Curtailed practice sees Team Russia By Barwell go top again

Credit: Nick Smith/The Image Team

Phil Keen has gone fastest in a curtailed second Avon Tyres British GT Championship practice session to show just how dominant the Team Russia by Barwell Racing with Demon Tweeks BMW Z4 is this weekend at Oulton Park.

Indeed it was the BMWs that set the initial pace as the session began with Joe Osborne setting a 1:35.428 in the Triple Eight Racing Z4 with ten minutes of the session gone.

However, their stint at the top didn’t last long with Phil Keen in the green and red monster breaking into the 1:34s about five-ten minutes after Osborne and set what was to be an unbeaten 1:34.759.

One car that didn’t even set a time, was the #32 Team LNT Ginetta G55 GT3 of Mike Simpson. Only one out-lap was completed by the car before returning to the garage and didn’t make another appearance.

However, back to the top of the times and it could have been a BMW 1-2-3 if Marco Attard and Alexander Sims could maintain their early pace in the Ecurie Ecosse machine. In the very first minutes of the session they were the team to beat but as more of the field filed out on to the track they couldn’t carry on their pace and eventually finished fifth.

Eventually finishing third was Lewis Plato in the Ram Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 who set a time of 1:35.606 to be two-tenths off Osborne but half a second ahead of Liam Griffin in the first of the Oman Racing Team Aston Martin V12 Vantages.

In sixth was yet another Aston Martin and this time it was the Beechdean AMR entry of Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam who took that honour of being the second best Aston.

Moving into GT4 and there was one hell of a battle for the class lead. For a time David Pattison was fastest in the Tolman Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4. But, going into the second half of the session, Bradley Ellis in the Twisted Team Parker Ginetta managed to unseat Pattison by less than one-tenth of a second with a 1:44.196.

Unfortunately for the field, they couldn’t improve on those times as the #62 Academy Motorsport Aston Martin GT4 Challenge car went off at Island bend and into the tyre barrier.

As the car couldn’t be recovered in time, it was decided to call the session finished early with more than ten minutes still on the clock.

The next session for the British GT grid is qualifying a 4.00pm today, Saturday April 4.