’t force Johnston into a mistake and the pair finished 0.5s apart at the flag.
Completing the podium was race 1 winner TF-Sport Aston who had managed to emerge just ahead of the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborgini after the pitstops after excellent work by the TF-Sport pit crew. The Lamborghini was soon falling back and indeed Optimum Motorsport Aston of Haigh had it in her sights and duly took P4 demoting Minshaw to P5.
In the closing stages of the race, this had become P6 after the Jetstream Aston Martin of Davidson made a move but contact was made and sent the Lamborghini into a spin. This earned Davidson a 30s race penalty and moved Minshaw back into P5.
Starting from pole, Academy Motorsport Nicoll-Jones managed to stay in the lead, but was soon overtaken by the BMW of Century Motorsport’s Jack Mitchell who had started alongside Nicoll-Jones. In fact it could have been anyone of the top 6 who could have been leading by the time the pitstop window opened.
With the combinations of the success penalties and minimum pitstop times the order was soon jumbled and mixed. By the time everyone had served their stops it was Pattison who was out in front in his McLaren from fellow Tolman Motorsport team mate Proctor. It wasnt long though before Proctor made his move and into the lead and Pattison soon dropped behind Moore and Tuck.
The Century Motorsport of Ben Green and Ben Tuck had an eventful start. Green was up there at the front with the leaders when contact was made between himself and the McLaren of Dan Mckay. This resulted in the BMW spinning and now down in P12. Green had already made up two places before the pit stops and as a result of pitting early and the Tuck’s speed meant that they were now P4.
Tuck’s speed soon had him past Moore and then a move down the inside of the Bombhole saw him into the lead which he held onto until the end, finishing 2.5s ahead and claim their first victory in the championship. In fact it was also the first time a BMW M4 had won in Europe in the hands of a non-factory team.
The next event is at Silverstone for the three-hour Silverstone 500.