British GT

Clutton/Tillbrook, Burns/Burton on top in British GT FP1 at Donington

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Credit: Jakob Ebrey

The Enduro Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 of Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton set the fastest time in Intelligent Money British GT Championship FP1 at a cloudy Donington Park on Saturday morning.

The #77 car hit the front early and never relinquished it, in a session truncated by a five-minute red flag period.

Gus Burton/Will Burns were on top in GT4, as Century Motorsport look to build on their positive start to the season.

GT3

The two Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos of Dennis Lind and Sandy Mitchell were first out of the pitlane, and it was Championship leader Lind who went top of the timesheets first with a 1:28.909 ahead of Beechdean AMR‘s Jonny Adam.

Adam was soon usurped for second by Mitchell, the reigning British GT champion going half a tenth behind his Barwell team-mate within the opening ten minutes of the hour-long session.

Marcus Clutton shot up to sixth in the Enduro Motorsport McLaren, with a 1:30.552, before several of the ten GT3 runners had set a representative lap.

Lind returned to the pits early on, while the RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Ian Loggie took its time in heading out on track.

Michael Igoe overtook Martin Plowman to go sixth in the WPI Motorsport Huracan, a car which endured a torrid time in the Silverstone 500 last time out.

It’s believed a run-out in GT Cup between meetings has helped the team identify the issue with the car which won the first race of the season, so we shouldn’t see the #18 Lamborghini as low as 16th in qualifying this weekend.

Lewis Proctor (Balfe Motorsport) went quicker than Richard Neary (Abba Racing) to go eighth, while positions elsewhere started to stabilise.

Clutton went quickest with a 1:27.550, half a second ahead of Scott Malvern in the Team Parker Racing Porsche 911 GT3. Malvern and Nick Jones won here in the Bentley Continental GT3 last August, and will hope a winter change of machinery doesn’t hinder their prospects in Leicestershire this weekend.

Yelmer Buurman and Michael Igoe swapped places as they duelled for sixth, with the Mercedes finding half a tenth on the WPI man.

Championship leader Lind went ahead of Scott Malvern at the half-hour mark, less than half a second off the Enduro McLaren which still topped the times.

Phil Keen overtook his old Barwell team-mate Adam Balon with a 1:28.237, going just half a tenth clear of the #1 Lamborghini. He then boxed to hand back over to Igoe, who also won here last year alongside Lamborghini Squadra Corse man Andrea Caldarelli.

The red flag flew with 23 minutes remaining, with the session restarting with 18 on the clock.

There were just over 15 minutes left by the time the drivers crossed the line to set their first timed laps after the red flag, but no-one improved their times in GT3 and Clutton/Tillbrook topped the session ahead of Loggie/Buurman and Machitski/Lind.

Jones/Malvern were fourth, ahead of Keen/Igoe and Mitchell/Balon. Jonny Adam/Andrew Howard were eighth ahead of Fletcher/Plowman, with Stewart/Lewis Proctor rounding out the GT3 times.

GT4

The Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren 570S GT4 of James Kell was a little later out of the pits than its competitors, as was Sennan Fielding in the Steller Motorsport Audi R8 GT4.

Fielding set the fastest GT4 time early on, but it was quickly beaten by Gus Burton and Jake Giddings in the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 and the Ciceley Motorsport by Car Gods Mercedes-AMG GT4 respectively.

There weren’t too many changes for position after the first representative laps were set for the opening 15 minutes, until Scott McKenna took the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK GR Supra GT4 to the top, quickly beaten by Championship leader Burton by four tenths.

Darren Burke improved in the Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to go ahead of Chris Salkeld (Century) and Jamie Stanley (Fox Motorsport McLaren), to go fourth in class after 20 minutes.

He then moved past Richard Williams in the Steller Audi, Burke replacing Darren Turner in the car which took GT4 top honours at Silverstone last time out.

James Kell and Will Burns received track limits warnings at McLeans and the Old Hairpin respectively, as the session passed half-distance.

Charlie Robertson shot up to 18th after the red flag in the Assetto Motorsport Ginetta G56, as Nick Halstead slipped to the bottom of the timesheet in the Fox McLaren.

His next lap was even better and moved him up to 14th, while Matt Cowley also improved in the Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang.

Gus Burton/Will Burns finished the session on top in GT4, ahead of Ferguson/McKenna and Whitmore/Giddings rounding out the top three.

Robertson/Sansom came in fourth, ahead of Topham/Burke and Williams/Fielding.

A throng of McLarens followed, with Valente/Benyahia and Marshall/Brown ahead of Will Moore/Matt Cowley in the Mustang.

Chris Salkeld and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke led home Milner/Hayek, Kell/Collard and Halstead/Stanley.

2021 Donington Park Free Practice 1 Results:

Pos.No.NameTeamCarTime/Gap
177Tillbrook/CluttonEnduro MotorsportMcLaren 720S GT31:27.550
26Loggie/BuurmanRAM RacingMercedes-AMG GT3 Evo+0.238
363Machitski/LindBarwell MotorsportLamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo+0.454
466Jones/MalvernTeam Parker RacingPorsche 911 GT3 RSR+0.483
518Keen/IgoeWPI MotorsportLamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo+0.532
68R Neary/S NearyTeam Abba RacingMercedes-AMG GT3+0.662
78Mitchell/BalonBarwell MotorsportLamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo+0.741
87Howard/AdamBeechdean AMRAston Martin Vantage GT3+0.945
911Fletcher/PlowmanPaddock MotorsportBentley Continental GT3+1.511
105L Proctor/S ProctorBalfe MotorsportMcLaren 720S GT3+1.748
1157Burton/BurnsCentury MotorsportBMW M4 GT4 Evo+8.201
1215Ferguson/McKennaTOYOTA GAZOO Racing UKToyota GR Supra GT4+8.346
1325Whitmore/GiddingsCiceley Motorsport by Car GodsMercedes-AMG GT4+8.811
1456Robertson/SansomAssetto MotorsportGinetta G56 GT4+8.945
1527Topham/BurkeNewbridge MotorsportAston Martin Vantage GT4+8.953
1642Williams/FieldingSteller MotorsportAudi R8 GT4+8.966
173Valente/BenyahiaJenson Team Rocket RJNMcLaren 570S GT4+9.100
1890Marshall/BrownBalfe MotorsportMcLaren 570S GT4+9.126
1961Cowley/MooreAcademy MotorsportFord Mustang GT4+9.172
209Salkeld/Gordon-ColebrookeCentury MotorsportBMW M4 GT4+9.282
214Milner/HayekJenson Team Rocket RJNMcLaren 570S GT4+9.323
222Kell/CollardJenson Team Rocket RJNMcLaren 570S GT4+9.358
2340Halstead/StanleyFox MotorsportMcLaren 570S GT4+9.788

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Stickler for track limits, covering BRDC British F3 and the British GT Championship. Twitter: @FutbolCallander
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