British GT is back at Snetterton - so is Jonny and so is Oman Racing

Tuesday, August 03, 2021


Round five of the 2021 British GT Championship this weekend takes the GT3 and GT4 cars to Norfolk and two one-hour races this time around the Snetterton 300 circuit for effectively double points as the Championship enters its second half of the season.

Singular races so far from Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Donington Park and most recently Spa Francorchamps sees the Championship enter a double header of double header races both at Snetterton and next time out at Oulton Park in mid-September before another (hopefully) #DoningtonDecider in the making at the end of the season a month later.

An eventful round last time out in Belgium which started with the news that Beechdean AMR’s Jonny Adam had been ‘pinged’ meaning that he would have to sit out both his British GT ride but also his Spa 24 ride because of it. His place at Spa was taken by a certain Ross Gunn who luckily had a ‘spare’ weekend in his diary after his last IMSA race and his next race at the Spa 24. If we understand correctly from this evening’s entry list, is that Adam is fit enough to return to the #7 Beechdean Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 that he shares with Andrew Howard.

Unfortunately for the race, Spa wasn’t kind to them as a start line incident wiped out four cars before they had even crossed the line and then again for the #7 car after having Qualified on the front row for that two hour race in P2, continuing niggling performance issues blighted their AMR Vantage GT3 that saw them drop back to 15 seconds behind the leader before being called into pit lane a lap too early for their minimum drive time, to exit again only to pit again on the very next lap. Despite Gunn then becoming the fastest driver out there, the damage had already been done and the speeding in the pit lane drive through penalty just rubbed salt into their wounds for a P4 overall/P3 in Pro-Am finish. 

Valuable points none the less.

Along the pit lane in the Newbridge Motorsport garage, Matt Topham was again learning from the maestro himself, Darren Turner after he had to skip the last round before Spa due to other commitments.

Also fully repaired after their bizarre multi car incident at Donington, Topham was in full flight himself to help place his #27 AMR Vantage GT4 onto the second row of the GT4 grid, P11 overall and P3 in his own Pro-Am class.

Narrowly avoiding being caught up in this start line incident himself, the ensuing Safety Car at least allowed Topham to catch up with the pack despite being temporally stranded on the grid with wrecked cars around him. Finding it difficult to pass, Topham would eventually hand over to Turner on the hour for the AMR factory driver to go out there and thrash those around him to take a seemingly perfect GT4 race win at the chequered flag only then to be judged as having exceeded track limits for a post-race 30 second penalty.

Despite that, the #27 car was so far ahead of the then reduced GT4 field that they still claimed a worthy P2 overall in GT4 and P1 in GT4 Pro-Am.

Moving onto Snetterton, the results of two weeks ago still have Howard leading the GT3 Pro-Am Drivers Championship by the slenderest of margins, P3 in the GT3 Teams Championship for Beechdean but down to P2 in the GT3 Drivers Championship. Adam’s absence from Spa has already come at cost to him in all the Championships.

In GT4, Topham and Turner rise up to P2 in the Pro-Am table, second in the GT4 Teams table and P3 in the GT4 Drivers Championship, so with the 50 points available for the race wins from this weekend’s races – there is everything to gain.

Finally, we also had the news of the return of the Oman Racing with TF Sport return for Ahmad al Harthy for the Snetterton round after the Omani had to sit out the entire season last year due to COVID related travel restrictions, so it’s good to him and co-driver Charlie Eastwood back again in the Championship for a one-off aboard their #97 car.

In response to events of last weekend, the SRO and MSV have confirmed a minute’s silence in respect to the loss of Robert Foote, track marshal taken from us last weekend at Brands Hatch.

Photo credits – Jacob Ebrey / Teams
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