Saturday, August 04 2012
A last gasp effort from the Trackspeed car of David Ashburn and Richard Westbrook secured the fastest time in the opening free practice session of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship weekend at the Snetterton 300 circuit today (Saturday).
A field of 24 GT cars rolled out of the pit lane for their first competitive session of the weekend and with the championship so unpredictable this season, it was always going to be hard to predict who would shine on the Norfolk circuit. The session was hard fought and it seemed as though the Motorbase car of Michael Caine and Daniele Perfetti would claim the top spot after holding the top position for a long spell, before they were edged by Ashburn and Westbrook in the final five minutes.
The session began with the Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin of Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam setting the early pace briefly topping the timesheets, before the fleet of Trackspeed Porsches settled into their stride occupying the top three positions.
With more and more rubber on the circuit as the session progressed, the times began to fall sharply. Newmarket's Michael Caine was the next man to light up the timing screens in the Motorbase Performance Porsche as he made the most of his home circuit knowledge. His effort of 1.50.940s was 0.570 seconds faster than the trio of Trackspeed Porsches. Another car making an impressive impression on its debut was the stunning United Autosports' McLaren MP4-12C of Matt Bell and Charles Bateman. The pair, who previously raced an Audi R8, got to grips with their new machine quickly by surging into third spot. The session proved to be hard fought with just seven tenths of a second covering the top five.
The David Ashburn/Richard Westbrook Trackspeed Porsche began to claw the deficit to the leading Motorbase car with a succession of fast laps, before topping the timesheets with five minutes of the session remaining with a 1.50.360s. There was still time after that for the top three to change with the Beechdean Aston Martin of Howard and Adam moving into third in the final minutes of the session, just two tenths slower than Michael Caine and Daniele Perfetti's Motorbase car.
Jody Fannin and Warren Hughes were the stars of the GT4 class once again as they set a blistering pace around the Snetterton 300 circuit. They were more than a second quicker than their nearest rivals Optimum Motorsport's Lee Mowle and George Murrells. Jota Motorsport's Mark Ticehurst and Owen Mildenhall were third fastest.
The Avon Tyres British GT Championship cars are back in action at 13:15pm for their second free practice session.
Update: The times in this session will form the grid for the first British GT Championship race.
Avon Tyres British GT Championship Free Practice Results Top 10
1. David Ashburn/Richard Westbrook, Trackspeed, Porsche 997 RSR
2. Daniele Perfetti/Michael Caine, Motorbase, Porsche 997 RSR, +0.580s
3. Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam, Bechdean, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, +0.777s
4. Matt Bell/Charles Bateman, United Autosports, McLaren MP4-12C,. +0.966s
5. John Dhillon/Aaron Scott, Scuderia Vittoria, Ferrari 458, +1.131s
6. Steve Tandy/Joe Osborne, Trackspeed, Porsche 997 RSR, +1.148s
7. Jon Minshaw/Tim Harvey, Trackspeed, Porsche 997 RSR, +1.339s
8. Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin, Mtech, Ferrari 458 , +1.792s
9. Ollie Millroy/Alasdair McCaig, Ecurrie Ecosse, BMW Z4 GT3, +1.805s
10. Phill Burton/Adam Wilcox, Predator Ferarri 430, +1.913s
Tickets for the British F3 and GT Championships at Snetterton on 4/5 August are available on the gate from £13, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.