British GT: Adam/Davidson get their Championship back on track, Dorlin and Smith finally take a GT4 win

Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson took their second British GT victory of the season at Brands Hatch to give themselves a chance of winning the championship at the final round of the season.

Adam and Davidson move into second in the British GT Championship at the expense of former leaders Jonny Cocker and Sam De Haan of Barwell Motorsport, who dropped from fourth to eighth on the final lap.

Rob Bell and Shaun Balfe were second having started from pole position, with Jack Mitchell and Angus Fender picking up Century Motorsport’s best GT3 result of the season with third.

Phil Keen and Adam Balon in the other Barwell were fourth, Keen passing Cocker on the last lap to set off a chain reaction that saw Dennis Lind, Tom Onslow-Cole and Nicki Thiim also better the Lamborghini.

Polesitter Balfe initially struggled at the start as the Aston Martins of Ollie Wilkinson and Davidson mugged the McLaren at the start.

Wilkinson was gapping at over half a second a lap, but was caught out by traffic to lose the advantage before spinning at Paddock Hill to drop to fourth.

The race was interrupted for over fifteen minutes midway through the first hour as Glynn Geddie’s #7 GT3 Bentley attempted lap the #61 Aston Martin of Ben Hurst at Westfield, with contact sending the Bentley into the wall at high-speed to completely ruin the front of the car.

After the restart, Davidson gained four seconds ahead of the stops as a result of kind traffic and his ability to put GT4 cars between, Balfe and Angus Fender, who lost out badly.

Once Adam climbed into the TF Sport Vantage, the Scot made no mistake to stroke it home for a victory.

In GT4, the race was affected by a Safety Car in the middle of the race after polesitter Callum Pointon was earlier passed by Jordan Smith and Ash Hand to slip to third, while Scott Maxwell climbed to 4th in class during the early staging of the race.

Alex Toth Jones and Moore given a stop go penalty for a starting infringement, but emerged seventh and profited from a well-timed Safety Car to take a big lead in GT4 for the second half of the two-hour race.

Bad luck was never far away though and Moore, with a comfortable lead, spun at Druids to cede their best chance of victory this season and cap a miserable season so far for Academy Motorsport in GT4.

It was left t

o James Dorlin, with the help of Jordan Collard in the other Tolman McLaren, to bring the car home ahead Dean MacDonald in the HHC McLaren, with Seb Priaulx for Multimatic Ford in third.

Martin Plowman and Kelvin Fletcher took GT4 Pro/Am honours ahead of Mark Murfitt and Michael Broadhurst, with debutants Richard Meaden and Jack Roush third in class.

 

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British GT qualifying – Balfe Motorsport take GT3 honours with Bell/Balfe, HHC return to form with Pointon MacDonald in GT4

Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell continued the impressive form of Balfe Motorsport in British GT GT3 to take an impressive pole position at Brands Hatch.

The will start tomorrow’s two-hour race at Brands Hatch ahead of the Optimum Motorsport duo of Ollie Wilkinson and Bradley Ellis.

Jonny Cocker and Sam De Haan, who have a very small chance of winning the British GT title this weekend, start third ahead of TF Sport’s Scottish duo of Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson in the Aston Martin.

Jack Mitchell and the impressive Angus Fender will line up fifth tomorrow in Century Motorsport’s best showing in Gt3 this year with the BMW M6 ahead of Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Junior in the Bentley, with Ben Green and Dominic Paul eighth.

Pointon and MacDonald were top of both GT4 sessions by the smallest of margins for HHC Motorsport in their McLaren 570S.

The headed Spa winners Tom Canning and Ash Hand in the TF Sport Aston V8 Vantage and the top Pro/Am duo of Martin Plowman and Kelvin Fletcher in the Beechdean Aston Martin.

Josh Smith and James Dorling will start fourth for Tolman Motorsport in their McLaren, just ahead of the Mercedes AMG Pro/Am duo of Nick Jones and Scott Malvern.

Patrick Matthiesen and Mike Robinson complete the top six in the third Aston MArtin on the GT4 grid, while Sennan Fielding and Richard Williams in the #29 Audi R8 took an impressive seventh ahead of Patrick Kibble and Josh Price.

 

IMAGES: Inked Hand Images

 

British GT – Sir Chris Hoy: You get out of the car mentally exhausted

Sir Chris Hoy says that endurance racing and the British GT series is a great mental challenge after class victory at Donington Park.

Sir Chris and Billy Johnson took top honours in the GT4 Pro/Am category for Multimatic Racing in a Ford Mustang, and the 43-year-old Scot says that he got out of the car mentally exhausted.

“It is not as physically challenging as professional cycling but you get out of the car exhausted because of the mental challenge, the skill and the concentration.

“There is intensity even with Endurance racing because you’re doing it for a long period of time so every braking point, every corner apex you need to get right. There is no room to simply sit back and catch your breath especially with this type of track and this grid. You’ve got your position on the track, the GT3s coming through and so it is exhausting concentration wise, but it is really fun.

Hoy, who won six Olympic Gold medals in a glittering track cycling career before retirement six years ago, had his racing passion ignited after a meeting with Colin McRae.

“I got the bug from Colin McRae really, he was my hero and I met him in the 90s and got interested in motorsport. I went for a track day at Bedford at one of the Palmer Sport ones. I drove a lot of cars that day, spoke to Johnathan Palmer and asked him what I should do, he said get a small, light car that’s easy on tyres and brakes and do track days.

“That’s how it started. I got the opportunity in 2013 to go racing in the Radical Novice SR1 cup series, Nissan got in contact after that (For The British GT series) and opportunities came my way. If you show you have consistency, you can be a safe pair of hands and do a relatively decent job then the word spreads and you get more offers to drive.”

British GT – Sir Chris Hoy: Doing different series helped me on comeback to British GT

Sir Chris Hoy felt that adaptability gained by driving in a variety of different series helped him on his return to the British GT series for the Multimatic Ford Mustang team at Donington Park.

Hoy, who won six Olympic Track Cycling Gold medals during his career, won the GT4 Pro/Am class with Billy Johnson.

And the Flying Scotsman had plenty to adapt to in an ever-frenetic Am section of the race.

“It was great to be back out there, a bit chaotic at the start as it was a big grid on a tight track so you have to be mindful of where you are but to be fair there wasn’t too much in the way of driver standards, there was a tap here or there but that’s it.”

And Hoy was full of praise for teammate Johnson, another man stepping in to the #19 Mustang for the first time in 2019 this weekend.

“In terms of enjoyment I had a great time, it was a great car and a really good team and I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate, Billy has been fantastic in helping me learn to get the best out of the car because I had never driven before this race weekend so it was all very new.”

Hoy’s presence on the motorsport scene has been a somewhat varied one since his debut in 2013.

And the 43-year-old feels that versatility helped him after driving the Mustang for the first time at the start of the Donington Park race weekend.

“The key thing is that I am getting used to dropping into different cars, different championships at the last minute. I did the World RallyCross championships in Barcelona with little testing, had a great time there, I did Monster Trucks in Sweden last weekend, I raced Caterhams and Porsche SuperCup a week before that.

“I’ve done lots of different types of driving which means you never get really good at one specific thing because to become really good you have to be consistent in doing one thing and get used to the car but when you’re chucked in a lot you have to think more about what you’re doing and hopefully that has made me a better driver.”

British GT – Adam holds off Bell in GT3, Priaulx and Maxwell take GT4 victory

Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson took a nervy British GT victory on Sunday afternoon at Donington Park.

The TF Sport Aston Martin led from pillar-to-post but through the two-hour race had to contend with pressure from Rob Bell and Shaun Balfe in the Balfe Motorsport McLaren, despite the efforts of the lapped Nicki Thiim to act as a rear gunner for Adam in the second stint.

Jonny Cocker took an impressive if slightly lonely third position for the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini he shares with Same De Haan, while Michael Igoe and Dennis Lind in the RPI Lamborghini held off Phil Keen and Adam Balon in the second Barwell Huracan.

Ross Gunn and Andrew Howard were sixth in the Beechdean Aston Martin ahead of the JRM Bentley duo of Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris, with Ben Green and Dominic Paul completing the top eight.

It was another disappointing day for the lapped Mark Farmer and Thiim, with Farmer once more having a difficult opening stint after further contact on the opening lap dropping him to the GT4 pack, with further spins eventually seeing the Aston Martin drop a lap behind.

In GT4, it was another pole victory as Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell converted top honours on Saturday into victory on Sunday, although the MultiMatic Mustang duo did it the hard way.

That was thanks in no small part to the Tolman Motorsport #4 of Josh Smith and James Dorlin making the early running as they did in Silverstone two weeks ago.

As with Silverstone, trouble was never far away as contact with a GT3 Lamborghini broke a toelink and ended their race from the lead of GT4.

Maxwell had fallen back behind the HHC Motorsport McLaren of Callum Pointon, with Jan Mathiassen in the 42 Century BMW also proving a nuisance.

Pointon would eventually be dealt with by both men and Maxwell set about Smith in the McLaren before handing over to Priaulx.

Matthiasen would hand over to MArk Kimber and the BMW would emerge ahead of the Mustang, where Kimber would stay for much of the race.

The 17-year-old was putting up a fight despite having never driven the circuit before, but it took one mistake to allow Priaulx through with ten minutes left.

It would unravel for Kimber from there as brake failure ended his race on the penultimate lap to lose second place to Dean MacDonald in the #57 Championship leading McLaren while Lewis Proctor and Jordan Collard took third for the #5 Tolman McLaren.

British GT – TF Sport’s Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson take Donington pole in GT3, Scott Maxwell and Seb Priaulx take another Mustang GT4 pole

Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson took a hard-earned pole position for the first of two British GT two-hour enduros at Donington Park in 2019.

The TF Sport Aston Martin driver pairing were over two tenths clear of their nearest rivals for overall pole position, with the driver’s times combined to set an aggregate qualifying time.

Dennis Lind and Michael Igoe will start second tomorrow after an excellent effort from Lind took the Lamborghini Huracan pairing from sixth to second, while Rob Bell and Shaun Balfe in the Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S will start third tomorrow afternoon.

Phil Keen and Adam Balon complete GT3 row two ahead of Barwell Lamborghini teammates Jonny Cocker and Sam De Haan in fifth.

Ross Gunn replaced Marco Sorensen in the Beechdean Aston Martin and took himself and Andrew Howard to sixth ahead of Bradley Ellis and Ollie Wilkinson, Nicki Thiim and Mark Farmer will start eighth ahead of Ben Green and Dominic Paul.

Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt could only manage tenth on a difficult circuit for the JRM Bentley, while Tom Onslow-Cole (Guesting for the absent Adam Christodoulou) and Richard Neary go from 11th ahead of Jack Mitchell and JR Litmann.

The pacey RAM Mercedes of Callum Macleod and Iain Loggie will start from 15th and last after Macleod came to grief at the Fogarty Esses following Loggie’s fourth place in AM qualifying.

 Meanwhile for Maxwell and Priaulx it was the second pole position in the GT4 class this year.

James Dorlin and Josh Smith were second, after coming so close to victory at Silverstone two weeks ago before technical issues saw them retire, while  GT4 championship leaders Dean MacDonald and Callum Pointon in the Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570 will start from third in class tomorrow.

Mark Kimber and Jacob Mathiassen are fourth ahead of Scott Malvern and Nick Jones, Malvern and Jones leading the GT4 Pro/Am entries.

Next on the GT4 grid is the second Pro/Am entry of Martin Plowman and Kelvin Fletcher in the Beechdean Aston Martin entry, while Jordan Collard and Lewis Proctor in the Tolman McLaren are seventh ahead of Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke and Angus Fender.

 

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British GT – Loggie – That Silverstone victory was justice

Iain Loggie felt that his and Callum Macleod’s victory at the British GT’s Silverstone 500 even was justice after an unfortunate start to the season.

Loggie was taken out from the lead at Oulton Park after showing excellent pace all weekend, while he and Macleod did not compete at Snetterton after Loggie was injured in an horrific cycling accident.

The Scotsman feels that it was about time RAM had some luck.

“I thought after we went pole at Oulton it would be about getting out of the first two corners safely as we were seven or eight tenths clear so no one would be able to overtake you. So I think it is justice for that and even more justice as we didn’t compete at Snetterton.”

Loggie broke several bones in the accident that ruled him and Macleod out of the Snetterton event, but despite the severe injuries felt fine at the British GT series’ longest race.

“It’s been great, that was five weeks after a massive cycling crash, I broke my collarbone in two places and my wrist in half a dozen places. Five weeks ago I was on the operating table so to be back here at Silverstone and win is amazing, I am really pleased.

“I am all good, the second stint I was starting to feel my wrist a little bit but I am absolutely fine and I will be a thousand percent right for Donnington in a couple of weeks time. Hopefully we can do something there.”

Loggie had an early battle with the racey Shaun Balfe in the McLaren 720S as the two and Graham Davidson battled for the GT3 lead early in the race.

The 56-year-old was never worried about contact behind from behind, with the battle between two experienced Am drivers a very clean affair.

“To be honest we had noticed that the Balfe McLarens had been quick all weekend. I actually didn’t feel the pressure from the McLaren because I know the driver of that was very experienced and he wasn’t going to run into the back or hit you or do anything silly.

“I was happy and was able to concentrate on the track in front but at the same time knowing that I can’t make any mistakes, keep it clean and don’t get any penalties.”

And the Scotsman was full of praise for teammate Macleod and his final stint to take the lead late on, after rival Jonny Adam came to grief against the Ford Mustang GT4 entry of Chad McCumbee.

“Callum did a great job there, he was four seconds back to start with and within five laps it was five tenths. It was unfortunate for Jonny but that was nothing more than sheer pressure from Callum and it meant that the driver in front has got to make a move.”

 

 

British GT – TF Sport double pole as Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson take GT3 honours, while Josh Price and Patrick Kibble head GT4

It was double delight for Tom Ferrier as his TF Sport Aston Martin’s swept up in British GT qualifying at Silverstone on Saturday.

First, Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson snatched GT3 pole position from Iain Loggie and Callum Macleod in the first qualifying session of 2019 to combine the Pro/Am lap times.

Secondly, Josh Price and Patrick Kibble took top honours in GT4 to fend off challenges from Sennan Fielding and Richard Williams, and Scott Malvern and Nick Jones. Malvern and Jones took Pro/Am pole, with Malvern himself the fastest man through both GT4 segments.

Balfe Motorsport had a strong showing once again in the new 570S McLaren in GT3, as Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell qualified third ahead of the second TF Sport Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim and Mark Farmer. Farmer and Thiim lost the entire second practice session when Farmer made contact with a GT4 car in FP1, bringing about a suspension change.

Marco Sorensen and Andrew Howard will start fifth in a 16-strong GT3 field ahead of Richard Neary and Adam Christodoulou, with the Barwell Lamborghinis of Phil Keen/Adam Balon and Jonny Cocker/Sam De Haan.

Josh Smith and James Dorlin were fourth for Tolman Motorsport in the McLaren in GT4 ahead of Championship leaders Dean MacDonald and Callum Pointon of HHC Motorsport.

Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell were sixth for Multimatic Racing in the Ford Mustang ahead of Martin Plowman and Kelvin Fletcher, the Beechdean Aston Martin duo also qualifying second in the GT4 Pro/Am category.

Patrik Matthiesen and Mike Robinson completed the GT4 top eight for Aston Martin.

 

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British GT: Kelvin Fletcher -I defended for half an hour!

Kelvin Fletcher feels that the podium he and Martin Plowman earned in the British GT GT4 Pro/Am category was hard-earned on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking before the disqualification of Sennan Fielding and Richard Williams of Steller Motorsport for a technical infringement, Fletcher and Plowman both feel that there is more to come from the Beechdean Aston Martin GT4 package, but Fletcher still considers it a big step up from last year’s Nissan 370Z.

“We made some small changes to the set-up this morning and so we had two laps to feel the setup and we went with that. I defended for half an hour, spent the whole race driving with my mirrors,” Fletcher began.

“The Aston Martin is night and day compared to the Nissan. The Nissan was a good car but it was seven or eight years old, these new GT4 cars are all so much more advanced. The AMs say that is an easier drive, the disparity between the Pro and the Am has come down a lot and that shows that how much easier to drive they are.”

Fletcher was pleasantly surprised at the result and says there’s still more to come from the duo and their car.

“It’s been a nice step forward to be in a car that is more balanced, more current and more competitive.”

“Me and Martin are as well, we’re only two weekends into the Championship, still five more to go and hopefully if this is one of our more disappointing weekends then we can build from here.”

Like Plowman, Fletcher felt that the body contact strayed close to the limit and he was mindful to avoid that for the two shorter races this weekend.

“It was a bit too much elbows out this weekend, I started Race One and it was just carnage. We had some unfortunate contact in Race Two at Oulton Park so we were mindful of that damage because it affects your budget for the year, we knew we had two races today so we kept out of trouble and raced clean. It’s easier said than done because when everyone thinks it’s a Touring Car race meeting, it is absolute carnage.”

IMAGE – CRAIG WHEELDON

British GT: Plowman – A fantastic result on a difficult weekend

Martin Plowman was relieved to achieve a strong GT4 Pro/Am result with Kelvin Fletcher on Sunday afternoon after admitting there is more to come from the Beechdean Aston Martin GT4 package.

Speaking before it was announced that the Steller Motorsport Audi Pro/Am entry of Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding was disqualified, Plowman felt that the team had struggled for raw speed and had to rely on brain instead.

“The result was fantastic as we really have struggled this weekend on set-up, trying to get the front end working and we are still down on top speed as a brand, but compared to the other Aston out there we need to find more time. It is fantastic to come away with a podium and some good points, we got everything we could out of the race. In the race it was apparent that once the tyres go off we lose out.

“We were just a sitting duck, I would fight my way to the front, make some moves and after that they were queuing up to pass me on the straight. The Mustangs were passing me on the straight like I was standing still. I defended as best as I could, but you need to give the car to Kelvin in one piece, which I just about did. We expect more from ourselves, but if we can come away with podiums on a bad weekend then we’ll take that. I trust totally that we and the guys at Beechdean will figure this out, but we need to hit the reset button.”

Plowman admitted that he had planned to get most of his activity done early in the face of faster entries in Race Two.

From there on in, it was all hands to the pump before handing over to Fletcher for the second stint, before stating that some of the British Gt series’ young chargers have lessons to learn.

“The start in Race Two was messy, very congested as people just stuck to the inside. I had very little room around the outside and I knew that was my time to make a move because afterwards, I was going backwards. I was in full “send it” mode, finding gaps, braking late. I don’t know how many places I made up but it must have been two or three. After that, I looked in the mirror and they were queuing behind me, all in vain!

“I think this year hasn’t been as good (clean) as last year. There’s a lot of young kids in the series and they’re out to make a point and prove themselves, they’re probably a bit too aggressive and making moves that aren’t there. Hopefully they’ll settle down, but if not we’ll just have to stay out of their way.”

 

IMAGE: CRAIG WHEELDON