British GT Snetterton: Barwell assault continues

In race one it was a takeover by Barwell as the pairing of Minshaw and Keen took their 3rd race win of the season. And with Tordoff and Griffin taking the second step on the podium the team continue to power through the Championship. 

Rick Parfitt initially had the Team Parker Racing Bentley in third place but a 10 second success penalty taken by Seb Morris after pit stops then dropped the duo down into 4th place, however the duo were served a further 30 second penalty post race due to a short pit stop which then dropped them into 7th place.

In GT4, current class Championship leaders HHC Motorsports Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton took the top of the podium, after a hard fought battle with Lanan Racings Alex Reed and David Pittard.

A 10 second penalty after pit stops put the HHC Motorsports Ginetta G55 behind Pittard, however the close fighting continued and with Black Bull Garage 59’s Ciaran Haggerty also involved in the spat and less then a second between them it took a decisive move by Middleton to cross the finish line with 2 seconds between him and following Pittard and Haggerty 2 seconds behind him.

Race two saw Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston take an historic 11th win, equalling the most British GT3 wins of Hector Lester and David Ashburn. Barwell’s Minshaw and Keen were denied another step on the podium despite keeping a rapid pace due to a success penalty from race one and a drive through penalty fr being just under their pit stop time that gave TF Sports Adam and Johnston the advantage.

Taking second place in their second visit to the podium at Snetterton was Tordoff and Griffin, with TF Sport also claiming third place, Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes making their way up the field after contact between Morris and Griffin, and Calum Macleod’s Bentley suffering a puncture, handed them the advantage.

Black Bull Garage 59’s Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell took the win in GT4, their first of the season, with Lana Racings Alex Reed and David Pittard taking second place and third step on the podium going to David Pattison and Joe Osborne of Tolman Motorsport.

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The current Team Championship standings sees Black Bull Garage 59 leading in GT4 with Barwell Motorsport leading in GT3. The pairing of Minshaw and Keen leed in GT3, 24.5 points ahead of Parfitt and Morris, while in GT4 William Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton top the table just under 10 points ahead of Alex Reed and David Pittard.

The next round continues at Silverstone on June 10th/11th with the 3 hour Silverstone 500 event.

 

Allison Remzi

Photography ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Pit photography ©Allison Remzi

Silverstone Historic Festival

Last weekend saw the HSCC Historic Festival take place at Silverstone. The popular event drew a large entry, a highlight was former Le Mans winner Richard Atwood take to the wheel of a Porsche 928 in conjunction with Porsche Cars GB to celebrate the 40th year of the 928. Atwood eventually brought the 928 home in 3rd place and plans to make improvements to the car ready for the next race at Cadwell Park.

Richard Tarling proved successful in a very wet Historic Formula Ford race the conditions giving him the distinct advantage, but only narrowly beating Michael O Brien who came in second with Ben Simms in third place.

In Formula Junior Sam Wilson did the double, while Richard Smeeton took third place in both races. 16 year old Benn Tilley who made his impressive debut in Formula Junior at Donington Park in April, withdrew from the race after his Lotus 22 was found to have a cracked engine block. While in the Derek Bell Trophy Richard Evans also took a resounding win in both races in his March 742.

Andrew Kirkaldy, a replacement for Martin O Connor who was racing at Spa, won both the Pre 80’s Endurance and the Guards Trophy.  Kirkaldy joined team owner Sandy Watson at the wheel of the Chevron B8 in the Guards Trophy and kept a healthy lead on the rest of the field allowing Watson to build on that, finishing the race 10 seconds ahead of Steve Brooks and Robert Beebee in their Chevron B8. WEC_9648Completing the podium 20 seconds behind the leader was James Schryver also in the Chevron B8, a car that continues to dominate in the 43 year old championship.

In the Pre 80’s Endurance Challenge Kirkaldy took the win in the Chevron B19. Kirkaldy who is a former British GT Champion and Formula 3 driver dominated the hour long race finishing 2 minutes ahead of Philip Hall in the Lola T212,

with the pairing of James and Andrew Schryver taking 3rd place in the Chevron B26.

Robert Bremner, Daniel Bremner and Anthony Reid took the top of the podium in the GT and Sports Car Cup after Phil Keen’s throttle broke on the final lap, he also incurred two minute long penalty stops as he was driving solo.

 

Allison Remzi          

 Photography ©Andy Fitzpatrick    Grid photo ©Allison Remzi

A look ahead to the Silverstone Historic Festival

The Daily Express International Trophy returns to Silverstone again this weekend as the feature race at the Silverstone Historic Festival.

The International Trophy debuted in 1949 as a non Championship Formula One outing. In that period the race attracted many top teams and drivers who used the event as a practice run under race conditions. Post 1952 Formula 2 entries were allowed to participate, 1978 was the final year the race was run to F1 and F2 regulations as costs to teams running in non Championship events spiralled, so from the following year the race was run as a Formula 2 only event until the demise of F2 in 1984. From 1985 the race was run to Formula 3000 regulations, when that series was discontinued in 2005 to be replaced by GP2, it signalled the end of the Trophy as an event for the latest machinery and became a popular race for historic Formula 1 cars.

Previous winners of the trophy include Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, Graham Hill, Stirling Moss and Niki Lauda to name just a few. Later years have included Allan McNish and Mark Webber.

Throughout the weekend at the Historic Festival are many other races such as the second round of the Guards Trophy, Classic and Historic Formula 3, pre 1980’s Endurance and Historic Touring Cars.

Also a celebration of the Porsche 928 in the 70’s Road Sports race as that marque celebrates its 40th year will take place as well as, a military vehicle display, vintage music and funfair.

 

The Silverstone Historic Festival takes place May 20th-21st

 

Allison Remzi       All Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Seb Morris competes in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Silverstone

Seb Morris, who is currently second in the British GT standings, made his debut in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series last weekend at Silverstone which runs as a support race to the Blancpain GT series.

Morris was a last minute replacement for Morgan Haber who was unable to travel due to illness, in the Leipert Motorsport team, joining driver Jan Kisiel.

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Morris began race one second on the grid but lost time when the rest of the field got the rolling start underway while the lights were still red, eventually finishing the race  fifth.

In race two Morries and Kisiel finished sixth, being hindered by having to se6Z4eqZQLrve a drive through penalty due to Kisiel speeding in the pit lane. Morris went on to state how much he enjoyed driving the Lamborghini Huracan, and looked forward to the opportunity to participate further in the series. Whether Morris might be tempted away from the Bentley of Team Parker Racing permanently in the future remains to be seen.

 

Allison Remzi    All images  ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Silverstone

It was another win for Grasser Racing’s Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli, and Christian Engelhart at Silverstone in the fourth round of the Blancpain GT Endurance Series. The 3 hour race saw the team take their second endurance win of the season in a hard fought race with just over half a second between them and second place sitters Franck Perera, Jimmy Eriksson and Maxi Buhk of Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport. AKKA ASP’s Michael Meadows, Edoardo Mortara and Raffaele Marciello took third place after starting on pole.

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The Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan with Borlotti taking the first stint, held a lead of over 6 seconds that was lost due to a short safety car period before the first round of pit stops. 

Caldarelli took over the second stint which found the team dropping back into second place after Michael Meadows in the Mercedes AMG took an early pitstop and the lead.

After the front leaders entered the pits, it was the Lamborghini that got away first with Christian Engelhart on board and despite some challenges with traffic he crossed the line just a fraction of a second ahead of Maxi Buhk.

In Pro-Am the #333 Ferrari 488 of Rinaldi Racing was disqualified after failing to take a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit lane, putting an end to the fight between them and AKKA ASP’s Gounon.

Meanwhile the #77 Lamborghini of Barwell Motorsport took the lead crossing the line with the Aston Martin of Oman Racing Team with TF Sport shared by Jonny Adam and Ahmad Al-Harthy coming in second with AKKA ASP in third.

The AM class winner was the #488 Ferrari of Rinaldi Racing shared by Pierre Ehret and Rino Mastronardi with #888 Ferrari of Kessel Racing of David Perel, Marco Zanuttini and Jacques Duyver took second place.

Completing the podium was Matias Henkola, David Schiwietz, and Henry Walkenhorst in the BMW M6 of Walkenhorst Motorsport.

 

The next round of the series takes place at Zolder 2nd-4th June.

 

 

Allison Remzi                      Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

                                                    Pit Photography ©Allison Remzi

Minshaw takes another win for Barwell in Blancpain GT Sports Club Series

The Series made its Silverstone debut this weekend with a thrilling final race on Saturday afternoon. Barwell’s Jon Minshaw in the Lamborghini Huracan took first place after a three way battle with Karim Ojjeh of Boutsen Ginion and Cedric Leimer of Auto Vitesse.

Minshaw took pole on the grid after winning qualifying. And held his lead throughout the battle for the front until the last five minutes when Leimer took the top spot, and Ojjeh moving into second place. However Minshaw quickly responded taking second place before the chequered flag fell which was then converted to first after a 30 second time penalty for Leimer knocked him into fifth place.

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Ojjeh took second place with Anthony Pons of AKKA ASP taking the third step on the podium.

 

The championship which runs as a support race to the Blancpain GT Series was launched in 2015 for Bronze drivers in GT3’s only and includes an Iron class for drivers aged over 60.

Allison Remzi       All Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Toyota take 1-2 at WEC 6hrs of Spa

It was a 1-2 finish for Toyota in the World Endurance Series 6 hours of Spa with the #8 car of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima finishing just 2 seconds ahead of the #7 sister car of Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi.

While Porsche took a third and fourth finish, with the #2 919 Hybrid of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley finishing over 1 minute ahead of the #1 car of Andre Lotterer, Neel Jani and Nick Tandy. The #7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID had led through much of the 6 hour race but a full course yellow half way through the race brought the #7 car into the pits in anticipation of a cautionary period while the #8 car stayed out for a further lap only pitting just after the full course yellow, reducing a 25 second deficit to 15 when Kazuki Nakajima took over.

While in LMP2 the G-Drive Oreca of Roman Rusinov, Alex Lynn and Pierre Thiriet took their first win of the season ahead of the Vaillante Rebellion of Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost and Julien Canal with Silverstone LMP2 winners Jackie Chan

ANF_1978 DC Racing taking the third step on the podium.

In GTE Pro it was 1-2 for AF Corse Ferrari with the Ford GT of Silverstone winning Ford Chip Ganassi team taking third and fourth place. And in the GTE AM class Aston Martin Racing took the win, with the Porsche 911 of Dempsey Proton Racing in second and Clearwater Racing’s Ferrari completing the podium in third place.

The next round is at Le Mans on June 17th-18th

Allison Remzi       Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

BTCC Thruxton, Colin Turkington takes 100th win for BMW.

Colin Turkington triumphed in the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton with a dominant win in race three, that also saw the 100th race win for BMW in the series.

Tom Ingram took second place in the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis after taking that spot from Jack Goff who eventually finished in third place. Matt Neal finished the race in 10th place after a 29th place start following steering problems in race two.

In race two Rob Collard took top of the podium after starting the race in 6th position. A red flag due to a crash between Senna Proctor, Aron Taylor Smith and Daniel Lloyd meant the race was restarted but that didn’t hold back Collard who at one stage went three wide with Jack Goff and Gordon Shedden before emerging ahead of them, powering to his first win at Thruxton, putting Shedden in 2nd and Tom Ingram in 3rd place.

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While in race one it was a 1-2 finish for Halfords Yuasa Racing with Matt Neal in first place and team mate Gordon Shedden in second with Jack Goff completing the rostrum, securing the top three spots for the Honda Civic.

Tom Ingram sits in top place of the Championship board with 131 points, 17 points clear of Gordon Shedden while Colin Turkington is just behind him on 112 points.

The paddock moves to Oulton Park on the 20-21st May

 

Allison Remzi     Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

 

3rd win of the season for Grasser Racing Team at Brands-Blancpain Sprint Cup

Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti took their third win of the season for the Grasser Racing Team in the Blancpain GT Sprint Series at Brands Hatch.

The duo, in the Lamborghini Huracan, took pole and a win in qualifying and in the main race were more than 18 seconds in front of second place Team WRT’s Stuart Leonard and  Robin Frijns in the Audi R8. Completing the podium in 3rd place was Markus Winkelhock and Will Stevens in the Audi R8 of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT.

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Grasser Racing team mates Norbert Siedler and Ezequiel Perez Companc were forced to retire and relinquish their second place position after pit stops when their Lamborghini wouldn’t restart. This would have handed that position to AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG’s Daniel Juncadella, however Juncadella swerved to avoid the M-Sport Bentley which was suffering with wheel problems, and drove into the path of the BMW of Rowe Racing’s Philip Eng. Which brought about the end of the race for both cars.

#63 GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM (AUT) LAMBORGHINI HURACAN GT3 MIRKO BORTOLOTTI (ITA) CHRISTIAN ENGELHART (DEU) WINNER OF THE QUALIFYING RACE
#63 GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM (AUT) LAMBORGHINI HURACAN GT3 MIRKO BORTOLOTTI (ITA) CHRISTIAN ENGELHART (DEU) WINNER OF THE QUALIFYING RACE

The Grasser Racing Team move into next weeks endurance race at Silverstone with a solid lead in the Team Standings on 66 points.

 

Allison Remzi        Images Courtesy of Blancpain GT Series

Rockingham British GT Support Race Results Rundown

In Formula 3  it was a 1-2 for Carlin with Enaam Ahmed, topping the podium in race one flanked by Cameron Das in second place and Douglas Motorsport’s Callan O Keefe in third.

Race two saw Cameron Das achieve a maiden win in the series, with Omar Ismail in second place for Chris Dittman Racing and former British GT Champion Jamie Chadwick in 3rd place. Chadwick has spoken about how the move to single seaters in 2017 is so much more of a step up from GT4, but the 18 year old, the only woman to have won the British GT Championship currently stands 9th in the Formula 3 Championship.

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Race three found Das on the podium yet again but in third place, with Fortec Motorsports Ben Hingeley sitting in first place and Carlins James Pull in second place.

By the end of the 6th round at Rockingham, Enaam Ahmed tops the Championship standings with 156 points. Team mate Cameron Das sits just below him on 141 points.

In the other support races Maximumgroup.net VAG Trophy race one found Paul Taylor in first, Ben Wallace in second and Nick Beaumoint in third. While in race two Kenan Dole took the win, Paul Taylor in second and Ben Wallace again on the podium this time in third place.

The Sister series the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup’s first race was won by Bobby Thompson with Tom Witts in second and Jamie Bond completing the podium in third place.  While in race two Tom Witts again took the podium but in first with Philip House in second and Kieran Gordon in third place.

The popular Mini Challenge JCW races were tightly contested with 2016 Mini Challenge Cooper Champion Max Bladon winning the first race, the second race being won by Reece Barr.

Other entrants include BTCC Champion Matt Neal’s sons Henry and Will, BTCC driver Jeff Smith and son Brett Smith, Stuart Gough former Formula Ford Champion and James Turkington younger brother of BTCC champion Colin Turkington.

In the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club races top of the podium went to Michael Crees in both races.

While in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta G5 Challenge Ryan Hadfield of R & J Motorsport took 1st place in the first race and 2nd place in race two. Top of the podium in race two was Lewis Brown. While in race 3 Shane Stoney took the win. The remaining race from Oulton Park which was cancelled due to incidents causing a late finish, took place at Rockingham with Lewis Brown again taking first place on the podium.

Allison Remzi            All Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Controversy in British GT at Rockingham Round

There was a controversial end to the third round of British GT at Rockingham when Spirit of Race Drivers Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin lost their top of the podium place to Team Parker Racings second place duo Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt. A much later post race ruling on contact between Griffin in the Ferrari 488 and Morris in the Bentley Continental was deemed to have been avoidable giving Griffin an unfair advantage. The move meant Griffin was penalised 26 seconds, enough to give the win to Morris and Parfitt.

 

The race began with pole sitter, TF Sports Derek Johnston maintaining the lead. The safety car came out when Harry Gottsacker’s Century Motorsport Ginetta became stuck in the gravel trap, when on the 5th lap the green flag dropped it was a battle between the top three; Johnston, Barwell’s Jon Minshaw and Macmillan AMR’s James Littlejohn who had earlier leapt from 9th to 3rd place. Meanwhile The Track Club Mclaren of Adam Balon and Adam Mackay took early retirement due to a hole in the charge cooler.

Rick Parfitt passed TF Sports Mark Farmer moving into 4th, while Minshaw got round Johnston with just 0.8 second between them. The battle between Farmer and Parfitt continued with Parfitt dropping back into 5th, however Farmer span out the Aston Martin Vantage before recovering but allowing Parfitt to move into 4th.

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Duncan Cameron meanwhile had earned a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits, putting the Spirit of Race Ferrari further back in timing than it was on track.

The safety car was deployed again when the #43 Ginetta of Century Motorsports Steve Fresle went into the gravel, just ahead of the pitstops period. The Oulton Park pitstop success penalties were applied which then saw Macmillan AMR’s Jack Mitchell coming out ahead of Seb Morris.

Matt Griffin in the Spirit of Race Ferrari rejoined in 4th but quickly passed the AMDTuning.com’s Mercedes AMG, turning it into a three way race with Seb Morris and Jack Mitchell.

The earlier 5 second penalty delivered to Cameron meant Matt Griffin had to get past Seb Morris to take a win, in doing so the Ferrari made contact with the Team Parker Racing Bentley.

Griffin then went to pull ahead to negate the 5 second gap caused by the earlier penalty. However the Safety Car was deployed again after #63 Autoaid’s/RCIBInsurance Racing’s Ginetta went into the gravel. With MSA rules stating that a Safety Car must pick up the leader and despite Griffin leading on track the incurred penalty meant he was actually 5th in timings, thus the Ferrari was allowed to pass the Safety Car joining the back of the field immediately gaining a five second lead, quickly allowing the Spirit of Race team ANF_0356to finish with a 25.052 second lead on the Bentley of Seb Morris, with Jack Mitchell coming in third just ahead of the Barwell Lamborghini’s of Minshaw and Keen in third and Tordoff and Griffin in 4th.

 

In GT4 William Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton took their first podium for HHC Motorsport just shy of 10 seconds ahead of Black Bull Garage 59’s Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell, with PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport’s Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson completing the podium.

Team ABBA with Rollcentre took the GT3 AM prize, Barwell’s Phil Keen received the Sunoco Fastest Race Lap Award, AMD Tuning.com’s Lee Mowle took  Blancpain Gentleman Driver of the Day while Barwell won the PMW Expo Team of the Weekend Award.

At Oulton Park in the last rounds, Team Parker Racing’s Ian Loggie in the Bentley was involved in an incident with Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing’s Richard Neary, both cars suffering extensive damage which resulted in Loggie being disqualified from the weekend, fined and given a 5 place grid penalty that took effect at Rockingham. With further controversy garnered at Rockingham in the series, it remains to be seen whether any fallout will be carried forward to Snetterton on May 27th-28th

On the Spirit of Race Ferrari being allowed to pass the Safety Car Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici said the following: “What happened today with the Safety Car procedure was very unfortunate but, given the letter of the regulations, not something we could have controlled. We follow the MSA’s regulations which state the Safety Car must pick up the race leader, which in official timing was not the #21 Spirit of Race Ferrari. Race Control therefore had no choice but to wave it by. Applying in-race time penalties contributed to this but these are the rules by which we and others race under the MSA’s jurisdiction. Today we found an anomaly, which will be investigated fully. One way or another there must be changes to avoid this situation from arising again.”

Allison Remzi            Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick