The British GT Championship has finally awoken from its winter hibernation with what will no doubt be a frantic two-hour battle at Brands Hatch.
With Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris claiming a surprise pole position in the GT3 Bentley Continental for Team Parker Racing, and Nathan Freke & Anna Walewska taking a strong pole in GT4 action the action up and down the field will be fast and furious.
This live blog will be updated throughout the first round of the British GT Championship.
Hello and welcome to The Checkered Flag’s coverage of the first round of the British GT Championship!
In GT3, Rick Parfitt Jnr will start the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 from pole position after a great session for him and team mate Seb Morris.
In GT4, Anna Walewska will have the rest of the class behind her as she starts the University of Bolton/Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 in first place.
The only change to the grid is the one we reported earlier (https://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2016/04/ollie-chadwick-late-addition-british-gt-field/) with Ollie Chadwick taking to the GPRM Toyota GT86 in place of James Fletcher.
WE ARE OFF! The cars are through Paddock Hill Bend and the first half of the lap without issue! Parfitt still leads at the moment – there is a yellow flag a turn 2
Griffin in the Irish TV Barwell Lamborghini is up to fourth, but it appears Ian Stinton in the Tolman Ginetta has crashed at Druids
The Bentley has opened up a second gap to Jon Minshaw at the front of the race
In GT4 the PMW World Expo Ginetta has taken the lead from Anna Walewska in the Century Motorsport car
Ian Stinton has now recovered the Tolman car into the pit lane
Jack Bartholomew has taken the Beechdean car up to second in GT4, but he’s 1.5 behind Johnson who leads GT4
Andrew Howard 11th in class now after starting at the back of the GT3 grid because they didn’t qualify the car
The GT86 #86 has received a black & white flag for exceeding track limits
Hodgetts now pits the Toyota GT86
Robin Marriott in the Stratton Motorsport Vantage is already being lapped by the field, Parfitt in the lead Bentley was lucky not to crash straight into him!
The Bentley is also pulling away at the front, Minshaw now almost three seconds back in 2nd
Leaders at the moment: GT3: Parfitt, Minshaw, Johnston, Griffin, Mowle, McCaig.
Andrew Howard now moves up to ninth at the expense of Phil Dryburgh in the Motorbase Aston
Minshaw has pitted the Lamborghini!! That promotes Johnston into 2nd!
The Demon Tweeks Lamborghini has now been pushed back into the pits.
Johnson still leads GT4 in all this, with the Beechdean AMR Aston slipping back slightly in 2nd place
Minshaw has damaged his rear suspension after colliding with a Ginetta at Clark Curve – the Barwell mechanics are now giving the car a look over now
Rick Parfitt is on it like a car bonnet at the moment – he’s 8.5 seconds ahead of Johnston at the head of the race!
William Phillips in the second RCIB Ginetta has leaped to fourth place in GT4, relegating the McLaren 570S to fifth
Liam Griffin is closing in on second place, his Lamborghini is only 0.5s behind the TF Sport car!
He’s done the move, a brilliant dive up the inside and Griffin is second! Johnston is down to third
Anna Walewska falls to fourth in GT4 as Matthew Graham in the Generation AMR MacMillan Racing Aston goes to third
Ryan Ratcliffe is up to sixth in GT3, having passed Mark Farmer.
Dryburgh is recovering from his drive-through – he’s overtaken the Team ABBA BMW for 9th
There’s a yellow flag out at turn 7 which is Sheene Curve sort of area on the GP loop not sure why though
It’s Ian Stinton who has caused the yellows, he’s gone missing after his earlier incident
The lead at the front is 13 seconds in favour of Parfitt, that said Griffin is trying his best to hustle the Lambo and close the gap!
Toyota GT86 is buggered, Power steering issue it had in qualifying has returned and can’t be fixed
Rick Parfitt has increased the gap to second, it’s gone out to 14.4 seconds
William Phillips is up to fourth in GT4, knocking Walewska down yet another place.
Ratcliffe is also up to fifth in the Optimum Audi, he’s got past McCaig in the Ecurie Ecosse McLaren
Rumours of car in barriers at Pilgrims drop, not sure what it is yet
We are now into Full Course Yellow it appears to be Matty Graham who’s been involved in that incident
Dryburgh has also not come through – seems to be a bit of inter-class clashing
Apologies for the temporary break in communications, Matty Graham’s Aston Martin is looking quite second hand but we’re hearing everyone is fine.
There was a bit of fun in a recent pit stop with Joe Osborne in the #7 BMW decided to push Babini in the Irish TV Lambo most of the way down the pit lane
We’re still under full course yellow and cars are being reminded to keep to 80Kmh at all times while under the caution period
We’re still cruising leisurely here at Brands Hatch, the talk is we’ll be going green again soon with the barriers near enough prepared
We’re going green again in two minutes!!!!
GREEN GREEN GREEN! We’re back racing
And as soon as we have Joe Osborne jumps Babini and sticks it in 2nd place
Mike Robinson leads in GT4 but Nathan Freke in the Century car has come up to second and he is going for it!
Rob Bell has just set the fastest lap with a 1:26.032!
Jordan Albert has taken a trip through the gravel and down to fifth, Jordan Stilp and Matthew George have moved through for third and fourth respectively
Seb Morris is up to third now! The Bentley is flying past the traffic and their GT3 rivals!
Joe Osborne is an absolutely massive charge, he’s less than two seconds away from Jonny Adam
However, Adam has blitzed the fastest lap – setting a 1:24.695 to expand the gap out.
Will Moore has put the Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend. Not a great weekend for the team they’ve struggled with handling issues since FP1 yesterday.
Osborne’s charge seems to have died a death, he’s almost six seconds behind Jonny Adam now. Morris is closing in on Osborne now for second place.
A touch further down the GT3 order, Jody Fannin is up to 8th in the PFL Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage
Ross Gunn is trying his best to get past Babini but the Lambo factory driver is too good to give in too easily
Luke Davenport has retired the #56 Tolman Motorsport Ginetta on the Cooper Straight
RED FLAGS ARE OUT!!! No idea what has happened but the SESSION WILL NOT RESTART!
So that means, Jonny Adam has won for TF Sport, with Joe Osborne in 2nd place and Seb Morris 3rd. Fabio Babini is fourth and Ross Gunn is fifth.