Liam Griffin in the Oman Racing Team and Jonny Adam in the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantages have taken the poles for the pair of Avon Tyres British GT Championship races at Oulton Park following a frenetic qualifying.
Each category had two qualifying sessions for the Pros and Ams with the Ams battling for pole in the first race and the Pros battling for the second.
It was clearly apparent that everyone in GT3 and GT4 wanted to make an immediate impression on the grid for Monday’s races and the action was fast and furious.
First out was GT4 and immediately Oz Yusuf in the ISSY Racing Lotus Evora set a storming 1:44.200 to immediately put himself on pole position in the ten minute session, and try as they might his rivals couldn’t overhaul him they could only settle for the ‘best of the rest’ positions.
Starting alongside Yusuf on the GT4 front row for race one will be Will Moore in the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin GT4 Challenge car who was a second back from the Lotus after recording a 1:45.204. That put him ahead of James Birch in the Century Motorsport Ginetta by six-tenths.
In fourth after her first qualifying session in British GT was Jamie Chadwick in the Beechdean GT4 Aston, who set a very respectable 1:45.857 to only be 0.048s off Birch.
Finally for the first session was fifth placed man Richard Williams in the GPRM run Toyota GT86 which is racing in the Invitational class for this weekend.
The second session was a lot more frantic for the pole, Luke Davenport in the Tolman Motorsport Ginetta managed to somehow achieve pole after an almighty fight with the fellow Ginetta of Bradley Ellis.
It was Twisted Team Parker man Ellis who initially posted a 1:43.425 to put himself in contention for a P1 start but only two minutes later Davenport struck what was to be a decisive blow as he went three-tenths quicker with a 1:43.132 to claim second race pole.
Behind him, Gavan Kershaw kept up the good showing for the ISSY Racing Evora with a third place finish just two-tenths behind Ellis.
Going one better than teammate Williams, Stefan Hodgetts secured fourth place for the GT86 – pipping Jamie Stanley in the Fox Motorsport Ginetta to the second row.
Now GT3, and it was clear that no matter how strong the fight was in the lower class, GT3 was going to be on another level. At points, Gary Eastwood in the FF Corse Ferrari, Andrew Howard in the Beechdean Aston, and Rick Parfitt Jnr in the Team LNT Ginetta G55 GT3 were all trading fastest laps, and it looked like it was going the way of Eastwood for a time as it appeared he had the measure of Howard.
However, with what was his last flying lap the #6 Oman Racing Team Vantage of Liam Griffin pulled out a lap that saw him become the only man to break into the 1:35s with a lap time of 1:35.858 – more than three-tenths faster than Eastwood’s 1:36.162.
Howard would settle for third, but Parfitt wouldn’t be able to match the late charges of his rivals and had to settle for 8th place in race one.
Fourth would go to Alastair MacKinnon in the Ram Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 who also pulled out a late lap to secure a spot on the second row. His lap would mean Andrew Watson – who had been an early front runner in the VonRyanRacing McLaren 650S GT3 – had to settle for fifth.
In the second GT3 qualifying session, Jonny Adam decided to make up for their snub in the previous session by becoming the first driver all day to go into the 1:33s with a blistering 1:33.877 comprehensively shutting out Adam Carroll in the FF Corse Ferrari 458.
Third place, a surprisingly low start considering their practice pace, went to Phil Keen in the Team Russia By Barwell Racing with Demon Tweeks BMW Z4 GT3. He would end just under fourth-hundredths ahead of Alexander Sims in the Ecurie Ecosse BMW.
Fifth went to Mike Simpson driving the Team LNT Ginetta, a good result considering the issues plaguing the cars for much of today.
The two one-hour sprint races take place on Easter Monday (April 6) at Oulton Park.