Silverware winning return for the Aston runners at GT Cup opener

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

It was something of a triumphant return to the Bute GT Cup Championship for both Hud Motorsport and Whitebridge AMR at season opener from Donington Park last weekend.

Nigel Hudson returned with his JMH prepared V12 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 running in the top flight GTO class with professional co-driver Adam Wilcox again by his side. Despite having won a whole plethora of silverware last season the duo will be looking to do something better this year to win the championship outright.

Also returning to the Championship was Chris Murphy's Whitebridge AMR outfit, again running a 2016 spec V8 Vantage GT4 in the newly established GTH class along with team newcomer Adam Hatfield.

After most teams enjoyed a test day at the circuit on Thursday, the #12 JMH Aston was fastest at the end of Free Practice enjoying a half second lead over Paul Bailey in his Ferrari. For Whitebridge AMR, it was still a case of track time having had limited running since the driving pair came together for the first time at the AMR Collecive Test in Portimao earlier last month.

For the Hudson and Wilcox team, that quick start to events transpired into dream start for Race 1, with Hudson having firstly claimed overall pole before he then went on to claim an emphatic lights to flag win with a winning gap of over ten seconds to the second place Mosler. For Hatfield, he was also able to replicate the marque's GTO success by turning around his own perhaps 'slower' start to the weekend to claim P2 in his own class

For Race 2 is was this time  a P2 start for Hudson in the #12 car with an improved P11 start for Murphy in the #72 car. For most of the race the outcome appeared to have hinged upon the outcome of a failed move from the Aston on the pole sitting Mosler at the first corner that allowed the Gibson McLaren to out manoeuvre the #12 for position. Fortunately for Hudson, the delicate Mosler faulted mid race allowing them to reclaim their second place on track and a second place for the race.

The Murphy/Hatfield crew continued their own continuity by claiming their second - second in class finish of the weekend having started P2 in class which was all a pretty successful start to a Saturday's motorsport!

The final race of the opening round came on Sunday with the pitstop round where both drivers would compete. Hudson and Wilcox again took the honours in morning warm up before the duo later qualified P3 overall for the final race behind their main protagonists in the 650S McLaren and Mosler. Murphy and Hatfield meanwhile qualified their GT4 again second in class, P11 overall.

The final fifty minute race took a familiar tone, the #12 JMH Hud Motorsport car was this time able to overcome the Gibson 650S McLaren but unable to catch the more powerful (but sometimes delicate) Mosler to finish the day P2 overall 23 seconds down to the winner.

For Hatfield and Murphy, it was a simple case of being second, second, second as the #72 car clocked up its third second place of the weekend, again behind the more nimbler #23 Maserati GT4.

Overall, that was a very successful start for both teams as they now look forward to the slower but more technical GP circuit at brands Hatch next time out in May.

Photo credits - Steve Jackman (Eat My Pixels) / Adam Hatfield
Source material - Steve Jackman

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