Barwell doubles up with British GT Oulton Park Race 2 win

Barwell doubles up with British GT Oulton Park Race 2 win

 

WITH MARTIN AND MITCHELL AS TEAM PARKER’S DAWSON AND MORRIS POWER TO GT4 WIN
 
Lamborghini duo join team-mates in winners’ circle
Dawson and Morris stake GT4 championship claim

 

Alex Martin and Sandy Mitchell proved Barwell’s Race 1 victory was no fluke by winning Easter Monday’s second weather-affected 60-minute sprint at Oulton Park Monday afternoon.

 

But their third and first places across the two races was eclipsed by GT4 winners Charles Dawson and Seb Morris (Team Parker Racing) who added first place to their morning’s runner-up spot.

 

The race was truncated by an early Safety Car that covered a multi-car accident on lap one and another long Full Course Yellow period after the pitstops when Matt Topham’s accident damaged Old Hall’s barriers and Garage 59’s stranded McLaren complicated matters further.

 

The resulting Safety Car wasn’t withdrawn until the final lap, which prevented any overtaking. As such, it was Martin who took the chequered flag just ahead of Mark Radcliffe who shared Optimum’s McLaren with Tom Gamble, and Ian Loggie’s 2 Seas Mercedes-AMG that also featured Phil Keen.

 

Shaun Balfe and Adam Smalley (Garage 59) made it two Silver-Am wins from two in fourth overall.

 

Further back, Topham’s accident and the stationary McLaren left Dawson with little to do beyond bringing Team Parker’s Mercedes-AMG home ahead of Forsetti’s two Aston Martins. His Pro-Am rivals Marc Warren and Will Orton made up for their Race 1 penalty by finishing second overall and ahead of team-mates Mikey Porter and Jamie Day.

 


GT3: MARTIN AND MITCHELL COMPLETE BARWELL’S PERFECT WEEKEND


Having secured both pole positions on Saturday, Barwell’s Monday began with Rob and Ricky Collard scoring victory in Race 1. But the result also meant that it’s #63 entry – which finished third – would have an extra five seconds to serve during its pitstop compared to Optimum’s McLaren, which shared Race 2’s front row. 

 

The early Safety Car period initially prevented Mitchell from building a gap, but such was his pace that the Lamborghini still led by seven seconds when it pitted towards the end of the 10-minute window.

 

Unfortunately for him, a short delay with Martin’s belts was just enough for Radcliffe to nip past in the pitlane and seemingly grab the advantage. The Huracan was up to speed more quickly, though, and it was Martin who re-took the lead as the pair exited Cascades and powered towards Island Bend.

 

Topham’s accident shortly after denied Radcliffe a right to reply and sealed the deal in Barwell’s favour. It was their eighth win with a Huracan at Oulton since 2016, but first for four years, while Lamborghini’s excellent record here includes another victory with WPI.

 

Loggie and Keen added a second podium to their weekend’s work despite also serving seven extra seconds in the pits, while Smalley and Balfe took advantage of the Collards’ maximum Compensation Time to jump up to fourth during the pitstop phase.

 

Team RJN’s McLaren might have been more of a factor had racing continued in earnest given Chris Buncombe’s pace immediately after the driver swap. Instead, he and his brother Al had to settle for sixth ahead of RAM’s John Ferguson and Raffaele Marciello, and Abba’s Richard and Sam Neary.

 

Beechdean AMR’s new Vantage finished 15th, but Andrew Howard did at least come away with this weekend’s Sunoco Fastest Lap – the first in his 100+ British GT race career. Beating the Pros owed everything to Race 1 being run in the rain and Race 2 starting on a wet track, but it was Howard who set the pace once everyone had switched to slicks.

 


GT4: TEAM PARKER’S MERC MAKES ITS MARK


Charles Dawson and Seb Morris controlled Race 2 from pole to score their first GT4 victory of the season in a contest that was ultimately decided by Pitstop Compensation Time.

 

Team Parker’s duo managed the disrupted second race superbly, picking their fights and benefiting when Forsetti Motorsport’s Race 1-winning duo Mikey Porter and Jamie Day served their mandatory 10s Compensation Time and additional Silver handicap.

 

Morris annexed pole in a tight qualifying session on Saturday and took the start on a wet but drying track. Regardless, conditions proved too treacherous for slicks with the entire field opting for wet Pirellis initially. Morris got away well and fended off Zac Meakin’s Optimum McLaren into Old Hall where Tom Holland tapped Charlie Robertson’s Century BMW into a spin that sent those following scattering and inevitably led to multi-car contact.

 

Racing resumed on lap five with Morris building a small gap over Meakin as the leading pack circulated as one. But the man on the move was Porter, who scythed past Holland and then pulled a superb move on Meakin before homing in on Morris. He eventually took the lead shortly before the pit window opened.

 

However, with Porter and Day being a Silver entry, they would already have to spend 14s longer in the pits than Team Parker’s Mercedes-AMG, even before their additional Compensation Time was added.

 

Porter pushed as hard as he could, gaining over five seconds before swapping with Day, but it would be nowhere near enough. Instead, Dawson – who also had Compensation Time to serve – took over from Morris and rumbled back into the lead ahead of the sister Pro-Am Forsetti Aston of Will Orton and Marc Warren, which also vaulted to second ahead of Day before he could re-join.

 

Any hopes of improvement across the second half were dashed by the lengthy Full Course Yellow period, which was called to first repair the barriers after the GT3 accident at Old Hall, and then aid the recovery of Garage 59’s McLaren. The status quo remained as Dawson toured to the flag, ahead of the two Forsetti Astons and Optimum’s McLaren now in the hands of Jack Brown. 

 

Harry George and Luca Hopkinson came home fifth to complete the Silver podium aboard RAM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG, with Academy Motorsport’s Erik Evans and Marco Signoretti completing the top six for the second time in the day. Reigning champion Evans also collected GT4’s Sunoco Fastest Lap Award.

 

The final Pro-Am podium spot went the way of Ian Gough and Tom Wrigley in Century’s BMW, which finished seventh overall, while Steven Lake and Nathan Harrison completed the top-eight in Mahiki’s Lotus.

 

The early Old Hall incident triggered by Robertson’s spin included RACE LAB’s Sai Sanjay, Academy’s Matt Nicoll-Jones and Steller’s Jordan Albert who all failed to complete the opening lap, while Gordie Mutch limped his Lotus back to the pits.

 

British GT reconvenes for its blue riband event – the Silverstone 500 – on April 26-28.
 


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