R-Racings young Aston Martin duo dominate the British GT GT4 class going into Qualifying

Saturday, July 22, 2023


Two dominant Qualifying runs earlier today saw the #23 R-Racing Aston Martin Racing pairing of Josh Miller and Seb Hopkins control the GT4 ranks of the British GT Championship ahead of their ‘away day’ race around the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal tomorrow.

Having tested at the circuit last week, the #23 crew headlined the class after both the earlier Free Practice sessions (despite having multiple times deleted for track limits) before going onto to control each of their own Qualifying runs to take the GT4 Class Pole Position going into tomorrow’s three-hour race.

Swapping to his own AMR Vantage GT3 before the weekend almost saw Matt Topham go the same way aboard his #77 Enduro Motorsport prepared car, having lead the ten-minute session up until the death before eventually dropping down to P3 at the end.

His team-mate Marcus Clutton was out next for his first Qualifying session since swapping to the Vantage from the McLaren 720S, where he posted a time worthy of P8 within his ‘Pro’ class – the nett result was a P5 overall starting position for the new ‘Skully.

With Ross Gunn otherwise detained within his IMSA commitments at Lime Rock Park this weekend, his place aboard the #97 Beechdean AMR Vantage GT3 was taken by Nicki Thiim who returns to the Andrew Howard lead team for the first time since their ill-fated GT World Challenge Europe endeavours last season. 

Keeping himself race fit with ad-hoc racing duties with other OEM’s, the Dane was quickly back into the grove but had a Qualifying run hampered with the deletion of two lap times (for track limits) whilst Howard’s one second slower lap time this his Am class peer, found himself finishing way down in P11 for an aggregated P8 starting position.

With a three-hour race to look forward tomorrow, tyre management and strategy will be key as well will be driver welfare management inside the cockpit with air temperature expected to be well in the thirties again tomorrow.

Photo credits – D Gibson / Teams / Jacob Ebrey
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