Aston Martins on pole for British GT’s three-hour showpiece
TF Sport has claimed a double pole position for tomorrow’s blue riband British GT race – the Silverstone 500 – following a dominant performance in qualifying this afternoon. Graham Davidson and Jonny Adam sealed GT3 top-spot by a combined 0.350s, while team-mates Patrick Kibble and Josh Price were 0.452s clear of their nearest GT4 rivals.
The #47 Aston Martin starts alongside RAM Racing’s Callum Macleod and Ian Loggie, who initially topped the Am session, and ahead of the Balfe Motorsport McLaren shared by Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell.
Elsewhere, Steller Performance’s Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding maintained their excellent start with Audi by claiming second ahead of Team Parker Racing’s Mercedes-AMG, which set fastest time of all in Scott Malvern’s hands.
GT3: ADAM OVERTURNS EARLY DISADVANTAGE
An ultra-competitive opening session saw the top-three Ams separated by just 0.034s. Graham Davidson initially set the pace but was replaced almost immediately by Ian Loggie who lapped just 0.022s faster to give RAM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG a slender advantage ahead of Q2. Behind, Shaun Balfe made it a three-way fight for pole by circulating within four hundredths of Loggie.
Those three finished comfortably clear of Century’s Dominic Paul and TF Sport’s Mark Farmer, who were four-tenths shy of pole, while Optimum’s Ollie Wilkinson recovered to sixth after seeing his initial lap deleted for a track limits infringement.
A nail-biting finish looked likely as the Pros climbed aboard. But Jonny Adam had other ideas, the reigning champion essentially ending the contest by banging in a 2m00.327s on his first flying lap. It would remain the session’s benchmark and, crucially, swing pole the way of TF Sport’s #47 crew by 0.350s.
Callum Macleod finished second after also extending his and RAM’s advantage over Rob Bell to 0.126s.
Behind, Nicki Thiim moved TF Sport’s second Aston Martin from fifth to fourth, while Marco Sorensen’s lap – just 0.018s slower than Adam’s benchmark – helped the Beechdean AMR Vantage he shares with Andrew Howard climb two places to fifth.
ABBA Racing’s Adam Christodoulou also made progress en route to sixth, while championship leaders Adam Balon and Phil Keen have work to do from seventh. Barwell team-mates Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker start one place further back. Century and WPI Motorsport completed the top-10.
But there was disappointment for both Optimum and Team Parker whose Aston Martin and Bentley failed to complete a timed lap in the second session.
GT4: KIBBLE AND PRICE COMBINE FOR FIRST POLE
Team work makes the dream work, and that was very much the case at TF Sport whose drivers posted near-identical laps en route to their first GT4 pole positions.
Patrick Kibble laid the foundations by pacing the opening session by 0.5s, a performance made all the more remarkable considering the same margin covered the rest of the top-eight.
Century’s Angus Fender was best of the rest in second after beating Generation AMR SuperRacing’s Matt George and Tolman’s James Dorlin by a tenth. Richard Williams’ Steller Audi wasn’t too far behind in fifth while Scott Maxwell and Chad McCumbee made it a Multimatic Mustang six-seven ahead of championship leader Callum Pointon (HHC McLaren).
Balfe Motorsport’s Graham Johnson finished fastest of the Am contingent in 15th after lapping 1.4s slower than Kibble.
British GT’s combined qualifying format for its endurance races always ensures the fastest drivers go second, which can often shake up the order. And so it proved.
The exception to that rule involved TF Sport, which retained its half-second advantage over the rest of the field when Josh Price lapped just 0.001s shy of his co-driver.
The #95 crew start alongside Steller’s Audi, which jumped from fifth to second courtesy of Sennan Fielding’s time in the second session. However, his effort was eclipsed by Scott Malvern whose banzai lap – 0.6s faster than anyone else – vaulted the Team Parker Mercedes-AMG he shares with Nick Jones from 19th to third.
Tolman’s #4 McLaren remained fourth following Josh Smith’s run and starts ahead of HHC’s Dean Macdonald who moved up three places. Seb Priaulx and Multimatic also stayed put in sixth while the second fastest time from Martin Plowman helped Beechdean AMR climb the order.
Optimum’s Mike Robinson and Patrick Matthiesen start eighth ahead of TF Sport’s second Vantage of O’Brien/Butel.
Elsewhere, track limits infringements dropped Tolman’s #5 McLaren from 11th to the back of the grid post-session.
This year’s Silverstone 500 starts at 12:35 tomorrow. Watch it live across British GT’s social media platforms and website, as well as SRO’s GT World Youtube channel.
GT3 – 1m59.725s – Marco Sorensen – TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 – 2018
GT4 – 2m12.263s – Jack Mitchell – Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 – 2018
Pitstop Success Penalties – GT3
20s – #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini – Balon/Keen
15s – #69 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini – Cocker/De Haan
10s – #22 Balfe Motorsport McLaren – Balfe/Bell
Pitstop Success Penalties – GT4
20s – #5 Tolman Motorsport McLaren – Proctor/Collard
15s – #97 TF Sport Aston Martin – Canning/Hand
10s – #57 HHC Motorsport McLaren – Pointon/Macdonald
All Pitstop Success Penalties must be served during the third mandatory driver change.
Minimum pitstop times (pit-in to pit-out)
GT3: 135s | GT4: 170s
All Silver Cup-entered GT4 cars will serve an additional 14 seconds during each mandatory pitstop and carry 20kg extra ballast. GT3 Silver Cup entries carry 30kg extra ballast but do not serve an additional pitstop time.