It was a spectacular British GT Championship win for the #11 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage, driven by Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim, recovering after trouble in the middle of the race to win by almost five seconds to their rival.
The Aston Martin held up a queue of cars early in the race only to drop to third as a safety car was called to clear a GT4 car. With the stoppage overlapping the pit window, the TF Sport benefitted during the carnage to retake the lead and pull away in the latter half.
In GT4 it was win for the #56 Tolman Motorsport Ltd McLaren 570S. Despite qualifying outside the top 15, David Pattison put in an outstanding shift to hand over to Joe Osbourne in the lead, winning by over ten seconds.
With the sun beating down on the Snetterton track, Mark Farmer in the #11 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage led the field away, getting the drop on the #47 Jetstream Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage.
Despite Farmer’s pace in qualifying the race was proving to be a different story, as he held a queue of five cars during the opening few laps. The first contender to drop would be Andrew Howard in the #99 Beechdeen AMR, with a radiator issue costing them a lap.
Delight turned to distraught for the #11 TF Sport as Farmer dropped back only fifteen minutes into the race, with both the Jetstream and #1 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental gaining a place. His blushes were spared though as a safety car was called for Graham Johnson stopped McLaren 570S GT4.
As the safety car was still out when the pit window opened all the GT3’s but the #99 driven by Howard headed into the pits. Nicki Thiim in the #11 TF Sport benefitted the most, moving back into the lead ahead of the Jetstream.
As for the #1 Team Parker Racing car, they dropped all the way to tenth as the car was trapped inside the narrow pitlane, destroying his race winning chances.
Issues the TF Sport car might have had appeared to disappear in the latter stages as he remained a solid 4 seconds ahead of Maxime Martin in the Jetstream Aston. Crossing the line it was a deserved victory for TF Sport, with Thiim beaming out of the car.
Breaking up the Aston Martin domination though would be the championship leaders, Barwell Motorsport. The #33 Lamborghini Hurican remained mostly out of trouble during the pitstops and third place ensured they remain on top of the championship.
Fourth would go to the #75 Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin after Flick Haigh‘s stint set up Jonny Adam for a solid result after starting on the back row of the class. Following them across the line would be the #69 Barwell Motorsport despite a spin from them in the opening corner of the race as the #17 TF Sport, also a victim of spinning in the opening half, rounded out the top six.
GT4 saw a similar opening lap to GT3 with Ben Tuck in the #42 Century Motorsport BMW M4 sprinting away from the field, though unlike Farmer, actually maintained his advantage as Will Moore in the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin seemed more pre-occupied with the field behind.
A number of cars dropped out in the early stages, but the #501 Balfe Motorsport stopped on the grass at Bomb Hole after contact with one of the Toyota’s. A safety car was called, with Tuck losing his lead advantage.
With the safety car still out by the 35 minutes, all but 3 of the GT4 cars headed to the pits with the #54 UltraTek Racing Team RJN the leading car to not to take the pit road. They pitted the following lap having temporarily led the race overall dropping to fourteenth in class.
As for the #42 Century Motorsport BMW, they lost not just their four second advantage but the lead in total, dropping to ninth after a disastrous pitstop. This left the #44 Invictus Games Racing Jaguar F-Type SVR GT4 out front.
It wouldn’t last long though, with Joe Osbourne in the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 sliding up the inside of Agostini to demote the Jaguar. Any threat to the Tolman was quickly culled with the second and third place #44 Jaguar and #53 Nissan 370S handed a pitstop penalty for a short stop.
This promoted Charlie Fagg in the #4 Tolman Motorsport to second, albeit ten seconds down on his teammate ahead.
Over the line, it was an unchallenged victory for the Osbourne in the #56 Tolman McLaren coming up from sixteenth on the grid. With HHC Motorsport struggling down in ninth, it also saw them take the championship lead.
Fagg held on to second to make it a Tolman 1-2, but had been pushed all the way to the line by the #62 Academy Motorsport Aston Martin. In fourth would be the #66 Team Parker Racing Mercedes-AMG just a second away from further silverware.
Meanwhile, a quiet race from the Track-Club McLaren 570S turned into a fifth place finish continuing their success they first showed at Oulton Park. They remained ahead of the #42 Century Motorsport team who recovered to sixth despite their pitstop disaster.
The second race goes green at 15:30 local time later today.