It never looked in doubt, as Morris immediately pulled away from the rest of the field, building up a thirteen and a half second lead before the pitstop to change drivers.Third place in the day’s earlier race ensured pole-sitter Morris would not only need to hold on to first but also build a five second lead if he and Parfitt Jnr were to have any chance of making amends for losing the opening encounter after being blocked in the pits.
That gap dropped to nine seconds after the pitstops as the Ecurie Ecosse Mclaren had a better stop with Rob Bell handing over to Alisdair McCaig. But McCaig was unable to close and the gap remained static as the two drove to the chequered flag (Or red flag as it turned out, more on who caused that later!)
Morris was happy to win but was also thinking of another driver, elsewhere round the globe;
“I pushed really hard, to the absolute limit in fact all the way through the stint. The car was amazingly balanced. The team and Bentley have done such a good job, especially to get the car working well in the traction zones. We’ve had an amazing weekend with this and third place in race one. However, I just want to mention Andrew Palmer. As a fellow Bentley and racing driver, and on behalf of Team Parker Racing, I want him to know we’re all thinking of him after his accident in America on Saturday.”
Alisdair McCaig was content with second “I’m really happy that we managed to peg the Bentley in the second stint, which is a feat in itself because it’s so damn quick! We’ve had some bad luck since the start of the season but hopefully this is a sign of the tables turning. I guess we’ll see at Silverstone.”
The Demon Tweeks Barwell run Lamborghini of Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw started third and finished third which sounds like they had an uneventful race but this was far from the case. After a bad start saw them drop to fifth behind the Beachdean Aston Martin of Ross Gunn and Andrew Howard plus the other Barwell car of Adam Carroll and Liam Griffin. They then spent the rest of the race fighting their way back up to third.
The championship leaders, TF Sport finally seemed to have one success penalty too much this weekend as they failed to make the podium and took fourth in this race. Jonny Adam is still looking to take his eleventh British GT championship race win, which would equal the all time record and few would bet against him eventually breaking it. He was another to drop away at the start and ran sixth early on before benefiting from others penalties to climb back up to fourth.
The second Barwell car suffered from the success penalty gained for winning the first race and they ended up fifth by the flag although Adam Carroll gaining two places off the start helped to neutralise the penalty slightly.
Beachdean’s challenge for the podium ended with a stop go penalty for a pit lane infiringement dropping them to sixth when they looked to be likely podium finishers before the penalty.
They were one place ahead of Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes’ TF Sport Aston who were unable to match the pace of their team mates.
All amateur pairing of Martin Short and Richard Neary took eighth ahead of the AMD tuning BMW of Lee Mowle and Joe Osbounre. AMD lost out of the chance of a better finish when Mowle stopped for a puncture that they car never actually had!
Tenth, in the final points scoring positions were the Motorbase duo of Phil Dryburgh and Ross Wylie.
Jon Minshaw won the Blancpain Gentleman Driver of the Weekend Award for securing GT3 Am pole, leading throughout his race one stint and finishing third in the second.
The results mean Johnston and Adam have retained their lead in the drivers’ championship, although Griffin’s race one victory has seen him close the gap to 21.5 points. Parfitt Jnr and Morris are only seven further back in third
GT4 at Oulton was again dominated by PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport but this time things were closer. At the start the Simpson Motorsport Ginetta and the Generation AMR Aston mArtin both passed the Optimum Ginetta. Malvern started to pull away and looked set to reward his team with a much deserved victory after they rebuilt the car on Saturday but power steering failure would end their day.
That gave Generation AMR’s Mathew George the lead and he pulled in to hand over to Mathew Holder.
Behind that battle was Abbie Eaton in the Ebor Motorsport Maserati. After an excellent start and early lap battles, she was running a strong fourth when she pitted to hand over to team mate Marcus Hogarth.
Anna Walewska also found herself in a strong position after she took over from team mate Nathan Freke. The two Ginettas of Walewska and Johnson then pressured the Aston of Holder with the Maserati also got involved in the fight
Walewska was first to pass Holder before Johnson also got past and not long after that the Maserati moved into third.
Holder was ultimately not even a finisher when he collided with the RCIB Insurance car of Jordan Stilp and William Philips.
Up ahead Johnson and Walewska were battling and this forced Walewska into an uncharacteristic mistake as she ran off the track at Deer leap and out of the race. This bought out the red flags bringing the race to a premature end.
This bought the race to a premature end as the car was deemed to be in a difficult position. This gave the win to Optimum with Abbie Eaton and Marcus Hogarth in the Maserati third. Robert Barable and Aron Mason took the final podium spot in the RCIB insurance ginetta.
Mike Robinson was thrilled with the win after Graham Johnsons stunning drive; “The Aston made a great start while I got bunched on the inside, so it was a case of letting them go or having a big shunt! After that I tried to get my head down, especially given the 10 second success penalty we’d have to serve, but the guys ahead had mega pace. Plus we had a bit more understeer than in race one. Thankfully I handed over with us still in the hunt, and after Graham passed the Aston he applied just enough pressure to force Anna [Walewska] into a mistake. I can’t believe what a great weekend we’ve had. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Abbie Eaton’s team mate was happy with second on a circuit that wasn’t supposed to suit them;
“I genuinely think we had the pace to win it today. I was just starting to get up a head of steam when the red flags came out, so I’m a bit gutted actually that I didn’t get the chance to have a go. Whether we’d have won is a different matter of course! We’ve only done a couple of tests in the car so we’re still learning every time we go out. Plus we knew the first few tracks wouldn’t really suit the Maserati that well. We’re definitely expecting it to go better at Silverstone, so the only way is up!”
Robert Barable felt his team had made progress with his podium finish;
“We always knew the pace would be there or thereabouts given Aaron’s experience. His input’s certainly been very good with the set-up. It was more a case of how long it would take to gel, and to be fair that didn’t happen immediately. But we gambled a bit and it paid off in the second race when the car felt really balanced. I think a lot of people underestimate how competitive this championship is. It’s so strong and it’s taken us a little while to get our head around it. But we’re getting there now.”
The GT4 Ecurie Ecosse Mclaren just missed out on the podium after a tough weekend for Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell. They were just ahead of the second RCIB insurance Ginetta which survived it’s run in with the Generation AMR Aston.
The Beechdean junior car of Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert took sixth after a stop go penalty for a pitlane infringement
Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell brought the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4 home fourth after a tough weekend, while the second RCIB Insurance Racing Ginetta driven by Jordan Stilp and William Phillips completed the top-five after the latter tangled with Holder’s Aston Martin, which retired as a result.
Beechdean AMR duo Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert finished sixth despite serving a drive-through penalty for a pit-lane infringement.
Despite his non finish, Scott Malvern won the Sunoco Fastest lap of the weekend award for his great efforts in race one. His team would also get the team of the weekend award for their efforts in rebuilding the wrecked car on Saturday.
Johnson and Robinson’s 50-point maximum has helped them leapfrog Bartholomew and Albert at the top of the GT4 standings, with Phillips and Stilp up to third.
The British GT Championship returns in less than two weeks for its blue riband three-hour Silverstone 500 event where it will be joined by the European GT4 chamoionship. By Marc Waller