British GT

Jelley Scores Pole On Motorbase Home Territory

2 Mins read
Avon Tyres British GT Championship, Brands Hatch (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Stephen Jelley made it two pole positions in as many Avon Tyres British GT Championship appearances for Motorbase Performance, setting the best time qualifying for the two hour event on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

On a track only a few miles from Dave Bartrum’s team base Jelley set his lap (1:25.910) during a busy final ten minute when most teams installed their faster driver in the car in a battle for the best grid slot after the second drivers had logged the three laps mandated by the rules. Unlike many teams Jelley began the session, setting a time good enough for fifth fastest in the first ten minutes, before gentlemen driver teammate Steve Parish took over for the middle part of the session.

Parish then pitted, Jelley returning to the fray, though only after a unplanned extra pit call with power steering concerns. Back on track Jelley was immediately back on the pace, setting the pole lap on his first flying lap out of the pits, and with just four minutes remaining in the session.

MTECH were another to send their faster man out in the opening minutes of the session, Matt Griffin setting provisional pole in the Ferrari 458. After Duncan Cameron had completed his laps Griffin was sent back out, into a fierce battle for pole position.

Jonny Adam became the first British GT driver to run a sub-1:26 lap on the day (1:25.931) with Allan Simonsen and Aaron Scott also beating Griffin's time to push the MTECH car down to fourth fastest – the trio of Ferrari's divided by just three-hundredths of a second and George Murrells lap in the Optimum Motorsport Ginetta – 1:26.234 – was only a single thousandth better than Simonsen's best as the battle for pole position bunched up further.

Jelley's pole time -when it came was only two-thousandths better than Adam's marker, a gap which a late improving Griffin neatly split in half to join the Porsche man on the front row.

In total the top thirteen teams where divided only by 0.756 seconds, the top dozen by less than half a second in a glorious indication of the strength of the championship.

In the tightly bunched top ten Adam's lap in the Beechdean Aston Martin Vantage stayed third best ahead of Nicolas Armindo and Michael Caine – more late movers for Trackspeed and Motorbase respectively.

Simonsen and Scott were pushed back to seventh and eighth respectively ahead of the second Trackspeed Porsche – that of Steve Tandy and Joe Osborne – and the RJN Motorsport Nissan. Jann Mardenborough had put the car at the top of the times in the very earliest minutes with a time that remained the fastest for the car as he and teammate Alex Buncombe completed only eight laps, opting to preserve tyres for the race.

Alex Osborne topped GT4 for APO Sport (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Alex Osborne topped GT4 for APO Sport (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Alex Osborne scored an unlikely GT4 podium for the small APO Sport team in the Ginetta G50. His early lap (1:33.112) withstood examination from Phil Glew in the Lotus Evora that had led the class in both of the earlier practice sessions and the combined might of Warren Hughes and Jody Fannin for Team WFR. Zoe Wenham qualified the Century Motorsport Ginetta fourth, ensuring the top four GT4 cars were within a second of each other.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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