Keen and Minshaw Motor to Race One Victory


Phil Keen swept past James Littlejohn to claim race one victory. (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)

Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan claimed a third GT3 victory of the season in race one at Snetterton, whilst Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton of HHC Motorsport sealed victory in GT4.

A sun-soaked Snetterton circuit roared into life with Jack Mitchell darting away into an early lead in the #24 Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage,  opening up a storming 3.3 second gap at the end of the first lap over championship leader Minshaw in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan.

In GT4, Tregurtha in the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 swooped into the top spot, battling past the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta of Alex Reed in the opening exchanges.

Mitchell continued building a gap at the front, whilst a duel for 3rd place between Rick Parfitt and Liam Griffin saw the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 of Parfitt surge into a provisional podium spot.

Whilst the Macmillan GT3 of Mitchell led the way at the front, the Macmillan #42 GT4 Aston Martin of William Phillips was bumped down the early standings after suffering significant front end damage in a second-lap excursion.

The main battle ongoing in the first 15 minutes was Mark Farmer in #11 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage, who gradually began to clamber up to the back of Lee Mowle‘s AMDtuning.com Mercedes-AMG GT3. Heading into the Agostini braking zone, Farmer muscled his way into fifth, but was forced to pay for his aggressive overtake by having to pit to fix a wheel rim issue.

As the leaders perilously closed on the stragglers in the GT4 field, the battle for second began to heat up, as Parfitt whittled Minshaw’s advantage in second to merely two-tenths.

Half-way through the race saw the first retirement, as the #29 In2Racing McLaren 570S of Marcus Hoggarth and Euan Mckay spluttered to a stop on the side of Riches corner.

Wheel-guns sounded to signal the start of the crucial pit-stop flurry and the turn of the PRO drivers, with Keen taking over from Minshaw, whilst Mitchell’s leading Aston Martin continued on a further lap before handing over to James Littlejohn.

In the fight for podium honours in GT3, the #6 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Sam Tordoff jumped Seb Morris‘ Bentley coming out of the pits to snatch third.

A slow pit-stop for the GT3 leading Aston Martin saw Barwell Motorsport’s second placed Keen claim back 10 seconds, slashing the leading gap of Littlejohn down to only six seconds.

The success penalty for GT4 Rockingham winners Tregurtha and Middleton in the HHC Motorsport Ginetta saw David Pittard reclaim the GT4 class lead for Lanan Racing, after his partner Reed had lost the top spot to Tregurtha on the first lap.

A titanic duel for the GT3 and GT4 lead began to rage, with the lead GT3 pairing of Littlejohn and Keen weaving their way between the two GT4 leaders of Pittard and Middleton as all four cars squabbled for position.

Keen pushed and probed but couldn’t find a way through as Littlejohn defended tenaciously around the narrow Snetterton curves.

Littlejohn and Keen dueled for the lead late on. (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)

Meanwhile, the two-car GT4 lead battle soon became three with the #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S of Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty joining the dogfight, with Haggerty profiting from the ragged Ginetta top two scrap.

After spirited defending for multiple laps, Littlejohn eventually conceded the lead with Keen touching the Macmillan Aston Martin wide before sweeping to the front down the backstretch to seal a fiercely fought GT3 victory in race one.

Having relinquished top spot, Littlejohn then fell into the looming clutches of Tordoff in the second Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini, with the former BTCC driver powering around the outside through Agostini to make it a Barwell one-two at the top of the standings.

In an ever-changing GT4 battle, Middleton’s HHC Ginetta swept beyond Pittard to reclaim top spot, forcefully surging into the lead on the penultimate lap to claim GT4 victory.

Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton claimed a second straight GT4 win. (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)