Win some lose some for many AMR powered teams at the beginning of SRO Speed week from Spa Francorchamps

Monday, June 24, 2024

Last weekend’s start to the SRO Speedweek from Spa Francorchamps again provided a complete topsy-turvey set of race results for the multitude of Aston Martin Racing powered teams that competed within either the British GT Championship or the FFSA GT4 Series.

With the Belgian circuit again providing these grids a varying selection of weather arrangements across the race weekend, at least Sunday was a day where both the track and grids were shown off in their finest although many of the results saw these cars finishing at the extreme ends of the timing screen.

Within the British GT Championship, Qualifying had been a good day for the Blackthorn AMR team as both their #10 and #87 Vantage GT3 crews of Matt Topham/ Josh Rowledge and Jonny Adam/Giacomo Petrobelli secured their best results of the season so far with the #10 car securing a Silver-Am class pole with the #87 also starting from the front row of the grid in Pro-Am.

The GT4 pack were a little unfortunate as a red flag at the start of their first Qualifying run meant for their grid slots being determined by their times with the last Free Practice session and whilst that meant for an overall P2 start for the #47 Forsetti Motorsport AMR Pro-Am pairing of Marc Warren and Will Orton, their #7 Silver class car of Mikey Porter and Jamie Day would start from an uncharacteristic P14th.

Hopes of another fine two-hour sprint within the Champiosnhip season were quickly dashed at the first corner however, as multiple contact between cars lead to the #97 Beechdean AMR Vantage GT3 of Andrew Howard (shared with Jessica Hawkins) being hit hard on the front quarter. Although missing the pit wall by inches, the damage was already done to the car with Howard stopping within the Endurance pit lane.

The resulting clear up lost the first fifteen minutes to the Safety Car before barrier repairs forced a red flag which lost a further forty-five minutes in time only for the race clock to be reset to seventy-five minutes – just enough to claim a 75% race distance and thus, full championship points on offer.

Eventually getting back to green saw the #87 Blackthorn AMR of Petrobelli continue a solid run in second overall as the faster Aston Martin was still no match for the even quicker Mercedes up ahead. In GT4 meanwhile, Day was making steady progress through the pack from his lowly starting position to be soon on the tail of his P2 team mate just ahead of the planned pits stop window.

Topham had been busy holding his position on track with four clearly faster crews chomping at his heals behind, a situation that inadvertently helped their #87 team mates ahead from those in the McLaren 720’s.

Pitting with forty-five minutes to go, Orton took over from Warren from third in the #47 whilst the additional stop time for #7 car of Day/Porter appeared to last forever in pit lane. Coming out ahead of the #56 Ginetta soon lead to a silver class ping pong match between the two for the lead in class.

Going into the final quarter of an hour, all was looking good as Adam was holding a comfortable second overall, teammates within the #10 car were still in for both a top ten finish overall as well as being P2 in class with the two Forsetti cars in podium finishing positions as well. That however changed when something ‘broke’ within the #10 Blackthorn car that would see Adam lucky to catch the snap oversteer mid corner to bring his car to a safe halt at the side of the track – albeit into immediate retirement.

Their pain was somewhat muted by their #10 car of Rowledge and Topham coming home for a gallant P6 finish overall with a P2 finish in Silver-Am to boot. This result would be boosted by another double for the Forsetti team and the #47 came home in second – both overall and in class whilst their #7 car would claim another class win together win another P3 overall in GT4.

Then within the supporting FFSA GT4 Series, it was another double podium visit for the #74 Racing Spirit of Leman Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 pairing of Victor Weyrich and Mateo Villagomez after they scooped both a P1 and P2 finish within their silver class after each of the weekend’s hour-long races.

Their Am Class teammates of Clement Dub and Ronald Basso didn’t fare quite so well with a DNF in race 1 with a P5 in class finish in race 2. The other full season Mirage Racing AMR entry of Stanislav Safronov and Aleksandr Vaintrub would also have a race weekend to forget within their Pro-Am class as their did not better than P5 in class.

Photo credits – Teams / series / social media






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