Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam have finished the morning on top with the fastest time in the final free practice session for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Snetterton. The Beechdean AMR duo took the fastest time in a dying minutes dash to the top of the table with Adam at the wheel.
Until the stonking lap from the Aston Martin Vantage it was the #88 Triple Eight Race Engineering run BMW Z4 GT3 which led the timesheets thanks to a mid-session flyer from Joe Osborne. Come the close of the session Osborne’s 1:50.506 was bettered by 0.440 seconds but for much of the action it appeared that the BMW Joe shares with Lee Mowle would keep the top spot. A 1:50.066 put paid to that and again increased expectations that the circuit lap record will fall in the first race tomorrow.
Tom Onslow-Cole is another driver who may be disappointed by the result. He put the Strata 21 Aston Martin on top early in the session, knocking Adam’s first quick time down the order. Paul White, who shares the #21 with Onslow-Cole was predictably unable to better the time set by the pro driver when he got in the car and it dropped to fourth in the final classification behind the #38 MP Motorsport entry of Richard Abra and Mark Poole.
The Trackspeed Porsche of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen continued its improvement, a steady process over the course of the morning, to place fifth. A late lap from the #4 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin secured sixth for the Motorbase run outfit thanks to Michael Caine, while the #18 FF Corse car surprised early on.
Adam Carroll was the first driver to displace the Beechdean car in the Ferrari 458 Italia, a position neither driver would be able to maintain. Gary Eastwood had a clear run during his time in the car but didn’t rise to attention again and when Carroll got back on board he was unable to bring the car back from the seventh place to which it had fallen. AF Corse took eighth thanks to Pasin Lathouras and Richard Lyons with the sole Ginetta GT3 car, the G55 of IDL CWS 4×4 Spares grabbing ninth after Tom Sharp’s run in the car.
The Ginetta would later hit undisclosed problems and grind to a halt between Hamilton and Oggies. Ian Stanton managed to re-fire the car and return it to the pits but the problem in the final five minutes of the session was a prime factor in denying us a quali simulation battle at the head of the field.
AF Corse rounded out the top ten with their second car, the #13 Ferrari of John Dhillon and Arron Scott.
In GT4 the top spot went to the Lotus Evora of ISSY Racing. Oz Yozef and Gavan Kershaw were able to capitolise on their strong showing in FP1, bettering the fastest time from Team Parker Racing’s Barrie Baxter and Dan Cammish by a miniscule 0.059 seconds. Century Motorsport took third thanks to Rick Parfitt and Tom Oliphant with their GT4 version of the Ginetta G55.
Problems during the session included power steering issues for the #55 Academy Motorsport entry. Oli Basey-Fisher and Matt Nicoll-Jones now face qualifying with just nine laps of practice under their belts after a succession of mechanical woes following on from their engine failure at Silverstone.
Both Bentleys also had difficulty. The M-Sport run #17 struggled for pace all session, culminating in a vary rare spin for Steven Kane. The factory team eventually managed to climb to sixteenth after a quick final lap for Kane. Generation Bentley Racing had a worse session, the team struggling to overcome braking issues. Only the Preci-Spark McLaren of David Jones and Godfrey Jones qualified lower in GT3.
The ‘Baby Beechdean’ car took 29th place and ninth in GT4 after spending much of the session on used tyres. They left it too late to put fresh rubber on and make a run at the 15 minute to go mark, when a small amount of cloud cover finally cooled the track and allowed the Avon Tyres to hit peak grip.
The Avon Tyres British GT Championship field take to the track at 16:40 for the first of two qualifying sessions. Coverage continues on thecheckeredflag.co.uk straight from Snetterton.