After looking quick all weekend they led from the start before falling back after the first pitstops. The race had begun on a very wet track but the track gradually dried out throughout the three hours, meaning teams had to get their strategy right on when to change to slick tyres.
As the race entered the final hour the Von Ryan squad were running third behind their team mates, Ross Wylie and Andrew Watson but then found themselves second after the other car made a pitstop.
They looked as though they would remain second to the flag when the 22GT Racing Aston Martin crashed at Club. Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes had been going well but Farmer ran wide and spun exiting the corner before slamming into the international pit wall.
This put the Von Ryan Mclaren in front but with a reduced lead as the safety car came out to aid the clear up of the heavily damaged Aston Martin. Fortunately Farmer was un-hurt. Once the safety car was in they remained in front but only just as they took the flag just 0.588 seconds ahead of the Triple Eight Racing BMW Z4 being driven by Lee Mowle and Joe Osbourne. Third was the Ecurie Ecosse Barwell BMW Z4 with Marco Attard and Alexander Sims showing the constancy that took Attard to the title last year. Barwell had looked set to have two cars in good positions but the Team Russia by Barwell BMW was punted out of the race by the RAM Racing Mercedes (Perhaps an unfortunate name in the circumstances. Phil Keen had also been driving at Le Mans and had to fly by private jet to make the race. Sadly his and Jon Minshaw’s race came to an end early. The Ram Racing car of Alistair Mckinnon and Lewis Plato was immediately disqualified.
Three Aston Martins were fourth fifth and sixth, with the Oman Racing team car of Ahmed Al Harthy and Daniel Lloyd fourth with their team mates, Liam Griffin and Rory Butcher Sixth. In the middle of them was the Beachdean Aston Martin of Andrew Howard and Johnny Adam. The Fourth placed Aston had been third in the closing stages but Daniel Lloyd was passed by Alexander Sims late in the race. The second Von Ryan Mclaren was Seventh in the end just ahead of another Aston, the TF Sport car of Andrew Jarmin and Jody Fanin.
The Jones twins, David and Godfrey drove their Preci Spark Mercedes SLS to ninth with the works Ginetta G55 GT3 of Steve Tandy and Mike Simpson completing the top ten.
GT4 was won once again by the incredible Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn. The two overcome and early spin to power through to another victory. Gunn had taken the final stint and pulled out a strong lead. When it was eroded due to the safety car being scrambled he just drove away from his rivals once again! Behind them the Quantamatic Racing Aston Martin of Terry Langley and Mike Hart took second, a great result for them after their dramatic Rockingham qualifying roll. Issy Racing’s Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw took the final GT4 podium spot continuing their consistent season.
AMD Tuning again had terrible luck in their Porsche. After both Graham Coomes and Jake Hill drove a great race they came in for a final pitstop during the last safety car. Unfortunately they narrowly failed to make it out the pits before the safety car came round and so they lost a lap. What had been at least a third place in class become ninth, a lap down.
Anna Walewska had a difficult time in her Ginetta G55. Her and team mate Rob Garofall had been moving up the order but refuelling issues forced them to make extra pitstops dropping them out of the class top ten taking eleventh in class and 22nd place.
A more detailed race report will follow later in the week.
Full results are available from TSL Timing. By Marc Waller