Godfrey and David Jones won their first British GT race for three years, taking the chequered flag in the Team Eurotech Preci Spark Ascari KZ1R in a dramatic second Avon Tyres British GT race at Knockhill, the first GT3 win for an Ascari in British GT.
The brothers from Leicestershire finished ahead of the Christians in Motorsport Ferrari of Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen and the 22gtracing Aston Martin DBRS9 of Adrian Willmot and Michael Bentwood. Matt Nicoll-Jones and Stewart Linn won the GT4 class, extending their championship lead ahead of the next races at Rockingham.
Allan Simonsen led the 22 car field along the Knockhill start finish straight as the pace car peeled off the track, the Dane powering away as the red lights went out with Matt Griffin in the Chad Peninsula Racing Ferrari right behind him as they went into the first corner. Michael Bentwood got a great start from 6th on the grid overtaking the Tech 9 Lamborghini of Tom Ferrier and the #16 CR Scuderia Ferrari of Luke Hines to enter Turn 1 in 4th place.
Simonsen finished the opening lap in the lead, just 0.9 seconds ahead of Griffin with James Sutton in 3rd in the #14 CR Scuderia Ferrari. Behind 4th placed Michael Bentwood Tom Ferrier was putting Hines under pressure and on lap 3 the Lamborghini swept past the Ferrari at the Hairpin. At the front Simonsen was unable to open up a gap to Griffin, the Chad Ferrari sticking to the leading CiM Ferrari like glue.
On lap 4 Ian Stinton went off the track at Butchers in the Stark Racing Ginetta bringing out the Safety Car to enable the marshals to get the stranded Ginetta out of the gravel trap. The green flag was waved two laps later and Matt Griffin dived to the inside of the leaders Ferrari as they went into the first corner, but Simonsen defended his line and came out of Scotsman still in the lead. The first five cars started to pull away from the rest of the field with Simonsen from Griffin, Sutton, Bentwood and Ferrier.
In GT4 Rob Austin was leading from the front in the Rob Austin Ginetta G50, with Alex Mortimer in the #51 Team RPM Ginetta keeping pace with the lead car with Stewart Linn following behind in 3rd. 4th placed Fulvio Mussi caught and passed Linn on lap 11 demoting the championship leader from a podium finish.
In GT3 the Vipers of Aaron Scott (#20 ABG Motorsport) and Paul O’Neill (#1 Team RPM) were having a great battle for 8th place and were soon joined by the flying Trackspeed Porsche of Richard Williams. O’Neill got right behind Scott as they approached the Hairpin for the 13th time, diving to the inside and as the Vipers came out of the corner they were side by side, with O’Neill holding the advantage and moving up a place on the start of lap 14. Richard Williams tried the same move on Scott on the next lap moving ahead of the Viper on the exit of the Hairpin but Scott used the power of the V10 engine to fight back as they crossed the line, however the advantage was with Williams and Scott dropped another place.
At the front Simonsen still had Griffin dogging his every move but the leaders were starting to lap the backmarkers. Allan Simonsen used these slower cars to move ahead of the Chad Racing Ferrari and by lap 24 was 4.5 seconds ahead as Griffin came under pressure from Sutton.
Further back Luke Hines (#16 CR Scuderia) had the Preci Spark Ascari of Godfrey Jones filling his mirrors with Paul O’Neill in the Team RPM Viper also looking for an opportunity to move up a couple of places as they moved around the slower cars at the back of the field. Jones made his move on lap 27 to move into 6th place. In the meantime Richard Williams (#5 Trackspeed) had caught Paul O’Neill as the Viper was trying to find a way around the Hines Ferrari. O’Neill got close to Hines as the three cars braked for the Hairpin with Williams leaving his braking to the very last minute moving past both the Ferrari and the Viper. The Viper snaked as O’Neill tried to put the power down on the exit and Hines was able to get alongside the Porsche as they went down the start finish straight. However it was Williams who held his nerve and maintain his freshly gained 6th place.
The pit window was now open and many of the cars came in for their stops while the leaders all stayed out on track. The Team Modena Lamborghini of Guy Harrington was right behind the Tech 9 Lamborghini of Leo Machitski as they came into the final corner. Harrington tried to overtake Machitski but the two cars clashed, the Tech 9 Lamborghini regaining the track after a short excursion on the grass but the suspension on the Harrington Gallardo collapsed leaving the car beached in the gravel at the Hairpin bringing out the safety car for the second time. Allan Simonsen was coming up to the pit entrance as the safety car board was displayed and the Dane dived into the pits. The slow safety car allowed Hector Lester to regain the track in the lead of the race, to the delight of the Christians in Motorsport team, especially after the stop go penalty at Oulton Park for missing the pit window that robbed them of an almost certain win.
Rob Austin came into the pits leading the GT4 battle but was unable to hand over to Hunter Abbott after a brake light failure was deemed to be a safety issue, putting the car into retirement. The same problem caused the retirement of the #51 Team RPM Ginetta of Alex Mortimer.
As the race went green on lap 48 Hector Lester moved ahead of the Chad Racing Ferrari of Peter Bamford as Adrian Willmot (#42 22GTRacing) challenged the second placed Ferrari into the first corner. Willmot swept into second place with a demon move on the outside, unsighting Bamford who then lost out to Michael Meadows (#14 CR Scuderia), David Jones (#22 Team Eurotech Preci Spark) and Steve Clark (#1 Team RPM) before they exited Scotsman.
For two laps the top six cars circulated in close order but Meadows was coming under pressure from Willmot, the Ferrari and the Aston Martin side by side into the first corner. Neither driver was going to give ground and they clashed, pushing the Aston onto the grass and the Ferrari went straight into the airbag wall on the outside of Scotsman, the Ferrari coming to rest with the front wheels on top of the barriers. Meadows was OK and Willmot regained the track but now behind the Ascari of David Jones.
Jones was catching the leading Ferrari, challenging Lester strongly on lap 54. As they crossed the start line Jones dived out from behind the CiM Ferrari to sweep into the lead as they braked into the first corner. David Jones then started to pull away from the Lester who then looked like he was going to lose another place to Willmot. However the Aston driver came under pressure from the Team RPM Viper of Steve Clark, relieving the pressure on the CiM Ferrari.
Willmot shook off the challenge and was right on the rear of the second placed Ferrari as the final few minutes of the race ticked by. However on lap 59 the red flags came out after the Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin N24 of Andrew Howard was beached in the gravel at Scotsman, ending the race.
Fifth place for Paddy Shovlin (#15 CR Scuderia) behind Steve Clark was enough to maintain his and Michael Cullen’s lead in the Championship and they head to Rockingham with a five point lead over Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen.
ROUND 4 - PROVISIONAL RESULT
1 - 22- GT3 - David Jones / Godfrey Jones - Ascari KZ1R - 57:25.728 - 59 laps
2 - 23 - GT3 - Hector Lester / Allan Simonsen - Ferrari 430 - 57:26.971 - +1.243s
3 - 42 - GT3 - Adrian Willmot / Michael Bentwood - Aston Martin DBRS9 - 57:27.427 - +1.699s
4 - 1 - GT3 - Steve Clark / Paul O'Neill - Viper Competition Coupe - 57:28.408s - +2.680s
5 - 5 - GT3 - Paddy Shovlin / Michael Cullen - Ferrari 430 - 57:37.017 - +11.289
6 - 40 - GT3 - James Gornall / Jon Barnes - Viper Competition Coupe - 57:40.907 - +15.179s
7 - 20 - GT3 - Craig Wilkins / Aaron Scott - Viper Competition Coupe - 57:42.807 - +17.079s
8 - 8 - GT3 - Oliver Morley / Tom Ferrier - Lamborghini Gallardo - 57:44.597 - +18.869s
9 - 4 - GT3 - Peter Bamford / Matt Griffin - Ferrari 430 - 57:46.642 - +20.914s
10 - 88 - GT4 - Matt Nicoll-Jones / Stewart Linn - Ginetta G50 - 58:06.538 - +2 laps
11 - 52 - GT4 - Nigel Redwood / Fulvio Mussi - Ginetta G50 - 58:23.525 - +2 laps
12 - 9 - GT3 - Leo Machitski / Jason Templeman - Lamborghini Gallardo - 55:55.795 - +3 laps
13 - 16 - GT3 - Jeremy Metcalfe / Luke Hines - Ferrari 430 - 54:22.055 - +4 laps
14 - 50 - GT4 - Steve Tandy / Phil Bailey - Ginetta G50 - 57:29.754 - +4 laps
15 - 14 - GT3 - Michael Meadows / James Sutton - Ferrari 430 - 50:19.363 - +8 laps
16 - 5 - GT3 - David Ashburn / Richard Williams - Porsche 997 GT3 S - 52:28.565 - +8 laps
17 - 71 - GT4 - Neil Clark / Ian Stinton - Ginetta G50 - 57:43.798 - +8 laps
DNC - 21 - GT3 - Guy Harrington / Ben de Zille Butler - Lamborghini Gallardo - 33 laps
DQ - 99 - GT4 - Andrew Howard / Jamie Smyth - Aston Martin N24 - 55 laps - Causing Red Flag
DNC - 55 - GT4 - Hunter Abbott / Rob Austin - Ginetta G50 - 33 laps
DNC - 51 - GT4 - Joe Osborne / Alex Mortimer - Ginetta G50 - 26 laps
DQ - 2 - GT3 - Oliver Bryant / Nick Foster - Viper Competition Coupe - Overtaking under waved yellow flags at post 10
23 - GT3 - Allan Simonsen - Ferrari 430 - 51.040 - 89.57mph - 144.31kph - NEW LAP RECORD
55 - GT4 - Rob Austin - Ginetta G50 - 54.661 - 83.73 mph - 134.75kph - NEW LAP RECORD