British GT Round 2 Rockingham Qualifying.

TF Motorsport’s Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam are on P1 with Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes on P2 for tomorrows 2 hour race at Rockingham. Barwells Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen’s  #33 car with 2 fastest laps, which were 0.06 seconds faster than the rest,  were deleted due to track limit violations, putting them in third with sister car #6 helmed by Liam Griffin and Sam Tordoff sitting in 4th position. Tordoff  may have an advantage due to pitstop success penalties incurred at Oulton Park by the first three teams sitting on the top of the grid, which will come into play tomorrow.

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In GT4 HHC Motorsports William Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton in the Ginetta G55 took the top spot for the first time with Lanan Racing’s Alex Reed and David Pittard also in a Ginetta G55 in second place. A Ginetta also sits in third place with PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport’s Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson.

The two hour race begins at 13.10 on Sunday

Images ©Allison Remzi

Blancpain Endurance Cup season opener Monza

The #63 Lamborgini Huracan of Grasser Racing Team took a convincing win in the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance series at Monza.

The race got off to a dramatic start when after just two laps the Bentley Continental GT3 of Bentley Team M-Sport driven by Guy Smith and the #19 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 driven by Ezequiel Perez Companc made contact sending the Lamborghini spinning into the rest of the field. 16 cars were involved in the collision, the race not resuming until twenty minutes later with two laps behind the safety car.

#50 SPIRIT OF RACE (CHE) FERRARI 488 GT3 PASIN LATHOURAS (THA) MICHELE RUGOLO (ITA) ALESSANDRO PIER GUIDI (ITA) PRO CUP
#50 SPIRIT OF RACE (CHE) FERRARI 488 GT3 PASIN LATHOURAS (THA) MICHELE RUGOLO (ITA) ALESSANDRO PIER GUIDI (ITA) PRO CUP

Austrian based  Grasser Racing Team with drivers Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Andrea Caldarelli built up a significant lead with only the SMP racing Ferrari 488 driven by Miguel Molina, Victor Shaytor and Davide Rigon making inroads into Lamborghini’s almost 25 second advantage before incurring a drive through penalty for a yellow flag infringement.

 

#63 GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM (AUT) LAMBORGHINI HURACAN GT3 MIRKO BORTOLOTTI (ITA) CHRISTIAN ENGELHART (DEU) ANDREA CALDARELLI (ITA) PRO CUP
#63 GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM (AUT) LAMBORGHINI HURACAN GT3 MIRKO BORTOLOTTI (ITA) CHRISTIAN ENGELHART (DEU) ANDREA CALDARELLI (ITA) PRO CUP

At the end of the 3 hours, completing 92 laps, the Lamborghini Huracan with Christian Engelhart at the wheel  crossed the line 29 seconds  ahead of Alessandro Pier Guidi’s Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 shared with Michele Rugolo and Pasin Lathouras, and Franck Perera driving the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport shared with Maximilian Buhk and Jimmy Eriksson coming in third place.

In the Pro Am class the Aston Martin Vantage of Oman Racing Team driven by Jonny Adam and shared with Ahmad Al Harthy, took first place honours, while the AM cup went to Alex Dimirdjian, Abigail Eaton and Davide Rizzo in the AF Corse Ferrari 488.

The next round of the Blancpain GT Sprint Cup takes place at Brands Hatch on 6th-7th May while the Series Endurance Cup moves to Silverstone on 13th-14th May.

 

Allison Remzi

Images courtesy of Blancpain GT Series

Barwell Motorsport victorious at opening round of British GT

A wet start at Oulton Park saw Barwell Motorsport claim the first two spots on the podium in race one of the season. The #33 Lamborghini Huracan driven by Jon Minshaw and shared with Phil Keen finished 37 seconds ahead of sister car #6 with Sam Tordoff at the wheel. Completing the podium was the Aston Martin Vantage of TF Sport driven of Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam.

Minshaw saw off the Bentley of Rick Parfitt Jnr, who started on pole, with ease, Parfitt remaining in second place until Seb Morris took his turn, Tordoff quickly despatching the Team Parker Racing driver in the Bentley Continental to third place during his stint. With Jonny Adam then able to pass him knocking Morris back to 4th place.

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Race two wasn’t without it’s drama starting with Seb Morris incurring a drive through penalty after colliding with team mate Callum Macleod’s Bentley. Meanwhile the Ginetta G55 of Mike Simpson made contact with Black Bull Garage 59’s Ciaran Haggarty’s in the McLaren 570S. Simpson then went on to tussle with Scott Malvern’s Porsche Cayman GT4 before the duo span out but managed to continue.

The race didn’t go as planned for Sam Tordoff when the Huracan developed electrical problem’s causing him to retire after 9 laps.

Worse lay ahead for Ian Loggie and Richard Neary  when the duo clashed ahead of Hilltop then went on to crash into the tyre barrier, both drivers were unharmed but the safety car came out and due to the extensive debris on the track, the race was called to an early halt with the podium positions going to Barwell’s Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw, TF Sport’s Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam  and TF Sport’s Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes.

The paddock moves to Rockingham on April 29th and 30th with Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen on 50 Championship points apiece.

Allison Remzi

Images courtesy of British GT

Round up of WEC 6Hrs of Silverstone

As Toyota and Porsche battled it out for the podium places on Sunday afternoon, further back down the field in the LMP2 Class  Jackie Chan DC Racing #38 of Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent and Ho-Pin Tung  fought their way to a victory after taking advantage of the safety car period.

Signatech Alpine had held the pole position for most of the race, only TDS Racing briefly taking the lead before a decisive move by Oliver Jarvis allowed him an almost 20 second lead in the last stages.WEC_3671 Joining them on the podium in second place was #31 of Vaillante Rebellion driven by Julien Canal, Nicolas Prost, and Bruno Senna, with the third position going to TDS Racing’s Francois Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Emmanuel Collard.

Meanwhile in the GTE Pro class the Ford GT of Ford Chip Ganassi took the win despite a reoccurring door problem. WEC_3658But again the safety car and full course yellows gave the team comprising, Andy Priaulx, Harry Ticknell and Luis Felipe Derano the advantage they needed to gain lost ground over second place runners AF Corse and third on the podium Porsche GT Team.

In the GTE Am class the Ferrari 488 of Clearwater Racing driven by Matt Griffin took first place, less than 2 seconds ahead of Aston Martin Racing’s Pedro Lamy after a last lap clash between that car and the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 left WEC_4386the way clear for the Singapore team to take their first Championship win.
In third position was the Porsche 911 of Dempsey-Poroton Racing  driven by Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli and Marvin Dienst.

 

Allison Remzi

All Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

 

Toyota take the opening round of the World Endurance Championships in LMP1

It was a close finish for Toyota in the series opener at Silverstone, with Sebastien Buemi taking the lead in the #8 car just 12 minutes before the end of the race by a 6 second margin on Brendon Hartley in the #2 Porsche.

The  high downforce Toyota’s had dominated throughout qualifying but the wetter conditions on Sunday gave Porsche the opportunity to give Toyota a harder race.

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©Andy Fitzpatrick

Earlier on the #7 Toyota driven by Jose Maria Lopez crashed bringing the safety car out, giving the #2 Porsche the chance to tail it before the last pit stop.

Hartley’s pit stop took fuel giving an 8 second advantage on the Toyota which went for a tyre change, however Buemi pushed hard taking more then a second back on each lap allowing for the final push in the closing minutes.

The #1 Porsche of Nick Tandy, Neel Jani and André Lotterer went on to take 3rd place. A great start to the season for both manufacturers on the podium and an 11th WEC win for Toyota.

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©Andy Fitzpatrick

 

 Header Image ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Pit lane photography ©Allison Remzi

 

 

European Le Mans Series Silverstone race results

It was a podium takeover for United Autosports in the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone, taking 1st place in the LMP2 Ligier JSP217 with driver Filipe Albuquerque at the helm and 1st in the LMP3 class in the Ligier JS P3 of John Falb and Sean Rayhall . Then came the late announcement that their second LMP3 car had been moved to 3rd place after 360 Racing were given a time penalty and moved down the order, rounding off a fantastic race for United Autosports.

 

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Second on the podium was G Drive Racing in a repeat of the same result from last year. Coming in 3rd place was the Dallara of High Class Racing with Anders Fjordbach behind the wheel in the Danish teams maiden ELMS outing.  

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In the LMGTE Class the Aston Martin of TF Sport, also in their debut season took top of the podium with Euan Hankey at the wheel. In second place was Matteo Cairoli in the Proton Competition Porsche 911, completing the podium was Beechdean AMR driven by Ross Gunn just seconds behind the Porsche.

 

The next round of the series is at Monza  May 12th-14th.

All Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

World Endurance Championship Silverstone Round Up

Lando Norris took 1st place on the podium in Race 1 at Silverstone yesterday. Coming in second was his Carlin team mate Jake Dennis with last years Championship runner up Maximillian Gunther taking 3rd place. A wet start meant the race began under the safety car, the first of three outings throughout the race, with Callum Llott spinning out, then later on Ralf Aaron hitting a tyre stack after crashing into team mate Jake Hughes. Hitech Grand Prix’s Nikita Mazepin also span out earlier in the race. Leaving the rest of the top ten as follows, Joel Eriksson, Joey Mawson, Harrison Newey, Guanyu Zhou, Mick Schumacher, Pedro Piquet and Jehan Daruvala.

 

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©Andy Fitzpatrick

On pole in the European Le Mans Series for todays race is Ben Hanley for Dragon Speed racing, with Hugo De Sadeleer for United Autosports in second and Enzo Guibbert of Graff in third place. De Sadeleer’s team mates Sean Rayhall and Wayne Boyd sit in 12th and 13th respectively.

 

Meanwhile in the World Endurance Championships free practice Toyota took the top two slots in the TS050 Hybrid with Kazuki Nakajima setting a best time of 1.28.210, leaving the Porsche LMP Team taking 3rd and 4th. WEC qualifying commences this afternoon.

 

Header Image ©Allison Remzi

FIA World Endurance Series opens at Silverstone

The first round of the World Endurance Championships kicks off this weekend at Silverstone. In the reworked Porsche 919’s, Neel Jani, Nick Tandy and Andre Lotterer in the No1 along with Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley in the number 2 car begin their Championship campaign.

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©Allison Remzi

The team have stated they expect a difficult start at Silverstone as the Hybrid LMP’s will run with significantly less downforce than the Grand Prix track demands.

Meanwhile rivals Toyota run their heavily modified TS050 HYBRID with drivers Jose Maria Lopez, the WTC champ making his Toyota race debut, along with Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi and in the number 8 sister car Kazuki Nakajima, Sebasian Buemi and Anthony Davidson. In contrast to the Porsche 919 Hybrid, Toyota will be running the high downforce version of the TS050 that should be more suited to the demands of Silverstone.

In the support races Alfonso Celis Jr, the Sahara Force India test driver, topped the first session on Thursday in the Formula V8 3.5 Series, beating Pietro Fittipaldi by only fractions of a second. The Series is the inaugural season with new backers RPM Racing after Renault Sport announced its withdrawal at the end of last season.

 

While In FIA Formula 3, Lando Norris campaigns for the Championship title for Carlin along with last years runner up Maximilian Gunther. Also in the series are the likes of Mick Schumacher, Pedro Piquet and Harrison Newey.

In FIA European Le Mans Series, Russian squad G-ANF_1978Drive Racing took first place in free practice 1 in their Oreca 07. Meanwhile Beechdean AMR continue their campaign in the Aston Martin Vantage, they recently announced their sabbatical from the British GT series, where they have had 4 championship wins, to concentrate fully on the European Le Mans Series.

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The fan favourite event which brings a taste of Le Mans to the UK, continues across Easter weekend culminating in the 6 hour World Endurance Championship race on Sunday.

 

Allison Remzi    

All images ©Andy Fitzpatrick unless otherwise stated

Britcar Endurance Season Opener Silverstone

The opening round of the Britcar Endurance series took place last weekend at Silverstone with the introduction of the new categories, Sprint and Endurance. The new format sees a 50 minute and a 2 hour Endurance race, while the Sprint category sees two 50 minute races, run simultaneously with the Endurance class races.

The 33 strong grid was dominated by FF Corse’s six 458’s and Team Hard’s 4 Ginetta G55’s.

In the first 50 minute race, driving the Ferrari 458 Challenge, the pairing of Porsche Carrera Cup GB driver Dino Zamparelli and Mike Wilds, a veteran of many series from Formula 1 to Touring Cars took first place on the podium with a lead of almost 10 seconds on 2nd place duo Manuel Cintrano and Javier Morcillo in the Neil Garner Motorsports Mosier.

Coming in third was another Porsche Carrera Cup GB driver Ross Wylie and Witt Gamski debuting his Ferrari 458 GTE. Class wins included Wilds & Zamperelli, Cintrano & Morcillo, Brough & Hollings in their Ferrari 458 Challenge and teenager Edward Moore in the Ginetta G50.17855597_10154460098392543_7962534135782373255_oRace two wasn’t without its drama when the Porsche 911 of Marcus Fothergill halted on its 30th lap which eventually led to the deployment of the safety car, this allowed much of the field to take advantage, using the time for refuelling.  The prolonged safety car period assisted the FF Corse Ferrari 458 Challenge of Bonamy Grimes & former European Le Mans Series GT Champion, Johnny Mowlem

B45G5821to take eventual 1st place when all signs had pointed to the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 then driven by Adam Wilcox to take top of the podium, however a late drive through penalty for overtaking under a yellow flag, a penalty later disputed by the Aston Martin drivers, gave the Ferrari all it needed to take the race, with the Ferrari of Brough & Hollings completing the podium, all 3 cars completing 95 laps.

In the Sprint Class Edward Moore again impressed taking 1st place with a 15 second lead on Paul Calladine both drivers in Ginetta G50’s.Taking third place was the Porsche Cayman GT4 of Nevinson & Cooper.  Class 3 saw Team Hard takeover the podium with Rudd/Barley, Bearne/Wylie and Lewis/Knight cleaning up.

 

But the day belonged to one marque, in Class 2 all but one of the top six were Ferrari’s. The next round takes place at Snetterton on 6th May.

 

Allison Remzi       All Images, unless indicated ©Andy Fitzpatrick 

 

24H Silverstone, 24H TCE Series

A fantastic weekend of racing at Silverstone drew to a close with Team Bleekemolen claiming victory in the Hankook 24HR Touring Car Endurance Series. The Dutch squad helmed by Sebastiaan Bleekemolen along with drivers Melvin De Groot, Rene Steenmetz and Rob Smith, completed the gruelling 24 hour race in 549 laps in their Seat Leon TCR. 24HSERIES_ (183)

Their race was relatively trouble free with the only minor setback being a broken shock absorber giving them a prolonged pitstop of 14 minutes on the Sunday morning. The team dropped out of the race 19 hours in last year due to an engine malfunction so were delighted to redeem themselves with such relative ease.

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Pit Lane Competizioni’s Audi RS3

In second place was Italian team Pit Lane Competizioni in the Audi RS3 driven by Enrico Bettera, with co-drivers Alberto Vescovi, Roberto Ferri, Zach Arnold and John Fillipi the squad completed 544 laps by the time the chequered flag fell at 4pm.

The team made their way into second when then frontrunners Modena Motorsports had a series of problems with their Seat Leon including suspension and wheel issues,  Red Camel-Jordans.nl suffered steering arm problems and later a loss of oil pressure causing them to drop out at almost 16 hours.

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The Lotus Elige of Endurance Autosport, back into the garage after an incident with Modena Motorsport
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In 3rd place Modena Motorsports Seat Leon

Modena Motorsports with drivers John Shen, Wayne Shen, Benny Simonsen and Francis Tjia managed to resolve their problems enough to cross the line in third place completing 534 laps. The team based in Zhuhai, China ran two Seat Leon’s in the 24 Hour race, their other car at almost 21 hours in and running in 4th place made contact with Endurance Autosports Lotus Exige and ended up barrel rolling onto its roof, both drivers were unharmed but this took the two cars out of the race. Endurance Autosport’s Lotus had suffered with multiple fuel issues and driveshaft problems needing it to be replaced twice.

Last year’s winners Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing suffered a broken front crank seal in the evening, necessitating a complete engine change.24HSERIES_ (175) Though aiming to get out by early afternoon the following day, the team eventually managed to get the BMW M3 back on track just a few minutes before the end of the race to huge applause from the rest of the pit lane.  Another casualty was Newbridge Motorsport OCC Lasik Racing’s Porsche Cayman which crashed during free practice causing the team to withdraw from the race.

Last year’s Formula Ford 1600 Champion Niall Murray made his first move into endurance in the Ginetta G50 of TDF/GEVA, the team 24HSERIES_ (90)suffered more than a few problems across the weekend from a suspected misfiring engine leading to a complete engine replacement, to eventually a fuel leak causing the car to set fire while on track with the 22 year old at the wheel, bringing the teams race to an end.

Finishing first in the A3 class and 18th overall was Synchro Motorsport in their Honda Civic Type R.

The team consisting of volunteers from Honda’s factory in Swindon had an incredible race, dealing with a knock from Zest Racecar Engineering’s SEAT, an oil leak and most impressively a one and a half hour engine change. Drivers Daniel Wheeler and Martin Byrford are joined by team principal Alyn James who completed the final stint of the race, seeing in the last of 468 laps.

Second in the A3 class was Paul Plant, Simon Cresswell, JM Littman and Chris Yarwood of Vanquish Motorsport in the Seat Leon Supercopa.  24HSERIES_ (235)Despite a cv joint failure, a trip on the Silverstone tow truck on the Saturday, and taking a hit in the rear on the Sunday, the team were back out and able to complete the race in 435 laps.

Finishing third in class was the BMW M3 of Cor Euser Racing, although the car did not finish under the flag due to a broken differential, with 428 laps it was enou24HSERIES_ (178)gh to take the podium place for the team driven by Le Mans and F3 stalwart Cor Euser, NASCAR Pinty Series driver Peter Klutt, James Briody, Maarten Mus and John Farano.

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Image ©Allison Remzi

In the Cup 1 BMW M235i Racing Cup Class, first place went to Belgian team QSR, with Sorg Rennsport in second place. 24HSERIES_ (92)The German squad welcomed last year’s BTCC runner up SamTordoff to the team for the weekend,  about to embark on his maiden season in British GT with Barwell Motorsport, the 24 HR event gave Tordoff the chance to complete an endurance race, something he was denied earlier this year in Dubai when a fire meant the HB Racing Lamborghini Huracan had to pull out after just 46 laps. Joining Sorg on the podium was RMA Trackdays-JJ Motorsport in third place.

Making the podium in the A2 class were Team Sally Racing in first place in the Renault Clio driven by Martin Sally Pedersen, Peter Obel, Mads Christensen and Stefan Jusjong. 24HSERIES_ (110)The Danish outfit have been racing since 2006, running two cars earlier this year in Dubai, finishing third and seventh.

Taking second place in the A2 class was Area MS/Owens Endurance in their Honda Civic with drivers Jack Fabby, Carl Swift, David Vincent and Mark Harris. 24HSERIES_ (236)This was a first step into endurance racing for 17 year old Fabby, last year’s Michelin Clio Cup Champion. The race ran faultlessly for the team with just a minor knock in the early hours of Sunday to slow them down. Eventually finishing the race in 493 laps.

In SP3 Moss Motorsport took the top of the podium in the BMW E46 and their second car the BMW 1M taking 4th place doing enough by achieving 409 laps in 23 hours and 55 minutes.24HSERIES_ (17) That car had suffered suspension issues during the night and was in the garage for over an hour and forty minutes before heading back out on track.

Second place on the podium in SP3 went to CWS in the Ginetta G55 with Intersport Racing’s BMW M3 taking third place.

The event was dominated by the Seat Leon. With 12 making it through qualifying, and in the eventual standings 10 of the final 12 were Seat Leons joined only by the Volkswagen Golf of Lestrup Racing Team and the Audi RS3 of Pit Lane Competizioni.  24HSERIES_ (171)The motorsport division of the Spanish manufacturer has been involved in World Rally Championships, BTCC, WTCC as well as the one-make racing series, the SEAT León Supercopa.

The 24HR Touring Car Endurance Series moves to Magny-Cours on 21st-22nd April.

Allison Remzi        Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick unless otherwise stated.

BTCC Opening round at Brands Hatch

Gordon Shedden makes a good start in his bid for a 3rd Championship win after the series opener sees him taking 48 points, 6 points ahead of Speedwork Motorsports Tom Ingram on 42, with Andrew Jordan on 41 points.

Race one got off to a dramatic start when Matt Neal and Colin Turkington crashed on the start line, both appearing to go for the same gap.  The restart saw Tom Ingram pulling out the stops for an early advantage putting him into first place. Meanwhile Gordon Shedden fought his way past Eurotech’s Jeff Smith, allowing Shedden to take second position. Smith eventually pitted with a wheel problem, Adam Morgan coming in third place.

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Tom Ingram

Gordon Shedden took the second race that began with electrical problems for Tom Ingram and a nasty crash for Jason Plato, his car sustaining significant damage. Andrew Jordan and Rob Austin made contact which was followed by a yellow flag, that resulted in Austin losing his fourth place as he was later excluded after unknowingly powering through it.  West Surrey Racing’s Rob Collard took second place with Tom Ingram in third despite the earlier issues.

The final race saw WSR take a one-two with Andrew Jordan in first and Colin Turkington in second. The duo fought hard with Turkington hot on Jordan’s heels, crossing the line with just  0.3 seconds between the team mates. In Vauxhall ‘s return to the series, Power Maxed Racing’s Tom Chilton  took third place.

Round 2 is at Donington Park 15th -16th April

Allison Remzi            All Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

 

Dan Cammish takes first round of the season in Porsche Carrera Cup GB

As the Porsche Carrera Cup GB series kicked off this weekend at Brands Hatch, reigning champ Danniel Cammish continued his unrivalled winning streak taking first position in both races.

Hot on his heels through race one by only a fraction of a second was Charlie Eastwood in second, with Lewis Plato taking his first PCCGB podium in third place, while his JTR team mate Dino Zamparelli came in fifth. In Pro-Am 1 Greg Caton of G-Cat Racing took his first category win and 8th place overall.  While in Pro-Am 2 Iain Dockerill of Asset Advantage Racing  also took his first category win.

In race two Cammish fought hard with a longer lead ahead of Eastwood, while Lewis Plato suffered a puncture that put his hopes for a second podium of the day to rest. After the restart Zamparelli gained ground and was able to grab third place and another podium for JTR, while Tio Ellinas in his maiden PCCGB season took fourth place. In Pro-Am 1 Alex Martin of Team Parker Racing took his first win in the category. In Pro-Am 2 Shamus Jennings(G-Cat Racing) took pole with Peter Parsons of Race Car Centre in second and Team Parker Racings Rupert Martin in third.

The next round is at Donington on the 13th-16th of April.

Allison Remzi               All images ©Andy Fitzpatrick