Team Abba Racing and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK set the fastest times in a 15-minute warm-up session on Saturday morning, as the teams made their final preparations for the Intelligent Money British GT Championship‘s first race at Donington Park this season.
The story of the morning was that the GT3 field was back up to its full size, after the Team Abba Racing mechanics burnt the midnight oil to repair wishbone damage caused by an exploding brake disc in FP2 on Saturday afternoon.
Richard and Sam Neary start from tenth place on the grid, and will have two hours to demonstrate the pace they showed at Silverstone before a mechanical issue ended their race.
Andrew Howard was first across the line in the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage, setting a 1:32.177, but it was quickly smashed by several drivers, including Richard Neary in the battle-scarred Mercedes-AMG GT3, who set a 1:29.643.
Howard’s first representative effort was much closer to the front, as times continued to fall at a warm Donington.
He continued to rise up the order past the halfway point, jumping Leo Machitski in the #63 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to go third.
Sam Neary jumped in the Team Abba Racing Mercedes towards the end of the session and retained top spot despite Phil Keen and Martin Plowman also heading out on track after their respective Am drivers set early laps.
Plowman quickly got up to speed in the Paddock Motorsport Bentley Continental GT3, leapfrogging Phil Keen to go second, before Sandy Mitchell and Yelmer Buurman also overtook the WPI Motorsport Lamborghini.
Jonny Adam then went second in the Beechdean Aston Martin, but was still six tenths off Sam Neary’s Mercedes.
Mitchell, Adam and Keen improved in the latter stages, with Barwell man Mitchell and Adam jumping Plowman.
Jordan Collard, Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke and Gus Burton set the early pace in GT4, the Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren 570S GT4 and the two Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4s separated by six tenths.
Scott McKenna and James Kell rose to the top of the class with five minutes remaining, ahead of Chris Salkeld and Michael Benyahia.
Burton jumped three places with a 1:36.209 to go fastest in GT4, ahead of Kell, Salkeld and Benyahia, with just three minutes on the clock.
Jamie Stanley moved up to 18th in the Balfe Motorsport McLaren with the final laps of the session, while McKenna held on in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK GR Supra GT4 as the session ended.
The two-hour race gets underway at 12:45pm, with the RAM Racing pair of Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie on pole, with Matt Topham and Darren Burke heading the GT4 field.
Phil Keen/Michael Igoe and Sandy Mitchell/Adam Balon line up second and third in the WPI Motorsport and Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos.
|1||8||S/R Neary||Team Abba Racing||Mercedes-AMG GT3||1:27.752|
|2||1||Mitchell/Balon||Barwell Motorsport||Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo||+0.074|
|3||7||Adam/Howard||Beechdean AMR||Aston Martin Vantage GT3||+0.627|
|4||11||Plowman/Fletcher||Paddock Motorsport||Bentley Continental GT3||+0.672|
|5||18||Keen/Igoe||WPI Motorsport||Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo||+0.781|
|6||6||Buurman/Loggie||RAM Racing||Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo||+1.098|
|7||63||Lind/Machitski||Barwell Motorsport||Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo||+1.720|
|8||5||L/S Proctor||Balfe Motorsport||McLaren 720S GT3||+2.084|
|9||77||Clutton/Tillbrook||Enduro Motorsport||McLaren 720S GT3||+2.323|
|10||66||Malvern/Jones||Team Parker Racing||Porsche 911 GT3 RSR||+2.906|
|11||15||McKenna/Ferguson||TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK||Toyota GR Supra GT4||+8.117|
|12||57||Burton/Burns||Century Motorsport||BMW M4 GT4 Evo||+8.457|
|13||2||Kell/Collard||Jenson Team Rocket RJN||McLaren 570S GT4||+8.551|
|14||9||Gordon-Colebrooke/Salkeld||Century Motorsport||BMW M4 GT4 Evo||+8.839|
|15||3||Valente/Benyahia||Jenson Team Rocket RJN||McLaren 570S GT4||+9.179|
|16||90||Brown/Marshall||Balfe Motorsport||McLaren 570S GT4||+9.343|
|17||40||Stanley/Halstead||Fox Motorsport||McLaren 570S GT4||+10.192|
|18||25||Giddings/Whitmore||Ciceley Motorsport by Car Gods||BMW M4 GT4 Evo||+10.269|
|19||4||Hayek/Milner||Jenson Team Rocket RJN||McLaren 570S GT4||+10.556|
|20||56||Robertson/Sansom||Assetto Motorsport||Ginetta G56 GT4||+10.644|
|21||27||Topham/Burke||Newbridge Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage GT4||+10.733|
|22||61||Cowley/Moore||Academy Motorsport||Ford Mustang GT4||No time set|
|23||42||Fielding/Williams||Steller Motorsport||Audi R8 LMS GT4||No time set|