Flick Haigh immediately pulled out a lead from the start (Photo by Marc Waller)Flickr Haigh has made history over the Easter weekend as she won the opening round of the British GT Championship alongside her team mate Jonny Adam.

She had already made history on Saturday taking the first overall pole (as well as GT3) by a female driver and on Monday, she took the first ever win. They not only won but took the race by a 28.2 second margin, a big lead for British GT when races can end with rivals crossing the line together.

Haigh also received the Blancpain driver of the weekend award for her historic achievement. She was very happy after the race;

“It feels amazing! I’m shocked, to be honest. When Jonny got in he had a real fight on his hands with Phil Keen – I was fortunate enough to get a lead early on so he had the hard job, really! The conditions were tough: it’s a balancing act to push hard enough but without making any mistakes.”

The race has started behind the safety car due to the wet conditions and it was several laps before the race could fully get underway. Once the safety car was in, Flick Haigh immediately pulled out a margin. She looked comfortably in the lead before Jon Minshaw started to reel her in in his Demon Tweeks Lamborghini Hurracan as he moved into second place. As the pit window opened Minshaw had closed onto her tail but hadn’t found a way past.

Minshaw pitted later than Haigh but once both cars had made their stops the battle became one between Jonny Adam and Phil Keen. Keen was initially putting the Aston Martin under pressure before a brush against a Gt4 car sent the Lamborghini to the pits for a wheel change.

Adam was then clear of the field and just had to drive it home. Behind, Darren Turner driving the Beachdean Aston Martin battled with new Team ERC Sport’s Yelmer Burman in the Mercdes AMG GT3 after they had taken over from Andrew Howard and Lee Mowle respectively.

Derek Johnston was an early spinner (Photo by Marc Waller) Beechdean were second on their return to the championship (Photo by Marc Waller) Anna Walewska and Callum Hawkins-Row took fifth in class (Photo by Marc Waller) Third for ERC on their debut (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

They had a fierce fight all the way to the flag but the Aston stayed in front of the Mercedes. A storming drive for Phil Keen after his unexpected saw him fight back to fourth with a second Barwell Lamborghini of Leonid Machitski and Patrick Kujula in fifth. In fact it was three Barwell Lamborghini’s in a row with Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker’s car completing the top six.

The number four Tolman Mclaren won GT4 (Photo by Marc Waller) Flick Haigh pushed hard throughout her stint (Photo by Marc Waller) Jonny Adam takes the flag to help Flick Haigh make history (Photo by Marc Waller) Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam on the top step (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod were next up in the Team Parker Bentley followed by Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell in eighth.

Derek Johnston and Marco Sorensen were ninth despite a run in on the first racing lap with Jon Minshaw’s Lamborghini which saw the Aston end up off the track. Graham Davidson and Maxime Martin completed the top ten.

In GT4, Adam Balon and Ben Barnicoat repeated Track-Club’s win from the Oulton round a year earlier beating Century Motorsport’s Ben Tuck and Ben Green in their BMW by 7.5 seconds.

Unfortuntely the Century Motorsport car received a short pitstop penalty and dropped from second to sixth. This gave second to the Tolman Mclaren of Michael O’Brien and Charlie Fagg.

Adam Balon was happy with the win;

“We managed to achieve the same result here at the season opener last year, and obviously it’s the best way to start. We actually thought there would be no chance of repeating it but here we are: we’ve done it again! I like racing in the wet but the trick was staying out of trouble at the beginning, getting past a couple of cars early and then tagging along with some of the faster guys to give us a shot after the pitstops. It’s a big grid but the traffic wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The biggest issue was the windscreen: it was filthy by the end of the stint!”

Anna Walewska was fifth for Team Hard in the Ginetta she shares with new team mate Callum Hawkins-Row.

The second race of the day looked set to take place in even worse conditions. But after just four laps, the Senior Clerk of the course David Scott red flagged it due to a large amount of standing water on the track. After waiting for about thirty minutes, a decision was made to not only call of the second GT race but all of the rest of the day’s races. Championship stewards are yet to decide if a result can be awarded and so championship points and positions are currently uncertain.

Rockingham hosts the second meeting of this year’s British GT Championship on April 28th and 29th. By Marc Waller 

FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksNewsvineLinkedinRSS Feed