Excitement till the end in British GT Race 2

Monday, April 06, 2015

With the adrenaline levels from Race 1 now having levelled off a bit, three Aston Martin teams were each left with a V12 Vantage GT3 that needed varying degrees of rebuild to be ready for Race 2.

Due to the extensive rear damage to the #17 TF Sport car of Derek Johnston and Matt Bell, the team  effectively retired it on the spot, however the damage to both the #007 Beechdean and #11 22GT Racing was sufficiently less as to allow effective trackside repairs to be facilitated in the interval.

Added pressure was upon the shoulders of the mechanics in the Beechdean garage as Jonny Adam has earned himself pole position in the Pro qualifying on Saturday.

Come the green flag lap the #007 was indeed in its rightful position although things didn't go exactly to plan for other AMR drivers with the #71 Quantamatic V8 Vantage GT4 of Terry Langley/Mike Hart suffering an unexpected gearbox gremlin which necessitated an engine 'reset' part way around the green flag lap - not what you want in only your second GT race!

Come the end of lap 2, the Ginetta GT3 of Rick Parfitt found itself in the gravel and that spurred the release of the Safety Car for the first time in Race 2. Gratefully it was only out for one lap as the then stricken car had already extricated itself from the gravel trap and was roaring up to the rear of the line. It would also be the last we saw of the Safety Car in this race.

Having exited Race 1 on only the second lap Jon Barnes was getting his first competitive laps in British GT in their black and blue 22GT Racing Vantage GT3 and was soon showing a good, competitive pace to his peers around him.

Back in GT4 most of the AMR GT4 cars were squabbling for position amongst themselves but finding themselves five or six positions down to the class leader. The #51 Stratton Motorsport V8 Vantage of Jade Edwards also found herself in the pits for an (as yet undiagnosed) issue which they would loose over a lap to.

Just before the opening of the pit window and having till then a controlling lead Adam was passed by the FF Corse Ferrari of Race 1 winner Adam Carroll. Due to the rate the Ferrari then left Adam behind we have to assume that he was having some sort of tyre performance issue with the new Avon rubber.

Once the shenanigans of the compulsory pit stops were over (which normally takes 3-4 laps to complete) the biggest loser was the #11 22GT Racing car that had somehow lost a couple of places in the pit lane to its then immediate rivals - being the #27 TF Sport and #4 Oman Racing Vantages.

With Howard now controlling a 13.5sec lead in the GT3 class the closest to a podium in the GT4 class was the #61 Academy car of Will Moore who was then in 5th in class. Having just swapped into the #407 Beechdean the youngest racer of the bunch, Jamie Chadwick was giving it another one of her apparent charges up the list quickly gaining multiple positions.

With about twenty minutes remaining Mark Farmer in the #11 22GT Racing Vantage had recovered from their pit lane woes and had just taken Phil Dryburgh in the #4 Oman Racing Vantage for sixth on track. An apparent self inflicted off for Ahmad Al Harthy and a front right puncture for #27 TF Sport of Andrew Jarman would see them both come into the pits with punctures that would take them out of any sort of contention.

Then, with only five or so minutes remaining the top three GT3 cars and the #4 Oman Racing car each received a drive through penalty for (presumably) at pit lane infraction during the compulsory pit stop but because the #007 served their penalty immediately they would in fact return to the circuit in front once the 'guilty parties' had all served theirs.

Come the chequered flag the #007 Beechdean of Howard and Adam would secure their first win and fastest lap of the 2015 season having been spun out of a good racing position in the first race. Race one adjusted winners Rory Butcher and Liam Griffin would have to settle for fourth this time around.

In GT4 that great stint put in by Jamie Chadwick would see the #407 GT4 finish in P2 - hers and Ross Gunn's second podium finish of the event.


Photo Credits - Jacob Ebrey
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