A full house of Champions at Beechdean Motorsport

Monday, September 14, 2015

A thrilling finale to the 2015 British GT season saw Beechdean AMR drivers Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam keep their cool to add the GT3 drivers title to the team’s GT4 championship.

Long-term racing partners Jonny Adam (GB) and Andrew Howard (GB) went into the finale, dubbed the Donington Decider on Social Media, in second place overall, with four teams able to take clinch the championship. After an action-packed two-hour race, Adam and Howard crossed the line in fifth, with all but one of the title-rivals crashing out, enough to become national champions.

A strong finish to the season has been the key to winning the British GT Championship. This has Includied wins at the season opener at Oulton Park; the centrepiece of the calendar at Spa-Francorchamps; and at Snetterton last month, Beechdean AMR finished all but one of the series’ nine races, taking top-seven spots in each.

Starting second on the grid for the two-hour race Beechdean boss Howard studiously avoided getting involved in the chaos that unfolded in the opening stint as hard-charging rivals tried to chase the win, and his steady strategy paid off as championship contenders Liam Griffin and Marco Attard were both forced to retire due to damage sustained in racing incidents.
At the same time Beechdean’s GT4 crew of Gunn and Chadwick also had their race ended early as a result of a clash with Attard, but while the youngsters were disappointed not to finish the final race on a high the fact they already had their title secured softened the blow slightly.

When Andrew Howard handed over the Beechdean Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 to Jonny Adam on the hour mark the dairy-fuelled duo were tenth in the order following the driver changes and their extended pit-stop success penalty, but needed to finish at least ninth to secure the points they required to take the championship.

Adam started well, chipping away at the cars in front, and whilst being careful not to take any major risks, steadily picked his way though to fifth by the time the chequered flag dropped.
The result sparked jubilant scenes in the Beechdean pit lane garage, adding a cherry on top of a hugely successful season for the Buckinghamshire-based squad.

“It feels fantastic to win the British GT Championship,” commented Adam, who will now travel to the Circuit of the Americas to join Darren Turner (GB) in the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. “Once again, the V12 Vantage GT3 has been perfect all year. It really is a championship-winning car – reliable and quick and able to get the most out of the tyres. The team at Beechdean AMR are incredible and this win is for all of them.”

This is the second time the V12 Vantage GT3 has won the British GT Championship since it was launched four years ago. In 2013, Beechdean AMR took the drivers’ championship win with Howard, who won alone after Adam was docked points.

“Winning in 2013 was great but there was a lot of pressure that year, we went into the finale as leaders and it was ours to lose,” commented Howard. “Going in as the hunter takes the pressure off and that enables you to focus better and enjoy it more. It also feels so much better winning alongside Jonny, he deserves the British GT Championship title more than anyone.”

Beechdean AMR ends the 2015 season as double champions after Aston Martin Racing Evolution Academy drivers Jamie Chadwick (GB) and Ross Gunn (GB) clinched the GT4 title at Snetterton in August.

“Winning both the GT3 and GT4 drivers’ titles is what we set out to do and I couldn’t be more proud of the drivers and team who have all been incredible all season,” concluded Howard.

The championship finale was also reason to celebrate for Aston Martin Racing customer TF Sport, which took the overall race win with Aston Martin Racing Evolution Academy driver Matt Bell (GB) and team-mate Derek Johnson (GB) with second place going to the sister car of fellow Evolution Academy driver Jody Fannin (GB) and team-mate Andrew Jarmin (GB). New-for-2015 customer team Academy Motorsport finished first and third in GT4.

“It’s been another fantastic season for our teams and cars,” commented Team Principal John Gaw. “We have new upgrades available for the Vantage GT3 and GT4 next year so for both to be winning championships ahead of this proves that we are building cars have a long and successful lifecycle.”

Jamie Chadwick: “It was a shame that our race ended in the way that it did, we were hoping to finish the season with a podium, if not a win, but an incident packed race proved costly. Nonetheless, I am delighted for Andrew and Jonny – I cannot thank all of Beechdean AMR enough for what has been history and record breaking year!”

Ross Gunn: “First of all, massive congratulations to Andrew and Jonny on winning the British GT3 title. They have both been fundamental to mine and Jamie’s development as drivers and people, and they have done a great job all year. It was a shame for us to not end the year as we would like but these are experiences to learn from and it will only make us stronger. It’s been an incredible year and I would like to thank everyone in the Beechdean AMR team that helped me in my first full year of car racing. ”

Jonny Adam: “This is a fantastic feeling to win the British GT championship. In 2013 I missed out on getting my name on the trophy along with Andrew due to a technicality, but to do it this time at the last race of the season is incredible. Massive thanks to the whole team, everyone at Beechdean, Aston Martin Racing and of course my long term driving partner Andrew Howard. It’s cool to have the #1 back on a Beechdean AMR GT3! ”

Andrew Howard: “Coming into this weekend we knew we had it all to do, but we just raced sensibly and consistently and that gave us the result we needed to become British GT champions again. To win this championship this time with my team-mate Jonny Adam is brilliant, but a huge thanks go to everyone involved at Beechdean AMR and all of our partners who have been fantastic. We’ve won both GT3 and GT4 championships and set a few new records along the way. I am proud to be involved in the British GT Championship as a team owner/driver and to win such a hard-fought championship again is a great feeling.”

Source material - Beechdean Motorsport
Photo credits - Jacob Ebrey
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