British GT

Team Abba Racing Takes Top Spot in GT3 rankings in Free Practice Two

3 Mins read
Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography/BritishGT.com

The updated lean, mean, half green Mercedes machine of Team Abba Racing is officially back with a vengeance for the first British GT round of 2022 this weekend, as father/son duo Richard and Sam Neary take the fastest lap of Free Practice Two by just 0.004s. In GT4 the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK (run by Speedworks Motorsport) of Tom Edgar and Jack Mitchell dominated by taking an early lead in the session which it held throughout the entire hour, with a tenth to spare ahead of the second quickest entry from Valluga Racing.

GT3: Mercedes account for three of the top six entries.

Team Abba Racing took the top spot in the GT3 rankings with around a third of the session to go leaping just ahead of the Balfe Motorsport new for 2022 Audi R8 LMS Evo II GT3 #22 of Shaun Balfe and Adam Carroll. If the pace shown by this car when it leapt to the top of the table halfway through the session is anything to go by then we’re certainly in for a great challenge from this effort this season, as the fastest Pro-Am entry in the session.

Third quickest in this session was the RAM Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 #6 of Jules Gounon and Ian Loggie. Finishing second in the last practice session, we’ve got early consistency coming from this pair, and Gounon is already showing the pace for which he’s known elsewhere in Sportscar racing here in the British GT paddock. The Lamborghini Huracan GT4 Evo #72 of returning driver pairing for this season for Barwell Motorsport of Adam Balon and Sandy Mitchell was fourth quickest, just under four tenths of a second behind the pace setters, giving a great show of what this capable pair are setting out to achieve in qualifying this afternoon.

Fifth quickest overall saw the highest ranking McLaren 720S GT3 entry in the session, courtesy of Team Rocket RJN who have graduated their #2 car to the top flight for this season. James Kell who also graduates from GT4 with the team is paired with super-sub Graham Davidson for this weekend as usual teammate Simon Watts is unfortunately on the sidelines having tested positive for Covid. The 2 Seas Motorsport #4 Mercedes of James Cottingham and Lewis Williamson took sixth quickest, with the unmissably retro-themed red and yellow livery completing the triad of the Mercedes club sandwich of the session.

GT4: Toyota Gazoo Racing UK pips Valluga Racing Porsche to top spot

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography/BritishGT.com

Having shown some impressive pace in the previous practice session, the newly numbered #48 of Toyota Gazoo Racing UK has shown this morning what this car is capable of having had time over previous seasons to develop. With a new driver pairing this year of Tom Edgar and Jack Mitchell, the Silver entry took an early lead in the session which they held onto for the entire hour.

Coming perhaps uncomfortably close to their time though, just 0.01s behind the pace setters for the session in this class was series debutant team Valluga Racing with their #51 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS CS. Experienced racers Ross Wylie and Benji Hetherington both make their return to the British GT fold this season with aplomb!

Third quickest in the session was the Steller Motorsport #42 Audi R8 LMS GT4 of the returning driver pairing of Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding. This is another car setting out with a purpose for this season, as the team set their sights in what’s looking already to be a highly competitive Silver class.

In spite of going missing halfway through the session, and being recovered once the chequered flag had flown, the Academy Motorsport #61 Ford Mustang of Matt Cowley and Canadian driver Marco Signoretti were fourth quickest throughout the session. Team boss Matt Nicoll-Jones was confident that the issue with the car wouldn’t be a problem for this afternoon’s qualifying, and hopefully the Mustang can continue it’s impressive growth into the upcoming season.

The second of the two Porsche 718 Cayman GT4s in the field; this one belonging to Team Parker Racing and being pedalled by Seb Hopkins and Jamie Orton was fifth overall in class for this session, just ahead of Newbridge Motorsport‘s #27 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 whose striking skull livery has been updated to blue this year, with returning pairing of Darren Turner and Matt Topham rounding up the top six in the session.

British GT’s qualifying session this afternoon is split into four ten minute sessions, beginning at 4pm.

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