Tandy Fastest To Continue Porsche Power At Rockingham

by James Broomhead
the points' leaders led the way in the final practice before qualifying (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

A largely quiet second practice Avon Tyres British GT Championship ended with – just as the first did – a Trackspeed Porsche fastest, though this time it was championship leaders Nick Tandy and David Ashburn’s #31 fastest.

Tandy’s timesheet topping lap of 1:23.659 came in the second half of the session to maintain the Porsche dominance after the team had locked out the top three spots in the opening session. For a time the same result looked likely again the three cars running in number order after 30 minutes of the session.

However, the half way mark in the hour long session marked the end of the Trackspeed stranglehold when John Gaw vaulted the #6 PGRKinfaun Aston Martin into third. As times tumbled in the second half of the session the Trackspeed trio were forced apart still further apart. Though Tandy took fastest, Gregor Fisken and Richard Westbrook’s #32 ended the session in fourth after Westbrook’s survived a flag right-rear tyres exiting the banked turn one to limp the car back to the tips undamaged.

The 888Optimum Racing #8 was second fastest, though three-tenths slower than Tandy with United Autosports’ Audi third fastest after a late lap. M-Sport Racing were fifth fastest with Vita4One Team Italy, the second 888Optimum BMW Z4, United Autosports’ #23 McLaren, #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW and the PGR-Kinfaun entry completing the top ten on the strength of the lap had had put the car third fastest. Also unable to improve in the second half of the session the #33 – the final Trackspeed car – was only 11th fastest.

Undamaged from the first practice spin Redgate/Lifetime Racing were fastest in GT4, nearly four tenths faster than Optimum Motorsport’s Ginetta G50.

The Ryan Ratcliffe and Rick Parfitt Jr driven car ended the session in the pits after Ratcliffe was hit by Mark Blundell exiting the Brook chicane. Blundell’s United Autosports McLaren continued on largely untroubled. The Ginetta, meanwhile crabbed down the pit straight before cutting into the pitlane. Ratcliffe climbed from the car, stepping over the pit wall towards Blundell’s McLaren – now stopped in the pits – through UA mechanics prevented him from exchanging words with Blundell.

Still in GT4 there were problems for the class points leading Century Motorsport team. The car cut out briefly as Zoe Wenham downshifted for the final complex, allowing her to coast into the pits. Despite fears of an engine problem the car returned to the track with co-driver Declan Jones at the wheel, completing the rest of the session without issue.

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