LIVE: Avon Tyres British GT Championship Oulton Park – Race One


Avon Tyres British GT Championship (Nick Smith)

The 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship season gets under way with two one hour races at Oulton Park in Cheshire. www.theCheckeredFlag.co.uk are covering the full season, including live blogs of the races.

This live blog will be updated during the first race of the season, starting at 12 noon.

James Broomhead April 6, 201511:46

We’re 15 minutes away from the green flag for the 2015 British GT season!

James Broomhead April 6, 201511:51

It’s the race started by the less experienced (generally) of the pairings, so Liam Griffin is starting the #6 Aston from pole position.

James Broomhead April 6, 201511:52

Then it’s Gary Eastwood’s FF Corse Ferrari 2nd, Alastair MacKinnon 3rd in the RAM Racing Merc and Ahmad Al Harthy fourth in the 2nd Motorbase Aston. 

James Broomhead April 6, 201511:54

The ISSY Racing Lotus Evora is leading the GT4 half of the field on the grid. 

James Broomhead April 6, 201511:56

First correction of the season – it’s Andrew Howard fourth on the grid in the Beechdean Aston, Al Harthy is 5th.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:04

They’re off. Liam Griffin holds the lead into Old Hall. A pretty clean start there.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:04

Spoke too soon. Three cars off at Cascades. One recovers, but one looks stuck to the inside of the left hander.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:05

Safety car out with two cars stuck at Cascade. Salih Yoluc’s VonRyan McLaren is one of them, Will Moore’s GT4 Aston the other.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:07

Griffin, meanwhile has survived the first lap in the lead. Eastwood second, Andrew Howard up to 3rd, Andrew Watson 4th in the now lone VonRyan 650S GT3.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:07

The #11 Aston of Mark Farmer also appears to have picked up damage, but he carries on past the pits trailing smoke.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:08

James Birch has mmoved into the GT4 lead in Century Motorsport Ginetta

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:08

Farmer brings the #11 into the pits.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:09

Alastair MacKinnon was shuffled back to eighth on the opening lap in the RAM Mercedes

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:10

Green flag out again with 53 minutes of the race remaining

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:12

Andrew Watson moves his McLaren into third ahead of Howard’s Aston

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:14

Griffin leads Eastwood by 1.6 seconds, Watson another 6 tenths behind. The McLaren is carrying extra weight due to the silver-silver driver pairing aboard.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:15

Oz Yusef has reclaimed the lead in GT4

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:17

Defending champion Marco Attard is ‘only’ tenth in the #1 Ecurie Ecosse BMW

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:17

Watson moves up to second ahead of Eastwood. Now there’s a 1.6 second gap to leader Liam Griffin.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:18

Richard Williams has put the GPRM Toyota GT86 into the tyre wall at the chicane. There’s damage, but he continues

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:20

Where’s Watson. The McLaren doesn’t come though to complete lap eight. He’s reportedly in the barriers at Island bend.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:21

Eastwood – now back in 2nd – has closed in on Griffin. Now less than a second between the leaders, with Howard another half second behind.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:22

So that’s both McLaren 650S out in the first UK race for the new GT3 machine

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:24

20 minutes into the race, Griffin leads Eastwood, Howard and Al Harthy. Andrew Jarman is fifth in the TF Sport Aston

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:25

Less than a second between the top three to start lap 12. Eastwood looks for the lead, Howard looks to take second but nothing changes out of Cascades 

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:26

The leaders are coming up on slower traffic, which has allowed Griffin to take a 2.8 lead as 2nd to 7th get bottled up. 

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:27

The slow car – the recovering Salih Yoluc – spins at the chicane and cars scatter around him!!

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:28

Eastwood avoids the chaos, but loses four seconds to Griffin, Howard and Al Harthy have no way to avoid the mess and are both out of the race.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:28

Amid all this the pit window opens.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:29

Griffin pits from the lead, Eastwood from 2nd as the safety car comes out once again

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:31

The pitlane becomes a very, very busy place

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:35

Al Harthy is back on track, but now well down the order. There’s also concern back the RAM Merc, #17 Ginetta GT3 and Jon Minshaw’s BMW – all have slipped down the order.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:36

Aleksander Schjerpen has picked up the GT4 lead and tenth overall!!

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:37

Under the safety car Adam Carrol (in for Eastwood at FF Corse) has taken the lead ahead of Rory Butcher (in for Griffin) and Joe Osborne in the Triple 8 BMW

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:38

Alexander Sims is 12th in the Ecurie Ecosse BMW – the rear of the #1 car is definitely damaged

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:39

The #407 Aston, the GT4 Beechdean entry also has damage to the right-front

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:40

It’s a little bit like the walking wounded out there at the moment

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:43

The ISSY Lotus that was pulling away in GT4 is now a lap down.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:46

Mat Jackson is up to fourth on his British GT debut, Godfrey Jones’ Mercedes fifth and Mike Simpson sixth in the Team LNT Ginetta

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:47

16 minutes left and we are racing again with Adam Carroll in the lead

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:48

Stop Go penalty for Aleksander Schjerpen — that’ll take him from the GT4 lead

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:49

Simpson takes his Ginetta up to fifth with a move past the Jones’ Merc at turn one. Benny Simonsen follows through to take sixth on the way to Cascades

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:51

Carroll leads by nearly a second over Rory Butcher, who has Joe Osborne’s BMW right behind him

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:52

Schjerpen’s penalty has given Mike Robinson the GT4 lead in the Optimum run Ginetta

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:53

Osborne takes second from Butcher at Hislops 

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:54

Osborne comes across the line 1.8 seconds behind Carroll with nine minutes of racing left

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:56

Godfrey Jones has spun the Mercedes out of seventh at Cascades

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:57

Osborne has cut into Carroll’s lead with a fastest lap. Only 0.8 between the top two now

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:58

Carroll responds, takes the fastest lap away from Osborne and pulls the lead back out to a full second.

James Broomhead April 6, 201512:59

Drive throughs for both Team LNT Ginettas. That’ll take Mike Simpson out of 4th and Tom Oliphant from 9th

James Broomhead April 6, 201513:01

Three minutes to go. Carroll still leads, but it’s Butcher whose taken 2nd from Osborne as the leaders fought through GT4 traffic

James Broomhead April 6, 201513:03

Onto the last lap. The top three come through with 1.5 between them

James Broomhead April 6, 201513:03

Ross Gunn gets his elbows out at Old Hall to pass Mike Hart for second in GT4

James Broomhead April 6, 201513:04

Adam Carroll comes across the line to win the first race of the 2015 British GT season!!

James Broomhead April 6, 201513:06

Rory Butcher brings the #6 Aston home in second, Joe Osborne third in the Triple 8 BMW. Mat Jackson fourth in the #4 Motorbase Aston. Benny Simonsen fifth for Rosso Verde

James Broomhead April 6, 201513:06

Daniel Lloyd – in the car started by Al Harthy that was involved in the chicane dust-up – salvaged tenth.

James Broomhead April 6, 201513:07

Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson win GT4 on their series debut ahead of the Beechdean AMR entry

James Broomhead April 6, 201513:08

That’ll do us for this live coverage of the first race of the British GT season. We’ll have a full report online soon, and be back live for the second race at 4pm.