The final minutes of the second practice for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Brands Hatch featured a BMW flourish, with both Alexander Sims and Phil Keen pushing up the order with championship leader Sims ending the 60 minute session with the top time.
With 20 minutes left in the session, the cars lined up in the pitlane under a red flag for David Pattison’s Tolman Motorsport Ginetta stranded in the Sheene Curve gravel, the two Barwell Motorsport run BMWs were ninth and tenth fastest in the session. But, after a false start when a second red flag flew after the GPRM Toyota GT86 stopped at Surtees the pair rose to the top of the charts, easing aside those drivers who had been fastest earlier in the session.
Ninth at the lifting of the red flags, his best time more than a second off the pace, Sims was the first of the Z4 drivers to make him move, improving to a 1:26.682 that put him third, barely two tenths slower than the Adam Carroll lap that had topped the session since its half way point.
Keen responded, a 1:26.474 taking second in the Demon Tweeks sponsored #63 car he shares with Jon Minshaw, bumping the Ecurie Ecosse #1 back to fourth fastest. But with only two laps remaining Sims dug in again, finding a 1:26.220 in both himself and the car co-driven by Marco Attard to go two tenths faster than Carroll’s effort in the FF Corse Ferrari he shares with Gary Eastwood.
Triple Eight Racing’s own Z4 GT3 put all three of the BMWs on the grid in the top four times, Joe Osborne setting a 1:26.655 on only his second lap of the session as Andrew Howard’s first practice benchmark was quickly swept aside.
The TF Sport crew of Andrew Jarman and Jody Fannin were fifth fastest and the best of the Aston Martins, heading a pack of four Vantage GT3 bookended by the TF Sport teams with the #17 of Derek Johnston and Matt Bell eighth behind the #6 Oman Racing Team crew and 22GT Racing’s entry.
The Rosso Verde Ferrari was ninth quickest with Benny Simonsen setting a quickest time of 1:27.385. Team LNT’s #32 of Tom Oliphant and Rick Parfitt Jr. completed the top ten ahead of the #007 Aston Martin that led the first session.
Luke Davenport set the best lap in GT4 (1:33.367) in the Tolman Motorsport Ginetta before co-driver Pattison took a trip into the gravel later in the session. The PWM Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport Ginetta of Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson was second fastest in class, 0.617 behind with the #41 Ginetta run by the University of Bolton was third in class ahead of the Fox Motorsport Ginetta, their steering issues from the earlier session cured.
Also on track – the damage not as great as first feared – was James Nash and Richard Taffinder’s UltraTek sponsored Lotus Evora.
Qualifying is scheduled for 4:25pm, with the best lap from both of a car’s drivers added together to form the grid for tomorrow’s two hour race.