Andrew Jarman and Alexander Sims scored the pole positions in the GT3 class for the pair of Avon Tyres British GT Championship races at Snetterton, with ISSY Racing taking a clean sweep of poles in the GT4 class.
With ten minutes each for Pro and Am drivers in each class, the sessions were fast and frantic as driver after driver set ever faster laps to try and get the best position possible for the two races.
In the first session, which was GT3 Am, Liam Griffin set the early pace with a 1:51.104 but that time was rapidly reduced as the time went on.
Jarman staked his claim early with a 1:50.938 to become the first driver into the 1:50s but his time was quickly trumped by Ross Wylie in the VonRyan Racing McLaren who clocked a 1:50.512.
Unfortunately for him, that time didn’t last long as the continued strength of the Aston Martins showed themselves again with Ahmad Al Harthy moving to pole with a 1:50.150, until Jarman struck back with what was near enough his last time to pull two-hundredths clear and log a 1:50.124.
As the flag fell on the first session, Astons dominated the top three with Jarman first, Al Harthy second, his Oman Racing Team team mate Liam Griffin in third, with Wylie fourth, Andrew Howard fifth and Lee Mowle sixth.
In the GT3 Pro session, the times tumbled considerably with Adam Carroll setting the first competitive time in the session in the FF Corse Ferrari. His time was 1:48.996 and that pulled him almost two-seconds ahead of Lewis Plato, the first man to set a competitive time.
Not one to be outdone, Joe Osborne in the Triple Eight BMW lowered that to 1:48.141 and looked to be sitting pretty.
However, championship leader Alexander Sims wanted to make sure he and team mate Marco Attard had a good crack at winning the title in race two by lowering the bar even further to 1:47.409.
He would be only one of two drivers to get a time so low, he was joined in the 1:47s by Jonny Adam in the Beechdean Aston who set a 1:47.879 to keep himself on the front row for race two.
On the second row, Joe Osborne managed to maintain third place in the #888 with Matt Bell in the #17 ending up in fourth.
Fifth saw Mike Simpson in the Ginetta, with Phil Keen – in a heroic rebuild by the Barwell crew – managing to put the Demon Tweeks BMW up to sixth place.
Of note, Jody Fannin didn’t set a lap time in the session, following the good work of co-driver Andrew Jarman to get pole in race one, Fannin hit the barrier at Murrays and will start at the back.
Into GT4 and by god that ISSY Racing Lotus Evora wasn’t going to be stopped, Oz Yusuf clocked an early time of 2:00.502 to put the car up to a pole position that wouldn’t be challenged – especially after he improved to a 1:59.725.
Joining him on the front row will be Fulvio Mussi in the Fox Motorsport Ginetta who couldn’t get lower than two minutes with a 2:00.265 staking his claim to the front row.
Starting on the second row will be two Aston Martin GT4s with Will Moore in the Academy Motorsport car edging out Jamie Chadwick in the ‘baby’ Beechdean. Only 0.013 behind Chadwick was Graham Johnson in the PMW Expo Racing Ginetta.
Finally the GT4 Pro category and the ISSY car, this time in the hands of Gavan Kershaw, had to fight for it as Tolman Motorsport’s Luke Davenport made sure the Lotus didn’t get an easy run.
At first, Kershaw set a time of 1:58.876 but it was clear that time wouldn’t last for too long and indeed it didn’t with Davenport knocking a tenth off that just one lap later.
That was like a red rag to a bull with Kershaw making the next lap count and put in a 1:58.458 to set a time that couldn’t be bettered.
Behind that pairing, and unable to get within touching distance, was Mike Robinson – again in the PMW Ginetta – with Ross Gunn collecting a pair of fourth places for Beechdean. Dennis Strandberg also kept the #61 Academy Motorsport Aston up at the sharp end as well.
The first race in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship takes place at 12:55 UK time tomorrow with The Checkered Flag covering it live!