Minshaw and Keen power to practice double in FP1 and FP2


Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw dominated practice, topping the timesheets in both session. (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)

Championship leaders Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen stormed to the top of the timing sheets in FP1 and FP2, claiming the fastest times in both sessions in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

In a first session dominated by championship table-toppers, HHC Motorsport‘s #55 Ginetta G55 of Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha claimed FP1 honours. However, atop the GT4 standings at the end of FP2 was the Lanan Racing #51 Ginetta G55 of Alex Reed and David Pittard.

The first session sparked into life with Barwell Motorsport atop the standings in the initial stages, as GT3 championship leaders Minshaw and Keen emphatically showcased their impressive speed with a lap time six tenths faster than the second placed #7 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental of Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod.

Midway through the first session, the red flag waved following the #11 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage of Jon Barnes and Mark Farmer suffering minor damage after a turn one incident.

In GT4, HHC Motorsport’s championship-leading Ginetta G55 pairing of Middleton and Tregurtha battled to the front, claiming top spot in first practice by 0.005 over the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S of David Pattison and Joe Osborne.

GT4 table-toppers Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha claimed top spot in FP1. (Credit: Craig Robertson/SpeedChills.com)

A torrential downpour between sessions created the difficult choice for teams of wet or slick tyres on a drying Snetterton surface, with the #21 Spirit of Race SA Ferrari 488 of Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron claiming provisional fastest in the first few minutes of the second hour-long session.

Despite dominating the first half of FP2, the Ferrari duo saw their early dominance shattered by the Team Parker Racing Bentley of Loggie and Macleod, whose 1:50:424 lap time was good enough to top the leaderboard by a second.

After a difficult Rockingham race weekend, 2016 GT3 champions Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston in the #1 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 surged to the front with a 1:50:126 as the reigning title-holders hope to ignite their championship defence at the Norfolk circuit.

Trouble befell the #43 Ginetta G55 GT4 of Steve Fresle and Jacob Mathiassen, with the pairing awarded a five minute stop-go penalty to be served during the remainder of FP2 for breaching track limits.

Topping the GT4 standings at the end of FP2 was Lanan Racing’s #51 Ginetta G55 of Reed and Pittard, half a second faster than closest competitors Pattison and Osborne in the Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S.

David Pittard and Alex Reed continued the Ginetta run at the top of GT4. (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)

Desperate not to be upstaged by their TF Sport teammates, the #11 Aston Martin of Barnes and Farmer clambered into the FP2 lead, returning resurgently after an excursion that brought out the red flag in FP1.

However, the TF Sport Aston Martin dominance at the front of the GT3 field was soon broken by the current championship leaders, with the Barwell Lamborghini GT3 of Keen and Minshaw stamping their authority by leaping to the top of FP2 with a 1:48:737, 1.2 seconds faster than anyone else.

The two Aston Martins were then bumped down to third and fourth when the Spirit of Race SA Ferrari of Griffin and Cameron launched into second place in the waning moments of the session.