British GT

Prancing Perfection: Mortimer And Tate Lead Ferrari Top Four

4 Mins read

Alex Mortimer and Andrew Tate became the seventh different winners in eight races in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship as they led home a 1-2 finish for CRS Racing and an impressive 1-2-3-4 for Ferrari 458 GT3s.

While Mortimer and Tate got the victory and perfect race for the CRS squad was topped as Jim and Glynn Geddie's second place lifted them to the top of the championship points table.

With the wet conditions that decided the first race gone the race got away with Matt Bell leading in the United Autosports Audi. The fastest time in qualifying had gone to Tim Bridgman in the Trackspeed Porsche but an engine failure in the morning warm-up had ruled he and co-driver Gregor Fisken out of the day's competition.

However, Bell – who started the race in the points lead with teammate Michael Guasch – was pushed back to third by the end of the opening lap as Phil Keen and Mortimer filled by through the Brook chicane.

In the surviving Trackspeed car Keen pulled away into a three second advantage before the gap stabilised as the leader started to pick his way through the slower GT4 traffic on the tight 1.94 mile track. But while the buffer was big enough on track it was not enough to survive the driver change pit stops when both Keen and Mortimer came in on lap 26.

Trackspeed gave away six second in pitstop duration to the CRS crew – owing partly to the penalty seconds added to the Porsche's stop after their third place in the day's first race, Tate emerging with a small lead over David Ashburn. However, that lead swelled to ten seconds on the pair's first lap on track, Ashburn spinning the Porsche on the exit of Gracelands.

Ashburn, the defending champion, quickly reeled in the Ferrari ahead but a pitstop to remore some flapping rear bodywork ended his challenge for the lead. He and keep would be credited with sixth place.

Ashburn's stop handed second to Jim Geddie, his son Glynn already having recovered the time lost to a drive through penalty for not respecting the track limits. Geddie senior was now just holding off Michael Guasch in a battle between the championship leaders. Guasch and the United Autosports Audi clearly had the pace to beat Geddie but was unable to complete a pass.

The American appeared to have won the position, passing Geddie at Tarzan, only for the Ferrari to take advantage of a better exit and drag past on the straight before the Brook chicane.

Michael Guasch had to contned with three Ferraris in a late race battle

Their fight was allowing Duncan Cameron and Michael Lyons to catch up. Cameron's MTECH teammate Matt Griffin had been another to incur a drive through penalty, removing him from a battle with Bell in the opening half of the race, but again had recovered the time lost.

While Guasch struggled to use the Audi's straight line advantage through the sweeping banked turn one Cameron was quick to capitalise on the 458s agility through the technical infield section.

Guasch later spoke to The Checkered Flag; “I was behind Geddie who's right there with us in the points and I was faster than him in some sections and he was faster in others but overall I think I had more pace and I would have been faster if I could get around but I just could not get around him. I made a couple of attempts – many attempts actually and he'd keep closing the door and blocking it and then he'd pull away though the turn five, six and seven complex [Pif Paf and Gracelands] we just had nothing for the Ferraris.”

“If I'd have gotten around him it would have been a whole other story.”

With just a handful of minutes left in the hour long race Guasch tried for second again at the Deene hairpin. As before Geddie fended of the Audi, but Guasch's momentary sacrifice of momentum allowed Cameron to latch onto his rear bumper entering the infield turns.

Guasch drifted wide at Gracelands later in the lap, Cameron taking immediate advantage to snatch third, Lyons following through for fourth, Guasch relegated to fifth and second in the championship, as the two 458s swept by

Behind the no.1 Porsche was the Jones' Mercedes in seventh and the Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen driven Ferrari 430 Scuderia in eighth. Simonsen was another to pick up a penalty in his earlier stint, but even before then he was unable to recreate his charging form from the first race.

Jay Palmer and John Bintcliffe collected the two points on offer for ninth with race one winners Beechdean Motorsport rounding out the top ten. Andrew Howard had been on course for seventh before an error at Deene with 14 minutes to go dropped them down the order.

Dan Denis and David McDonald were victorious again in GT4 – their third class win in four races – but unlike the first race the Scuderia Vittoria pair had to fight for the win. Phil Glew led the class from the start of the race in the Lotus Evora he shared with Ollie Jackson.

Glew held a slender lead over Marcus Clutton in the KTM XBow, Denis only third after losing out to Clutton in the early laps. After the pitstops the Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta – now under McDonald's control – had leapt the KTM back into second putting him in position to assume the lead when the leading Lotus ground to halt with a terminal problem exiting Tarzan.

Clutton and Peter Belshaw finished second in class, maintaining their lead in the class points. Josh Wakefield and Jake Rattenbury finished third for Century Motorsport.

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