Barwell Take First Blood with British GT FP1 Pole


Barwell Motorsport has taken top spot in the first Free Practice session of the British GT Championship at Silverstone, being the only entry to break into the 2:01s.

Top spot went to the returning Alexander Sims in the #6 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 he is sharing for the rest of the season with Liam Griffin who logged a 2:01.991 halfway through the session to put the Italian machine out of touching distance from rivals who were doing their best to pick through a lot of GT4 traffic.

With more than 30 GT4 cars on track, thanks to the Competition102 GT4 European Series joining the field for this weekend, the first session was more a practice for the GT3 cars to pick through the traffic come tomorrow’s three-hour race and that meant the AMs spent the chunk of the session clocking laps and getting their eye in.

First to set a competitive time was the second of three Barwell Lamborghinis as Phil Keen set a 2:02.617 to put himself ahead of Joe Osborne who was setting good times in the AmDTuning.com BMW Z4 GT3 to be half a tenth behind the Huracan as the session completed the first twenty minutes.

38 minutes to go saw Jonny Adam make a leap up to the top spot with a 2:02.438 but that was immediately beaten by Seb Morris in the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 who clocked a 2:02.247.

However, even he didn’t have time to enjoy the feeling at the top as Sims turned the timing screens purple on his first weekend in the Lamborghini as he set his sub-2:02 time. Lee Mowle tried his best to restore honour for the BMW but his 2:02.166 wasn’t quite enough.

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The #135 Maserati was a big mover in GT4, putting some the frights on some of the established GT4 entries (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)

In GT4, it was very much an Aston Martin show as first Jake Giddings in the JW Bird Motorsport machine took the lead of the class with a 2:14.114 before Matty Graham in the #42 Generation AMR MacMillan Racing set a 2:13.503 to put himself in an unbeatable position at the top of the class.

The Baby Beechdean of Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert did end the session one-tenth back though, suggesting that this is very much an Aston Martin circuit – especially with the JW Bird car finishing third after improving its time by a very slight margin.

That said, the GT4 Euro cars were keeping the British contingent honest and Giuseppe Fascicolo in the #135 Swiss Team Maserati GT MC GT4 finished fourth overall in GT4 and first in the GT4 Euro sub-class with a 2:14.185 – a gap of three-tenths over British GT GT4 points leaders Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson in the PMW World Expo Racing Ginetta G55 GT4.

Notable elsewhere in the GT4 field was the #73 University of Bolton backed Century Motorsport Ginetta of Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke who ended down in 30th place behind a number of Euro and British GT4 entries.