BMW Pairing Fastest In Second Donington Park Practice


888Optimum Racing's BMW was fastest in the second 60-minute session (Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

The #8 888Optimum Racing BMW shared by Lee Mowle and Joe Osborne was fastest in the second practice session at Donington Park for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship.

The pair’s BMW Z4 GT3 lapped the Donington Park circuit in 1:29.175 late in the session, deposing Trackspeed’s #33 Porsche driven by Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw from the top spot and ending the Porsche team’s domination of the session.

All three Trackspeed cars had been fastest at difference points in the session. The #33 led after the first laps of the session before being pushed back down the order after improvements by both the #32 and #31, title chaser Nick Tandy leading with a 1:29.573 before Keen edged ahead in the closing stages.

Keen’s improvement, and Joe Osborne’s that followed, came after a red flag period after the Twisted Team Parker Ginetta was beached in the gravel on the outside of the chicane. There was further contact in the session between United Autosport’s Audi and the APO Sport Ginetta G50 GT4 at the Melborne Hairpin. Both were able to recover to the pits, the Audi returning with the bonnet up.

Fortec Motorsport’s Mercedes SLS also stopped during the session, though Benji Hetherington and Jason Minshaw’s charge was still seventh fastest at the end of the session.

United Autosport’s Audi, with drivers Matt Bell and Mark Patterson – was fourth fastest having had the bonnet put down. They split the trio of Trackspeed Porsches, Richard Westbrook and Gregor Fisken’s #32 fifth fastest. Team LNT continued a strong start to the weekend for Ginetta in sixth fastest.

AF Corse, Beechdean AMR and Barwell Motorsport completed the top ten.

Ecurie Ecosse’s #79 – second in the points – were 12th fastest and Motorbase – third in the championship – were only 17th fastest.

Despite missing the end of the session after their spell in the gravel Twisted Team Parker were fastest in GT4. The grey and day-glo yellow car shared by Adrian Barwick and Bradley Ellis was a little over a second faster over the Century Motorsport car of Declan Jones and Nathan Freke. GT4 points leaders Optimum Motorsport were third fastest.

Qualifying is scheduled for 3:45pm. www.theCheckeredFlag.co.uk will have live blog coverage of the session.