The first race turned into a duel between the pole sitting Macmillan AMR car and the two Barwell Lamborghinis.
The Macmillan car driven initially by Jack Mitchell shot off into an early lead which was just over fourteen seconds by the pitstops. But they had an additional 5 seconds success penalty and this left their margin greatly reduced when they emerged.
The Demon Tweeks car with Minshaw and Keen then set about catching the Aston and aftertheir pitstop with Keen at the wheel they closed rapidly. With nine minutes to go, Keen took the lead and went on to win.
“I had a lot of fun! James [Littlejohn] is an old friend - we raced together in Radicals - so it was good to have a battle together. I was in no rush - there was a big gap back to Sam [Torfoff] - so I didn’t need to take any risks and just waited for his tyres to go off a bit. After that I got a run out of Hamilton and into Oggies so it was fairly straightforward. Barwell and Lamborghini have done a great job with the car, which makes our lives easier. Snett seems to suit the Lambo - we went well here last year, but we’re using all our good circuits up early in the season!”
The Macmillan car was now under threat from the second Barwell Lamborghini of Liam Griffin and Sam Tordoff. Tordoff had passed the Team Parker Bentley after it's pitstop and was now also closing on the Aston and in the closing stages the Barwell car swept past at Palmer.
Rick Parfitt Jr and Seb Morris held fourth to the line but were penalised for a too short pitstop and had thirty seconds added to their time. This put AMD's Mercedes up to fourth with Lee Mowle and Ryan Ratcliffe at the wheel. They had passed Mark Farmer's TF Sport car on the first lap and both TF Sport Astons had a tough day with Farmer and Barnes car dropping down the field after a wheel problem. Reigning champions Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston ended up a distant fifth.
Surprise Rockingham winners, the Ferrari of Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin was sixth ahead of the penalised Bentley with the Rollcentre Racing Mercedes eighth ahead of the second of the team Parker Bentleys.
In GT4, a ten second success penalty wasn't enough to stopp Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton from winning again in their Ginetta. Alex Reed and David Pittard had taken pole but weren't able to live with the pace of the winning duo. The Black Bull Garage 59 Mclaren took third.
The championships only female driver, Anna Walewska took fourth in GT4 Pro/am
Stuart Middleton spoke afterwards
“There was some GT3 traffic coming through at the time so when the opportunity to pass Pittard arose I didn’t waste it. I’m amazed by the result. It was always going to be close - I had Haggerty’s McLaren right behind me after the pitstop so had to play it cool, gap him a little bit and catch Pittard. To catch him in the time we had felt awesome! I’m really, really pleased with the team’s, Will [Tregurtha]’s and my performance today.”
Race two was later in the day and it looked to be a repeat win for Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen in the Demon Tweeks Lamborghini but a penalty dropped them back and handed the win to the TF Sport Aston Martin of Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston. The Penalty also gave Barwell team mates, Liam Griffin and Sam Tordoff second place. TF Sport's second Aston of Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes took the final place on the podium meaning race two was much better for TF Sport than race on had been.
Despite losing the race two victory Minshaw and Keen’s championship lead has increased to 23.5 points over Parfitt Jnr and Morris, while Johnston and Adam are up to third.
Jonny Adam was thrilled to equal the record for most wins in the championship;
“At last! The record’s been a long time coming. But at the start I knew I had to pass at least one of the Lambos because their race pace is so fast and Phil [Keen]’s qualifying lap was pretty special. I’m not sure how much time we lost in the pits but at least we were in a position to push Barwell into an error. Derek [Johnston]’s probably the happiest guy in the pitlane just now! All of my victories have been in Astons - nine in this baby [the V12 Vantage] and two in the DBRS9 is a nice personal achievement, but we’re focused on the championship and desperately trying to claw points back against Barwell.”
In Gt4 this time, The Black Bull Garage 59 Mclaren of Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty took the win from Reed and Pittard in the Lanan car and Joe Osbourne with David Pattison in the Tolman Mclaren.
Sandy Mitchell was thrilled with their race;
“That was equally as good, if not better than my first win here last season! After the pitstops I came out in P4 and had to make a few moves before the Safety Car appeared. Then, when racing resumed, I made a good restart and got past Alex [Reed] into Turn 2 with a good move up the inside, and then managed to switch back on Will [Tregurtha] just after he’d passed the leader. It was all about managing the traffic after that - I probably did more overtaking in that stint than any other! Will was unlucky when trying to get back past me, but his DNF helps us in the championship.”
Anna Walewska was fifth in GT4 Pro/am this time alongside Nathan Freke in their Century Motorsport Ginetta G55
This leaves Middleton and Tregurtha still leading the championship but by a reduced 9.5 points from Reed and Pittard. Mitchell and Haggerty’s Race two victory moves them to third.
The championships next race is Silverstone next weekend. By Marc Waller