Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw in the Team Russia By Barwell Racing with Demon Tweeks BMW claimed first honours as the Avon Tyres British GT Championship went on its summer holidays to the Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps.
As the session got underway in very alien conditions – blue skies and sunshine – it was the #32 Team LNT Ginetta G55 GT3 of Mike Simpson and Steve Tandy that set the early pace with an early lap of 2:23.250 to jump the Yorkshire machine up to the top of the time sheets.
However, it didn’t last long as Jonny Adam in the #007 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage decided to drop below the 2:23 barrier clocking a 2:22.483. That seemed to be a bit of a red rag to the Ginetta bull as a 10 minute stint went by with the two entries fighting each other for top of the charts.
Simpson dropped the time down to 2:22.091, but one lap later Adam again broke through another barrier by a significant margin to set a 2:21.377.
While they were squabbling amongst themselves at the front, they kept their eye off the ball of others behind them, and with only 15 minutes of the session completed Phil Keen in the Demon Tweeks car logged a stormer of a lap a 2:20.564 which couldn’t be beaten by the rest of the field.
Even though the fastest time remained untroubled, the #6 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin of Rory Butcher came very close with a 2:20.852 showing they’ll have pace this weekend.
In third place was the Beechdean, with the Ecurie Ecosse BMW of Alexander Sims and Marco Attard following close behind. The once leading Ginetta finished in fifth position.
The GT4 class at one point looked more like a round of the GT4 SuperCup as Ginetta G50 GT4s locked out the first three positions in class with the Tolman Motorsport car leading the Century Motorsport and Fox Motorsport entries having set a time of 2:35.132.
Much like the GT3 class, leaders came and went for most of the session as the University of Bolton Ginetta jumped to the top by two-tenths of a second with a 2:34.956.
Then it was the turn of the ISSY Racing Lotus to take the lead by some margin – a 2:34.189. Again – like some weird De Ja Vu, their lead didn’t last long either as James Nash squeaked in a lap in the UltraTek Racing Lotus just before the bronze driver only session began to claim class honours.
The Lotus pair occupied the top two, with five Ginettas – Century Motorsport, University of Bolton, Tolman, Twisted Team Parker Racing, and Fox Motorsport – occupying positions three to seven. In eighth was the Beechdean AMR of Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn.