The first round of the British GT championship is in action at Oulton Park, with a bumper entry of GT3 and GT4 cars taking to the Cheshire circuit. The first of 2, 60 minute practice sessions saw most of the teams getting some serious running in ahead of qualifying later today.
The early pace was set by Callum MacLeod’s number 6 Mercedes AMG, setting the pace at 1m34.347. That was until Nicki Thiim put the new TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to the top of the time sheets with a 1m34.297s on his first run before MacLeod imediately went faster woth a 1m34.197 dropping Thiim to 2nd before their team mates took over. On the move was Adam Christodoulou in the ABBA Racing Mercedes, just over half a second behind the leading pair. After that it was a much closer affair, with De Haan and Keen trailing the Mercedes by less than a tenth. While the session was uninterupted, it wasn’t an easy day for the Balfe Motorsport Mclaren, which only managed 12 laps during the hour session. They still managed to finish the session 9th. It was disapointing for the Optimum Aston Martin of Bradley Ellis and Oliver Wilkinson, who were looking for better than 13th and last of the GT3s on a 1m36.068.
Leading the way in GT4 was the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin of Alex Toth-Jones and Will Moore thanks to Alex’s 1m43.911. The only other GT4 team into the 1m43s was the team Parker Racing Mercedes of Nick Jones and Scott Malvern. 3rd was the #43 Century BMW of Angus Fender and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke, followed closely by the Jaguar F Type of Matthee George and Steve McCulley. The GT4 field this year seems extremely close, with the top 17 seperated by less than a second!
The Multimatic Ford Mustangs hit trouble early into the session, with the pair of them at the foot of the time sheets after both cars battled problems through the session.
Second Practice gets underway at 11:40 before qualifying at 15:15.
GT3 top 5
1. #6 RAM Racing, Mercedes – Loggie/MacLeod 1m 34.197
2. #2 TF Sport, Aston Martin- Thiim/Farmer 1m 34.297
3. #8 ABBA Racing, Mercedes – Neary/ Christodoulou 1m34.774
4. #69 Barwell Motorsport,Lamborghini – Da Haan/Cocker 1m34.830
5. #72 Barwell Motorsport, Lamborghini – Balon/Keen 1m 34.830
GT4 top 5
1. #62 Academy Motorsport, Aston Martin – Moore/Toth-Jones 1m43.911
2. #66 Team Parker Racing, Mercedes – Jones/Malvern 1m43.980
3. #43 Century Motorsport, BMW – Fender/Gordon-Colebrooke 1m44.023
4. #44 Invictus Games Racing, Jaguar – McCulley/George 1m44.044
5 #57 HHC Motorsport, Mclaren – Pointon/Macdonald 1m44.062