Beechdean and Newbridge each start from the front ahead of British GT's 2 hour visit to Spa

Saturday, July 24, 2021


From the heat of the sun of yesterday, the overcast and then rains of this morning and then back again to a drying track of this afternoon, this fourth round of the British GT Championship from Spa Francorchamps has already done enough to give the race engineers and drivers enough of a headache when it comes to optimum set-up.

Already down a car on the grid with the loss of a McLaren earlier in the meeting, the two Aston Martin Racing Vantage race cars did what was necessary over the two Free Practice sessions that remained before Qualifying earlier this afternoon to get themselves into the best possible position.

The #27 Newbridge AMR GT4 of Matt Topham and Darren Turner featured heavily at the top of their class during these sessions to go into Qualifying as the fastest GT4 with their combined times whilst the #7 Beechdean AMR GT3 of Andrew Howard and ‘substitute’ driver Ross Gunn came in at the slowest of the GT3 runners overall but joint fastest in FP2 when Gunn was behind the wheel. Not too sure what was happening there?

With Free Practice over, the rain clouds above the Ardennes circuit gradual lifted and with the help of the other attending series all running ahead of the Championship cars, that all helped to dry off the circuit ahead of the customary staggered GT3/GT4 + Pro/Am Qualifying sessions. 

Howard was out in the first group for his ten-minute session eventually posting a time good enough for P4 having lost a lap due to exceeding track limits. Gunn was next out in the #7 and there was no stopping him again as he posted the quickest time in the session which, when added to that of Howard, secured them a front row start in P2 ahead of tomorrow’s two-hour race.

Next came the turn of the GT4 cars as Topham took control again of the #27 car. Like the rest of them, time didn’t allow for mistakes and dropped laps but although further down the list than in previous sessions, Topham came in P8 overall but still P2 in Pro-Am and having dropped a lap due to track limits. Finally, it was the turn of AMR factory driver Turner to go and like Gunn, he brough the Aston home fastest securing them a second row start in P3 in the GT4 class.

The race tomorrow starts at 12:35hrs local

Photo credits – Jacob Ebrey
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