Bentley boys take pole on first British GT weekend


Team Parker Racing’s Bentley boys – Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris – have taken pole for Sunday’s two-hour British GT Championship race. Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke took pole in GT4 for Century Motorsport.

The ‘Am’ drivers in GT3 were the first ones out on track and, unsurprisingly, Andrew Howard was still at the European Le Mans Series race at Silverstone so couldn’t set a lap in the #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage – that car will start at the back of the 14-strong GT field.

For those that were at the track, the action was intense as Will Moore in the #14 Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS set the early marker for the grid to beat with a 1:27.426.

In the 10 minute session, pole times don’t last long and in just a few minutes, the fastest ‘Am’ time flicked between Jon Minshaw, Rick Parfitt Jnr and Lee Mowle as well as Derek Johnston in the TF Sport Aston Martin.

Johnston’s time of 1:25.920 was a strong benchmark and looked like they would stay on pole until the end of the session until Rick Parfitt Jnr pulled out a 1:25.509 in the big Bentley Continental GT3 to end the ‘Am’ session fastest.

When the ‘Pro’ field came out, it was the combined times that settled the grid and combining on Lee Mowle’s 1:26.374 was Joe Osborne who put in a 1:25.256 to make a 2:51.124.

Like most times, it didn’t stay top for long as Jonny Adam set a 1:23.766 to log a 2:49.308 – which would eventually place him third on the starting grid for tomorrow’s race.

Ahead of him is the Bentley and the Demon Tweeks branded Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Morris set pole first as his 1:22.907 linked with Parfitt’s time for a 2:48.416, Phil Keen could only watch as he and Minshaw set a combined time of 2:49.297 to start on the outside of the front row.

Third was Adam and Johnston with the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 650S in fourth place, Joe Osborne would eventually end up in fifth place.

The University of Bolton capitalised on practice pace to score GT4 pole (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)
The University of Bolton capitalised on practice pace to score GT4 pole (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)

With that settled, it moved on to GT4 ‘Am’ and the only red flag of the qualifying period as Nick Jones and Robin Shute decided a trip into the Paddock Hill Bend gravel trap was the best thing to do – just before that though, Jack Bartholomew would log a 1:33.013 in the Baby Beechdean AMR to go the head of the field.

Once the delay to recover both cars finished, the biggest mover was Wilson Thompson in the RCIB Insurance Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 who set a 1:33.651 to move into second place. He would be usurped though by both William Phillips and Jamie Chadwick who would end in second and third respectively.

In the ‘Pro’ section, Mike Robinson in the PMW World Expo Racing Ginetta would set the early combined time pace with a 3:06.184 to go on pole.

Jordan Albert then built on his teammates good time in the first session to set a 3:05.744 which was good for a time, but quickly saw the pair knocked down onto the second row of the grid.

Ahead of them is the University of Bolton/Century Motorsport Ginetta with Anna Walewska’s decent middling time being blitzed by Nathan Freke to set a very good 3:05.149, they would finish three tenths ahead of the PMW car which would improve on its early ‘Pro’ time to finish on 3:05.411.