Rory Butcher’s lap put the #6 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 he shares with Liam Griffin fastest in the second free practice session for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship event at Silverstone.
The Scotsman’s lap of 2:01.954 came with a quarter of an hour left in the 50 minute session, pushing Mike Simpson and Team LNT out of the top spot. His 2:02.788 was set in the opening laps of the session and stood up to the examination of Daniel Lloyd in the sister Oman entry, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in the #12 VonRyan Racing McLaren, Matt Bell in the TF Sport Aston he shares with Derek Johnston.
Butcher’s lap put him fastest by over eight tenths, but other drivers soon drove into the gap between Aston and Ginetta as the pace quickened in the final minutes of running before the qualifying session scheduled for 3:35 this afternoon.
Richard Lyons, returning to the British GT paddock to partner Gary Eastwood in his FF Corse Ferrari was the first to split the pair before Phil Keen placed the Demon Tweeks backed Barwell Motorsport BMW Z4 second in the seconds before the checkered flag, though his 2:02.437 was still half a second slower than Butcher’s earlier lap.
Simpson’s early lap was fast enough for fourth, Steve Tandy at the wheel of the G55 GT3 for the bulk of the session. Likewise the lap with which Bell had briefly taken second was fifth fastest at session’s end and Quaife-Hobbs’ lap was sixth fastest.
The second of the Oman Racing Team’s Vantages was seventh fastest ahead of the 22GT Racing Aston Martin, Ecurie Ecosse BMW and first practice pace setter’s Triple Eight.
The Trackspeed Porsche was the only car on the entry not to set a lap during qualifying, the team still working to complete the engine change initiated during the morning’s practice session.
Mike Robinson was the fastest man in GT4, the Optimum Motorsport run driver turning a lap of 2:15.085 on just his third lap of the session. In contrast to the premier class, where late improvements shaped the very top of the order early times held sway in GT4, Jake Giddings’ time – second best in class – coming on only his second timed lap around the Silverstone track in the JWB BIRD Motorsport Aston.
The GPRM Toyota GT86 was third fastest in class. The ISSY Racing Lotus Evora that paced the earlier session was eighth fastest in class, six tenths off the marker laid down by Robinson in the Ginetta G55 GT4 he shares with Graham Johnson.
The qualifying format for the three hour race will add together the fastest times from both drivers to set the grid for the series’ centrepiece event.