The #2 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3 of Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim has set the pace in the first practice session at Silverstone for TF Sport. The duo featured in both the highs and the lows of the session, with the Dane setting the early pace at a 2:19.720. Farmer then had his turn in the car and found the wall at the Vale which ended his participation. The crash happened after he clipped the #43 Century Motorsport BMW M4, for which Mark Farmer has apologised.
That issue caused the first of two red flags during the 55 minute session which was stopped early due to three cars stopping on track.
The really impressive performance of the hour came from Jamie Stanley who bettered Lamborghini factory driver Phil Keen‘s best efforts in the new JMH Automotive Huracan GT3 EVO. Sharing with John Seale the newcomer surpassed expectations to get within 0.168 seconds of the pace setter, one of the few cars to improve late in the session.
Almost at the same time, Callum MacLeod put in the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3’s best time of the hour and knocked Keen further back to fourth. The Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini would remain 4th, a place confirmed as the red flag was flown with five minutes left of the hour.
Problems in GT3 were restricted to the issues for the pace setter and a mystery stop for the #9 Century Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Jack Mitchell, joined this weekend by JM Littman as Adrian Willmott continues to convalesce following his injury which knocked him out of the car for Snetterton. The damage to the #2 machine has ruled it out of participation in Free Practice 2.
WPI Motorsport only turned in 2 laps, neither a flyer, during the session. According to the team they felt that there was no need to risk the car in the difficult conditions when better running could be had in FP2.
GT4: McLaren on Top With HHC Motorsport.
In GT4 it was another case of strong performance from a car not entered for the full season. Generation AMR SuperRacing have returned to the championship for a one off race this weekend, the SuperDry founder James Holder sharing with Matthew George. Despite doing double duty this weekend, George got straight on the pace in the new V8 Vantage GT4 and set an early and led the session for much of the 55 minutes.
Late in the session HHC Motorsport set the eventual top time, Dean MacDonald doing the lap in the car McLaren 570S GT4 which he shares with Callum Pointon. The Aston Martin of George and Holder held on to second place while Tolman Motorsport grabbed third with the #4 570S GT4 of James Dorlin and Josh Smith.
Snetterton heroes Scott Malvern and Nick Jones were best of the Mercedes-AMG runners, placing fourth in their Team Parker Racing GT4 entry.
The tally of problems for GT4 includes both Academy Motorsport Aston Martin Vantages. The #62 of Alex Toth-Jones an Will Moore struggled with the wet conditions and had a spin into the gravel at Copse Corner. The #61 had one of the strangest issues in motorsport. The windscreen wiper apparently managed to catch the emergency kill switch and shut the car down. The driver wasn’t able to diagnose this so the car was returned on a wrecker and took no further part in the session.
The #43 of course was victim to the unwanted, and unintended, advances of the #2 Aston Martin and was out of the practice hour early.
The second practice starts at 11:50 and should take place under much nicer conditions at Silverstone.