It was the #11 TF Sport who dominated qualifying for the Snetterton round of the 2018 British GT Championship. The team will start on pole in GT3 for both race one and two, with their Aston Martin V12 Vantage pairing proving to be a class above the field.
In GT4, the field has proven to be far more open, with honours shared between the #42 Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4, who will be on pole for race one, with the #62 Acedemy Motorsport Aston Martin V8 Vantage leading the field away for race two after one of the closest Pro qualifying’s of the year.
The Am drivers were the first to appear on the track, with Mark Farmer in the #11 TF Sport setting the early pace. To the surprise of man, Flick Haigh abandoned her first flying lap, heading back to the pits for checks on the car. The Oulton Park polesitter would be left with a single lap to secure the Optimum Motorsport’s place at the front. As it turned out, she struggled, finishing ninth from eleven.
Farmer’s early efforts proved enough with Graham Davidson of the Jetstream Motorsport outfit a mere 0.048 seconds behind. The result left TF Sport with their second Snetterton pole in 3 years, continuing Farmer’s success around the circuit. Third meanwhile went to the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Hurican of Jon Minshaw.
With Rick Parfitt Jnr in the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental, behind in fourth. Fifth would be the Beechdeen AMR Aston Martin with the series only Silver pairing; RJN Motorsport, completing the top six.
The Pro drivers would determine the grid for race two and it looked to be another TF Sport domination, with Nicki Thiim in the #7 Aston pulling away during the early stages. Just like in the AM qualifying it was all settled before the flag, with Thiim setting a 1min 47.385, over half a second ahead of their nearest rivals.
Making up the chasing pack would be Phil Keen in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Hurican, one of the few to stay out until the bitter end. The team had been handed second place back to them as Yelmer Buurman, was deemed to have cut the track on his qualifying lap. The ERC Sport car would end up in ninth overall.
Third was Maxime Martin, but was later disqualified from qualifying due to not completing the required number of laps, handing the second row to the #17 TF Sport car and the #99 Beechdeen AMR driven by Darren Turner.
Rounding out the top five for race 2 will be the #69 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Hurican as Jonny Cocker stayed out until the final whistle unable to improve on his lap.
Ben Tuck led for most of the session, improving his time on the final run to take pole by 0.552 seconds, with Callum Pointon jumping up to second in the final run. It proved to be a show of dominance from the BMW, with the #55 HHC Motorsport championship leader knowing a solid result will move him forward in the title fight, as the highest Tolman Motorsport car Lewis Proctor in sixth.
Third would go the way of the #62 Academy Motorsport Aston Martin as Will Moore pulled into the pits prior to the end of the session. While many may have been disappointed, it was another excellent Saturday from the Toyota GT86 with Ben Canning pulling the Stellar Performance car up to fourth ahead of Tom Wood’s #61 Academy Motorsport.
While the times were dominated by Silvers, the top Am proved to be Adam Balon in 9th for Track-Club.
Sennan Fielding started the session in dismal terms, stalling the Stellar Performance Toyota GT86 in the pits, this hardly hampered him though, regularly putting in the fastest speed trap times, recovering to sixth overall. The gap at the front meanwhile could not be closer, with the leading six split by under half a second.
Matt Nicoll-Jones took race two pole by a mere 0.066 seconds from Jack Mitchell in the #43 Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 with both drivers coming in to the pits before the end. One driver who did run to the flag was Jan Jonck.
Wanting to join his Academy Motorsport teammate on the front row, Jonck in the #61 was exactly a tenth behind the #62. It would be Team Parker Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT4 that took fourth after a stunning effort from Scott Malvern to jump ahead of the McLaren 570S of Joe Osbourne in the Tolman Motorsport Ltd team.
This meant six manufacturers finished in the top seven setting up an exciting race 2.