LIVE: British GT Championship Round 1 – Oulton Park


Oulton Park promises to bring fierce competition in the first one-hour race (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)

After a long winter hibernation, the British GT Championship gets back underway with a double-header of one-hour races at Oulton Park.

The Am drivers will start this first race – Rick Parfitt will start on pole in the GT3 class after a storming late lap in the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 and Sandy Mitchell will start on GT4 pole after a scorching lap in the Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S.

Follow the whole race live with The Checkered Flag’s live blog!

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:06

Hello and welcome to The Checkered Flag’s live coverage of the first round of the 2017 British GT Championship! The rain is starting to get a bit less heavy but the track will be very wet for the opening laps of this 60 minute clash!

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:20

We’ve not even set off on the green flag lap and the engine has expired massively on the #24 MacMillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage. There’s a lot of fluid on the track, expect the start to be delayed quite a bit

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:23

And they’re off! Phil Keen has taken the lead into Old Hall in the GT3 class and Sandy Mitchell retains his pole position in the GT4 class

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:25

After the first lap, Jon Minshaw – not Phil Keen – remains in the lead, even after cutting the chicane just before Knickerbrook. Parfitt is still 2nd but Liam Griffin has climbed a place to lie in third place, leading a long chain of GT3 cars behind

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:26

in GT4, Sandy Mitchell has a few car lengths over the HHC Ginetta of Will Tregurtha

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:29

Minshaw is absolutely obliterating the field now, he’s got 8.7 seconds over Rick Parfitt in the Bentley

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:31

In GT4, Matt Nicoll-Jones has gone up to 2nd in the Academy Motorsport Aston without a bonnet. Tregurtha is now down to 3rd and falling into the clutches of the track-club McLaren

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:32

And as I typed that Ian Loggie has had a spin at the Foulstons Chicane in the second Team Parker Bentley, he’s recovered but he’s now in 11th

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:35

Will Tregurtha has now lost 3rd place in GT4! Adam Balon is through and into a podium place in the track-club McLaren

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:36

In GT3 Lee Mowle did a great dive down the inside of Harry Gottsacker in the Ginetta to claim fifth place in the AmD Mercedes

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:37

At the front, Jon Minshaw is more than 14 seconds in the lead

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:41

Lee Mowle is off at Island!! Not sure yet how that’s happened but he’s ended up behind the barriers on the inside of the corner

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:42

Elsewhere, after starting at the back of the grid, Derek Johnston is now 6th in the #1 TF Sport Aston Martin

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:43

Just seen a replay of the Mowle incident he ran wide at Island bend and couldn’t get the Mercedes stopped on the wet grass. He hit the barriers quite hard but he’s back on track and still running albeit down in 26th

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:45

Minshaw almost saw his race ended. He tried lapping GT4 traffic at Old Hall and almost hit Will Phillips who dived out from behind Marcus Hoggarth

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:46

Tim Eakin has had a spin at Cascades, his Nissan went round under braking and was lucky to be avoided by Farmer in the second TF Aston Martin

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:49

And the pit window is open! Griffin and Johnston have pitted from third and fourth respectively.

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:51

Tordoff just gets out ahead of Adam in the pits as Adam’s TF Sport Aston is almost pushed into the path of Tordoff’s Lamborghini

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:53

Jonny Adam has passed team-mate John Barnes at Lodge. Barnes thinks of trying again at Old Hall but backs out of it

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:54

Directly ahead of them Sam Tordoff passes Seb Morris at Knickerbrook with a great move under braking

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:56

In GT4 the leaders – Sandy Mitchell and Will Tregurtha – have now come in to pit at the last possible opportunity

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:56

And back in GT3 Jonny Adam has moved up to 3rd having passed Morris going in to Hislops

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:57

At the very front Phil Keen is carrying on Minshaw’s good work and has a 34 second lead!

Joe Hudson April 17, 201711:59

In GT4, the Academy Motorsport Aston is leading the class ahead of Adam Mackay in the track-club McLaren 570S

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:01

Sam Tordoff is now setting fastest laps in the Lamborghini, his 1:45.207 is three tenths better than Keen’s best of 1:45.501

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:04

A good battle is forming for 8th in GT3 as Martin Short in the Mercedes AMG holds off the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 of Matt Griffin. Last time across the line, they were just 0.120s apart

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:05

And Griffin has got past going up Deer Leap and into eighth

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:08

The GT4 leader Matt Nicoll-Jones has been given an 18 second penalty for a pit stop infringement! That will allow Adam Mackay to claim the lead

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:10

Elsewhere, Matt Griffin is now seventh after passing Nathan Freke’s Century Motorsport Ginetta

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:13

Into the final 10 minutes now and Phil Keen has a 36 second lead over Barwell team-mate Tordoff who himself is 3.5s ahead of Jonny Adam

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:15

And another penalty for a GT4 leader!! Track-club has been given a 1.5s penalty (seriously) for a short pit stop. Mackay comes in and out without losing his lead as Stuart Middleton in the HHC Ginetta couldn’t make up the time

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:20

GT4 is heating up, Joe Osborne is throwing the Tolman McLaren around trying to find a way past the Porsche of Scott Malvern for 7th in class

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:24

WINNER! Phil Keen takes a dominant Barwell victory here at Oulton Park! He is 37 seconds ahead of Sam Tordoff. Adam crosses the line third after Morris couldn’t make a move on the last lap

Joe Hudson April 17, 201712:25

GT4 was won by Adam Mackay in the track-club McLaren who finished just under 9 seconds ahead of Stuart Middleton in the HHC Ginetta. The Academy Motorsport Aston was third at the hands of Matt Nicoll-Jones