Jonny Adam has claimed first blood for TF Sport as full course yellows took off 20 minutes of the first Free Practice session at the first round of the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch.
The first full course yellow was introduced in the opening minutes of the session as Seb Morris in the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 nosed into the barriers and had to be recovered. He didn’t cause any major damage though and managed to clock a good number of fast laps alongside Rick Parfitt Jnr in the team’s first British GT session with the Bentley.
When the track went back to green with fifty minutes left, it was Jody Fannin in the PFL Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage who fired first with a rather uncompetitive 1:49.149 having started a lap just as the track went green. That time didn’t last long as Rob Bell in the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 650S GT3 set a strong 1:34.082 to leap to the head of the field.
After that, it was clear that teams were more interested in testing their qualifying pace as Jon Barnes in the TF Sport Aston Martin started trading fastest laps with Phil Keen in the absolutely beautiful Demon Tweeks/Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan. A good five minute battle saw the lap time drop down into the 1:25s with Keen clocking a 1:25.323 before jumping into the pits for a mini mid-session debrief.
In GT4 while the GT3 battle was going on, Ciaran Haggerty in the Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4 – in its first practice session since the car’s launch at Media Day last month – topped the class with a 1:34.109 to suggest that car could be a strong contender for at least podiums in what is meant to be the car’s development year.
That said, Scott Malvern in the Simpson Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 and British GT GT4 Jamie Chadwick in the Generation AMR SuperRacing Aston Martin V8 Vantage decided they wouldn’t let this upstart McLaren take all the glory as they knocked the fastest GT4 times down into the 1:33s with Chadwick finishing the session fastest with a 1:33.152.
The time would stand for the last 25 minutes of the session, mainly because the JW Bird Motorsport Aston of Jake Giddings decided to drop its oil on Paddock Hill Bend and that caught out Will Moore in the Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS who binned it into the gravel trap. Giddings would also stop on track.
It meant another 10 minute full course yellow to recover the cars and when the track finally went green again, many drivers couldn’t make the most of the last gasp green running to improve their lap times. One driver did however, as Jonny Adam – in the #17 TF Sport machine he shares with Derek Johnston – set a barnstorming 1:25.156 to claim top spot as the session ended.