Collards celebrate British GT Race 1 dad and lad win

Collards celebrate British GT Race 1 dad and lad win

While it's Forsetti's Day (and Porter) in GT4

Barwell’s Lambo leads Loggie and Keen home
New Aston Martin Vantage victorious on GT4 debut

 

Barwell’s Rob and Ricky Collard made a dream start to their British GT Championship campaign by converting pole position into Race 1 victory at Oulton Park yesterday morning. Further back, Forsetti and Aston Martin’s new Vantage also enjoyed the perfect GT4 debuts thanks to Jamie Day and Mikey Porter who led throughout the hour-long contest.

 

Second overall went to Ian Loggie and Phil Keen (2 Seas, Mercedes-AMG), while Barwell’s other Lamborghini shared by Alex Martin and Sandy Mitchell completed the overall podium ahead of Mark Radcliffe and Tom Gamble (Optimum, McLaren), and Silver-Am winners Shaun Balfe and Adam Smalley (Garage 59, McLaren).

 

Forsetti’s GT4 bow would have been even better without the pitstop infringement that cost Marc Warren and Will Orton second place. Instead, their class rivals Charles Dawson and Seb Morris (Team Parker, Mercedes-AMG) won Pro-Am and finished runners-up ahead of Zac Meakin and Jack Brown (Optimum, McLaren).

 

Barwell’s victory appeared in doubt with 10 minutes remaining when GPS data showed there was a potential breach of Safety Car restart procedure. However, subsequent information revealed a loose connection within the wiring system that meant the lights were extinguished without the Race Director’s knowledge or instruction.

 

The Team Manager of Barwell’s #63 Huracan was called to Race Control where they informed the Race Director that lights were extinguished at the time Collard dropped back beyond the mandated five car lengths. The Race Director then rescinded the drive-through penalty (a 30s penalty added to race time post-race) after video evidence and verbal confirmation was received from the Safety Car. 

 

An apology to entries #6 and #63 has been issued, and the cabling installation of the Safety Car lights is now being modified.


GT3: BARWELL SURVIVES LATE SAFETY CAR SCARE


Persistent rain necessitated a one-lap Safety Car start. And when the action began in earnest it was the starting grid’s top three of Collard, Loggie and Martin that blasted clear of the rest.

 

The trio circulated together just before the pit window opened after 22 minutes, which coincided with a Full Course Yellow period to recover Academy’s stranded Mustang.  Another GT4 accident midway through the FCY extended the delay further, but it was still Barwell’s #63 Lamborghini that led when the Safety Car peeled off with 15 minutes remaining.

 

Collard Jnr reacted to the lights going out by backing up the pack – a strategy that impacted second placed Keen who had GT4 traffic between himself and the leader. Collard, with clear track ahead, duly floored it heading towards Lodge while the chasing Mercedes-AMG was powerless to pass the backmarkers until the start/finish line.

 

That gap reduced somewhat over the closing laps when Keen and Mitchell homed in. But they were never close enough to challenge Collard who took the chequered flag 1.4s clear. Victory came four years after Rob’s last British GT appearance and win at Silverstone where he also clinched the GT3 crown with Barwell.

 

Barwell’s potential penalty prevented 2 Seas from making it three wins on the trot at Oulton, while Loggie would have added a third in his last four attempts. But it was an impressive showing nevertheless against Barwell’s Huracans, which finished first and third.

 

Radcliffe and Gamble banked solid points in fourth, but also avoided the Compensation Time that will impact their fellow Race 2 front row starters Martin and Mitchell this afternoon. They moved ahead of Garage 59’s McLaren during the pitstop phase but were unable to make the podium battle a four-car affair.

 

Garage 59’s McLaren also had a relatively lonely run to fifth place in the hands of Balfe and Smalley who banked maximum Silver-Am points. Behind, Mike Price and Greystone GT clinched their equal-best British GT result after Callum Macleod held off Marcus Clutton’s Garage 59 entry in the closing stages. Just 0.4s separated them at the finish, while Buncombes Al and Chris rounded out the top-eight for Team RJN.

 

However, a post-race change saw J&S Racing’s Audi lose its Silver-Am podium to Simon Orange and Tom Roche (Orange/JMH). Hugo Cook was moved back one position after being adjudged to have gained an unfair advantage.


GT4: DAY AND PORTER SCORE BIG FOR FORSETTI


Jamie Day and Mikey Porter got their season off to a dream start with a controlled victory in the opening GT4 contest of the year, even if the final result wasn’t quite as comfortable as it could have been for the Aston Martin Vantage crew.

 

But Forsetti could well have celebrated a one-two on what was both the team’s and new Vantage GT4’s championship debut had a late penalty not cost the sister car of Marc Warren and Will Orton.

 

Having been a standout performer in Saturday’s dry qualifying session, Day showed he could cope equally well in the rain by immediately surging clear of the chasing Optimum McLaren. Indeed, he led Jack Brown by four seconds after 20 minutes when Will Moore’s beached Mustang triggered a Full Course Yellow.

 

With all teams completing their pitstops under reduced speed, Day handed over to Porter who resumed with a significantly increased advantage thanks to GT4 runners filtering back in among the lapping GT3 field. 

 

Pitting under FCY also played into the hands of the Pro-Am teams, who enjoy a shorter mandatory stop compared to their Silver rivals. It was this saved time that helped Orton vault past Brown into second after taking over from Warren who enjoyed an impressive first British GT stint, while Seb Morris did likewise to run third when he relayed Charles Dawson in the Team Parker Racing Mercedes-AMG. 

 

The Safety Car’s mandated intervention after a long FCY period also wiped out Porter’s advantage over his team-mate Orton. But the potential intra-team battle was foiled by #47’s stop-go penalty, which dropped the Aston Martin to fourth overall.

 

That left Porter leading from the chasing Morris, but the 16-year-old had enough in hand to splash to a debut victory ahead of the former GT3 champion. In doing so, he became one of British GT’s youngest ever winners.

 

Brown and team-mate Zac Meakin completed the podium in third, with Ravi Ramyead and Charlie Robertson climbing to fifth behind Forsetti’s penalised crew. 

 

Reigning champion Erik Evans and Canadian team-mate Marco Signoretti rounded out the top six on the new Ford Mustang’s domestic debut.


 


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