TF Sport claim third place for British GT opener

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The TF Sport team has claimed a second row start for the two-hour British GT Championship opener at Brands Hatch. In GT4, Beechdean AMR secured third place with a good time putting them just 0.6s behind the polesitting Ginetta.

Split into two sessions for each category – one ten minute session for ‘Am’ drivers and an equal length for ‘Pro”- the action was always going to be frenetic with drivers setting flying lap after flying lap to put themselves in the best position for the race.

In the first session, Derek Johnston – in his second season with TF Sport – thought he had set a time good enough for top spot going into the second ten minutes having clocked a 1:25.542 to put him first by a decent margin.

However, Rick Parfitt Jnr in the Team Parker Racing had other ideas and with his last lap of the session he set a 1:25.509 to pip Johnston by less than a tenth of a second.

The second TF Sport car with Mark Farmer behind the wheel would end the ‘Am’ session tenth fastest, just behind championship returnee Phil Dryburgh in the Motorbase Performance V12 Vantage.

Championship debutant Pete Littler would finish three-seconds off the pace in what is in all fairness his first qualifying session in British GT.

At this point it is worth noting that Andrew Howard couldn’t make it down in time from the ELMS at Silverstone to participate in qualifying. Ross Gunn could no doubt have been thinking what might have been as his 1:23.361 put him second in the ‘Pro’ section of proceedings. In the end, he ended 14th and last in GT3 and will have a lot of machines ahead if he wants a podium finish in the race.

Gunn’s misfortunate wasn’t shared by former Beechdean driver Jonny Adam who capitalised on Johnston’s quick first time with a 1:23.766 to capitalise on third place.

That said, Jon Barnes in the #11 TF Sport car did go as high as second at one point (before Adam set his best lap) with a 1:23.682 but unfortunately when combined with Farmer’s earlier time he had to settle for seventh.

Two places behind was Motorbase as Ross Wylie helped claim an average grid position which could turn into something more. It was still better than the PFL Motorsport machine who could only finish 13th after Jody Fannin’s contribution. However, they’ve definitely given themselves a good basis to build on for the coming rounds.

In GT4 is was again just third the fastest Aston Martin could manage as the grid’s pair of debutants – Jordan Albert and Jack Bartholomew – set two very good lap times but found themselves blocked from a front start by only 0.3s after their combined time of 3:05.744.

Two places behind them was the Generation AMR MacMillan Racing entry with Matthew Graham and Jack Mitchell in that, they combined for a 3:07.032 to put themselves two tenths up on their closest competition.

For the remaining Aston’s on the grid, you’d have to look down to the bottom end of the grid where the second Generation AMR entry, Generation AMR SuperRacing, would be found. Jamie Chadwick set an early time good for third place, but Matthew George couldn’t capitalise on that time in his own session so they will start 13th.

In front of them was the JW Bird Aston Martin of Kieran Griffin and Jake Giddings with the Stratton Motorsport car of Robin Tinn and Robin Marriot in 15th.

Joe Hudson

Photo credits - Jacob Ebrey/British GT
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