Returning Tandy Posts Top Practice Time

by James Broomhead
Nick Tandy only needed a handful of laps to move to the top (Credit: Tom Loomes Photography)

On the weekend when he returns to the championship Nick Tandy was fastest in the second Avon Tyres British GT Championship practice session on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

Porsche works driver Tandy, sharing the #31 Trackspeed Porsche with former series champion David Ashburn, moved to the top of the timesheets with seven minutes remaining, turning in a lap of 1:25.826 before improving on the following lap, setting the best time of the session through all three of the track sectors resulting in a best time of 1:25.450. That was more than half a second faster than the time of Joe Osborne that had occupied the top spot for much of the session.

Osborne’s time in the #888 BMW co-driven by Derek Johnston headed a fleet of Aston Martins though the mid part of the session with five Vantage GT3 occupying the spots immediately behind Osborne.

Only when Jann Mardenborough went fifth fastest in the #80 Nissan GT-R was the chain of Astons broken with Aaron third going fourth in the AF Corse Ferrari he shares with John Dhillon. The Ferrari man was pushed a place further back with Tandy’s late arrival in the session, Ashburn having taken most of the track time in the session.

Alexander Sims was another to only step into the session in the final minutes, though he could only bring the Ecurie Ecosse BMW up to 12th fastest overall.

Behind Tandy and Osborne’s times the core of the Aston Martin domination from earlier in the session held firm, Alex MacDowall’s time in the #1 PGF-Kinfaun AMR third fastest ahead of the Scott driven Ferrari. The #1 Beechdean AMR car, fifth fastest headed another trio of Vantages ahead of the Strata 21 entered machine and the #5 Oman Racing Team car of Rory Butcher and Jeff Smith.

The Nissan of Mardenborough and Chris Hoy was eighth fastest, the MP Motorsport Aston of Tom Sharp and Colin White ninth with the M-Sport Bentley completing the top ten.

The Twisted Team Parker team repeated their GT4 class leading performance from the first session, Bradley Ellis again setting the better time of the two drivers, a 1:33.605, in the #46 Ginetta G55 GT4. Team Parker Racing’s Porsche team of Dan Cammish and Barrie Baxter were second fastest in class, Fox Motorsport’s Ginetta G55 GT4 once more third fastest in class.

Qualifying is scheduled for 4:15pm, each driver taking the wheel for 15 minutes, with the best times from each driver added together to produce the starting grid for Sunday’s two hour race.

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