Bryant Leads Second Practice For Championship Leaders

by James Broomhead
Bryant went fastest late in the hour long session (Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Championship leaders Olly Bryant and Marco Attard ended the second free practice session for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship quickest, Bryant setting a lap of 1:49.921 late in the 60 minute session.

Just as at Silverstone for the previous round – where Bryant and Attard took pole and the race win – the Snetterton 300 circuit seems to play to the strengths of the quick corner loving BMW. Not only was the Ecurie Ecosse entry quickest but both of the matt black 888Optimum BMW ended the session in the top ten.

Dan Brown and Joe Osborne briefly had the two Z4 first and second inside the final 20 minutes before both pitted – handing over to Steve Tandy and Lee Mowle respectively. While neither of the new men in the cars was able to improve upon their co-driver’s efforts the times continued to fall to such an extent that Osborne 1:50.726 ended the session seventh fastest.

The 88Optimum pair were first split by first session leader Allan Simonsen, then beaten by Phil Keen who put the #33 Porsche to the top of the times despite the performance balancing penalties levied against the rear-engined cars after their rapid start to the season.

Brown’s erstwhile leading time remained good enough for third, Nick Tandy just a fraction of a second slower in the #31 Trackspeed Porsche. Simonsen completed the top five ahead of the Beechdean Aston Martin lifted into sixth by Jonny Adam as the checkered flag flew top end the session.

Behind Osborne and Mowle’s BMW the top ten was completed by two cars from United Autosports – the Matt Bell and Mark Patterson Audi and the Zak Brown and Alvaro Parente McLaren and the PGFKinfaun Aston Martin.

Stephen Jelley and Gregor Fisken’s #32 Porsche was eleventh fastest after missing most of the morning’s running after causing an early red flag. The second session was interrupted by a much shorter red flag, brought out by the Team LNT Ginetta G55 which stopped on the outside of Corum after Mike Simpson had starred in the opening exchanges of the hour challenging the top five.

Just as in the opening session Optimum Motorsport led GT4 with drivers Rick Parfitt Jr. and Ryan Ratcliffe. They ended the session with a half second margin over Redgate/Lifetime Racing with points leaders Zoe Wenham and Declan Jones for Century Motorsport third in class.

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