Jonny Adam and Andrew Howard have taken victory in their Beechdean Aston Martin as the second Avon Tyres British GT Championship race at Snetterton was red flagged with ten minutes left to run because of torrential rain.
That early finish also meant Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn have taken the GT4 title.
Starting from the sharp end of the grid, Adam sat himself pretty on level pegging with Alexander Sims going into the Montreal hairpin but Sims massively underestimated the amount of grip he had available to him and shot onto the grass.
That led to a bit of a chain reaction, as Sims came back on, the #44 Ginetta hit the #6 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin which then hit the Ecurie Ecosse BMW. That left the #6 and the #1 with punctures and sent them near enough to back of the field.
With that happening behind, Adam could extend his lead over the Triple Eight BMW which was also fighting with Phil Keen in the Demon Tweeks BMW. The battle raged for a number of laps until Keen managed to bump his way through and up into second place.
In GT4, it looked like the ‘Baby’ Beechdean was going to have to go to Donington Park to claim the title as other cars, especially the Ginettas were swarming past the Aston Martin and it was lying in fifth place.
The leader in GT4 was Luke Davenport in the Tolman Motorsport Ginetta, and like his GT3 cousin, was also expanding his ever more dominant lead over an ISSY Racing Lotus that Oz Yusuf admitted to the circuit commentator ‘doesn’t have a wet weather set-up this weekend’.
Unsurprisingly, that meant the Lotus was dropping like a stone through the field, with first James Nash and then Rob Garofall getting past Gavan Kershaw. Another mover in GT4 was Jamie Stanley in the Fox Motorsport Ginetta who found himself up into second place.
Back into GT3 and Joe Osborne found himself in fifth place in the #888 BMW after running onto the grass and Matt Bell & Jon Barnes jumping themselves up to third and fourth respectively.
It was at about halfway through, when the pit stops started to kick into gear, that the rain went from ‘heavy’ to ‘torrential’ and the Amateur side of driver pairings did an admirable job keeping the car on the water covered black stuff.
Indeed a big mover was Fulvio Mussi in the Fox Motorsport car as he closed in on David Pattison – who was struggling in the Tolman – and took the lead with relative ease.
Also driving with relative ease was Rick Parfitt in the #44 Ginetta G55 GT3. As others around him were lapping in 2:16s he was lapping at 2:12.880 and quicker and found himself moving from about eighth to fourth place as the red flag came out.
That ten minute stretch from two-thirds gone to the red flag with ten minutes left saw Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn get one hand on the title. First, Graham Johnson span from third at Riches to promote the duo up to fourth and then the strength of the Aston Martin kept them on the track while others around them were losing their heads.
The final standings in GT4 were: Mussi in first place, with Century Motorsport behind and the Tolman car of David Pattison holding on to a podium.
In GT3, Andrew Howard sailed the Beechdean car in for the win, with Jon Minshaw coming second – a great result considering the damage inflicted on the car in the first practice session on Saturday. He was followed by Mark Farmer in the 22GT car and Rick Parfitt guided the Team LNT Ginetta into fourth.
After the race, it was confirmed that Beechdean had won the GT4 drivers title by one point. With 37.5 points available at Donington, their 38.5 point gap was enough to seal the crown.
Jamie Chadwick said: “Becoming the champion is absolutely awesome, it’s slightly unexpected to do it today and after the first race we were a bit uncertain we could do it, but it is absolutely mega!
“The conditions were awful out their and anything could have happened, and things did fall into place for us a bit, but we’re absolutely over the moon! I couldn’t believe it when we crossed the line.”
The comprehensiveness of their title success comes in the fact that the only meeting they didn’t finish on the podium were the two races this weekend at Snetterton.
Jamie continued: “We’ve had a very reliable car and a great team and mentor in Andrew who has been supporting us, the whole team has been right behind us and we just had to drive the car – it made our lives a lot easier.”
Her team mate Ross Gunn, who is also in his first year of GT racing, was equally ecstatic with winning the title. He said: “It’s unbelievable, I’ve said that about five times now! I’m absolutely over the moon for everyone at Beechdean and Aston Martin, this season has just been a blur.
“I didn’t really have expectations coming into the season because I’m new to British GT, but throughout the year we’ve worked really hard, Jamie is really easy to get along with – it’s just been mega!”