British GT: Phil Keen/Adam Balon win an eventful British GT Race One at Snetterton, Fielding and Williams win on Audi debut in GT4

Barwell Motorsport’s Phil Keen and Adam Balon took the chequered flag from the first race of the British GT weekend at Snetterton.

Keen oversaw a calm finish at the wheel of his Lamborghini to a hectic end to the race as those behind him swapped paintwork and bodywork in a scrap to the end.

Ryan Ratcliffe in the Team Parker Racing Bentley took a hard-earned second place after holding off the challenges of Jonny Adam, Seb Morris and Jonny Cocker as they all appeared to take the shackles off with ten minutes to go.

Adam would claim third for TF Sport Aston Martin ahead of a recovering Cocker in the second Barwell Lamborghini, with Morris and Rick Parfitt Junior ending up fifth with damage.

Michael Igoe and Adam Wilcox were sixth in the third  Lamborghini, Ollie Wilkinson and Bradley Ellis took seventh after a pitstop penalty dropped them from the leading battle ahead of Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim.

While Keen eventually won by over 15s, that is not to say that his stint was without incident.

Keen emerged from the pits after a solid stint from Am driver Adam Balon right behind Jack Mitchell in the #9 Century Motorsport BMW, and the two went into battle shortly after.

Keen ducked and dived his way around Snetterton with little initial success, as despite the two spending over a lap side-by-side, Mitchell, who had taken over from Tom Gamble, would not back down.

Mitchell eventually had an electrical issue that would cost nearly 90s to allow Keen to break away from the chasing back and leave Ratcliffe to create a buffer.

Ratcliffe would do so, and defend stoutly in the process. Adam spent the entire stint stuck behind the Welshman, and things came to a head with five minutes left as Adam attempted to pass around the outside and the tricky Oggies corner only to be forced wide and see Seb Morris emerge third.

Cocker almost got in on the act but Adam was never going to give in and instead set about re-taking third.

Morris initially held on until Ratcliffe ran wide at the penultimate corner and came back onto the circuit in front of the Welsh winner from last time out at Oulton Park, who couldn’t avoid his fellow Bentley driver.

Ratcliffe would recover to second, while Adam and Cocker outdragged the stricken Morris to the line.

In GT4, a much more serene race saw Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding take both the overall and the GT4 Pro/AM spoils on Audi’s debut in the British GT series, with Steller Performance having missed Oulton Park due to scheduling issues.

They led home GT4 Silver Cup winners Jordan Smith and James Dorlin in the Tolman Motorsport McLaren, with Lewis Proctor and Jordan Collard third in the sister Tolman McLaren.

Callum Pointon and Dean MacDonald continued a fine start to the season for both McLaren and HHC Motorsport, while Michael Broadhurst and Mark Murfitt in the Fox Motorsport Mercedes AMG took fifth overall and second in the Pro/Am category.

Graham Johnson and Michael O’Brien in the Balfe Motorsport McLaren completed the GT4 Pro/Am podium.


IMAGES: Inked Hand Images Motorsport Photography

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