The Trackspeed Porsche of Nick Tandy and David Ashburn was once again the best of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Donington Park, Tandy riding a rapid mid-session sequence of laps to the top of the times.
The three laps in which Tandy first took, then consolidated, a hold of the top time moving the target time from 1:29.404 to 1:28.912. Those laps, set across the half way mark in the session, were at odds with the general feel of the session which was characterised by flurries of activity in the first and final ten minutes, when a majority of teams had their ‘Pro’ drivers behind the wheel.
In the opening exchanges of the session Jonny Adam, Alexander Sims and Ollie Hancock all held the top time, Hancock taking possession of the point in the FF Corse Ferrari he shares with Rockingham winner Gary Eastwood. Making his first British GT start of the season after being part of Fortec Motorsports’ team last season Hancock seemed to be showing the sort of pace that could head the session for the duration, with several other quick laps only slowed by encounters with traffic.
However, the margin which Hancock appeared to enjoy was partially explained when he was demoted back into the depths of the top ten, a timing glitch responsible for the Ferrari’s appearance at the top of the charts. The removal of Hancock’s laps in the #18 presented the top spot to Tandy with title chasing Michael Caine taking second spot shortly thereafter. But it was Rory Butcher, in the sister Oman Racing Team Aston to Caine’s #4 entry, who was able to dislodge Tandy from the top spot, albeit temporarily with Phil Keen following his Trackspeed teammate to the top of the times, the Porsche squad holding first and second.
They kept those positions until the final ten minutes when Beechdean AMR’s Jonny Adam and M-Sport’s Steven Kane stole in between the pair of 997, filing into second and third respectively. They were joined in half second gap between the Porsches by Ecurie Ecosse man Sims who took fourth with his own sequence of flying laps in the final minutes of the session.
The earlier times of Keen and Butcher rounded out the top half dozen ahead of the best laps of Joe Osborne (#888 Triple Eight), Mike Simpson (#38 Team LNT) and Aaron Scott (#13 AF Corse) were seventh, eighth and ninth respectively. Michael Caine’s best time in the #4 Aston Martin he shares with Ahmad Al Harthy completed the top ten, the pair again slower than their title rivals Ecurie Ecosse in the session.
Dan Cammish was the best of the GT4 field, lapping the 2.48 mile circuit in 1:36.779 in the Team Parker Racing he shares with Barrie Baxter.
Cammish’s lap pushed Bradley Ellis and the Twisted Team Parker Ginetta from the head of the class. Ellis, in turn, had deposed Gavan Kershaw’s early lap, the pair ending the session second and third fastest in class.
Qualifying for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship season finale is scheduled for 3:50pm with each driver in the teams’ line-up getting a 15 minute session, the grid line-up decided by the aggregate of the best times of each driver.