Scuderia Vittoria duo claim twilight win as championship goes down to the wire

26 09 2011

Michael Lyons suffered a string of misfortunes at Spa in his Ferrari 458 © Jakob Ebrey

Lyons and Bateman took their second season win in the three hour twilight enduro © Jakob Ebrey

SCUDERIA Vittoria pairing Charles Bateman and Michael Lyons secured their second victory of the season after a dramatic three-hour race into darkness at Donington Park.

The duo had qualified in eighth place in their Ferrari 458 Italia but played the strategy game well to move into the lead heading into the final hour of the race.

Despite a third Safety Car period late on, Lyons was able to bring the Ferrari home to the finish to give the team its first win since the opening rounds of the campaign at Oulton Park.

In GT4, the Lotus Sport UK team stormed to victory, with Phil Glew and James Nash leading from start to finish to win ahead of the Ginetta of Josh Wakefield and Jake Rattenbury.

The race had started in the wet after earlier rain, which led to tricky conditions throughout the opening stint.

Early on, the Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin proved the class of the field, with the team electing to put Jonathan Adam in for the first stint while most teams took the decision to start with their professional driver watching from the pit wall.

From sixth on the grid, Adam stormed through to lead by the end of the first lap and then pulled away at the margin of three seconds a lap before the gap between the Aston and the chasing pack eventually started to stabilise as conditions improved.

Behind Adam, Gregor Fisken had also got ahead of reigning champion David Ashburn and into second place, with the two Trackspeed Porsches running in tandem ahead of the MTECH Ferrari of Duncan Cameron, Bateman and Mike Guasch’s United Autosport Audi.

Bateman made a move on Cameron for fourth just before the 20-minute mark and that allowed Guasch also to close on the Ferrari, before contact between the two cars saw Cameron slip down to eighth and left the Audi to pit with bodywork damage which cost it two laps.

The Aston Martin led through to the opening round of stops – at which point the field switched to slick tyres on the drying track – but that would be as good as is got for the Beechdean crew as Andrew Howard then suffered a spin at Redgate on his out lap.

Dropping down to fourth, Howard then lost further places among the quicker ‘pro’ drivers before a spin at the Esses saw the Aston beached in the gravel and led to the Safety Car being deployed.  Although he managed to get the car back to the pits, the Aston Martin was soon retired.

It would prove to be the moment when the race swung towards Scuderia Vittoria, as the team called Michael Lyons – who had taken over from Bateman – in for a second stop.

Keeping the car towards the front, Bateman then pitted when the Safety Car came out for a second time to remove the CRS Ferrari of Andrew Tate from the gravel, and this handed control back to Lyons as the three cars ahead all pitted.

Despite his final stint running to just over an hour, and with fuel needing to be saved, Lyons maintained a lead of more than 20 seconds before the Safety Car was called out for the third time with 16 minutes remaining when the MTECH Ferrari of David Back went off.

With three lapped cars to act as a buffer against the chasing pack, Lyons was able to hold on to his lead and take victory as a heated battle developed behind for second place.

Those boys behind at the finish were the MTECH Ferrari of Matt Griffin and Tim Bridgman’s Trackspeed Porsche, which had moved to the front of the field by the half-way stage – the former despite the earlier delay in Cameron’s first stint.

Bridgman had been the race leader when the second Safety Car period was called, ahead of Griffin. Both cars dived for the pits to complete what would be their second of three mandatory stops – with Gregor Fisken and Duncan Cameron maintaining position when they rejoined the circuit.

However, while still behind the Safety Car, the pair found themselves stuck behind the GT4 Aston Martin of Sergio Lagana, which was suffering from a gearbox issue and which they were unable under the Safety Car rules to pass. Having already been delayed, there was further drama for Fisken as he exited Goddards to take the restart when Lagana suddenly dived for the pits, forcing the Porsche man to jump on the brakes and allowing Cameron through into the lead.

The Ferrari would then lead the Porsche through to the final stops, where both were jumped by Lyons, with Griffin and Bridgman setting about chasing down the leader over the final 40 minutes.

The final Safety Car looked like setting up a grandstand finish but Griffin found himself stuck behind the lapped cars of both Gordon Shedden and Adam Wilcox and was unable to challenge Lyons for the lead, although any challenge would ultimately have been immaterial when stewards handed Cameron and Griffin a time penalty for the earlier pass on Fisken at the end of the second caution period.

With that time penalty applied, the MTECH car dropped back behind the Porsche, into third place, with Fisken and Bridgman securing the runner-up slot.

Outside the top three positions, the second Trackspeed Porsche of Ashburn and Stephen Jelley took the chequered flag in fourth place with its challenge having been hampered by a number of minor off-track excursions by Ashburn.

The CRS Ferrari of championship leaders Jim and Glynn Geddie was the final car to finish on the lead lap, in fifth place having lost time – and position – during the opening stint when the car was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for a starting procedure violation.

The all-new Rosso Verde Ferrari 458 Italia rounded out the top six after an encouraging debut, with touring car star Gordon Shedden quickly up to speed and matching the pace of the front-runners as he looked to lift the car back up the order after team-mate Hector Lester lost time during the wet opening stint.

Guasch and Bell lifted the delayed Audi – the only one in the race after the sister car was ruled out by a qualifying accident – back up to seventh at the finish, although the two laps lost early on would prove to be too much to make up. They regained one of the laps lost but seventh was the best the pair could have hoped for.

The 360 Vision Ferrari of Phil Burton and Adam Wilcox, the Speedworks Corvette of Ron and Piers Johnson and the Rollcentre Ginetta of Tom Sharp, Martin Short and Matt Nicoll-Jones rounded out the top 10 – the latter having been one of the stars of the early stages as Sharp fought his way up into the top five with a series of daring moves in the tricky conditions. For his sterling efforts at the wheel, Burton was awarded the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend trophy.

The GT4 category was dominated by the Lotus Sport UK Evora of Phil Glew and James Nash, which led throughout the three hours and claimed victory despite a late stop/go penalty. A strong first stint from Glew in the wet conditions saw the Lotus challenge a number of the quicker GT3 cars and the pair took the chequered flag a lap clear of the Ginetta of Josh Wakefield and Jake Rattenbury.

The Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta of Dan Denis and David McDonald had been well placed for third before a misfire in the final half hour saw the pair drop well off the pace. It allowed the KTM X-Bow of Marcus Clutton and Peter Belshaw to claim the final place on the podium, despite the car being forced to serve two stop/go penalties.

Elsewhere among the GT4 brigade, the second Lotus of Leyton Clarke and Freddy Nordstrom stopped on track, while the Barwell-run Secure Racing Aston Martin was hampered by its gearbox issues but did return to action late on, albeit 29 laps down.

Just 18.5 points separates the top nine drivers as the Avon Tyres British GT Championship heads for a grand finale at Silverstone on 8 October. The GT4 class is still open, too, with Belshaw and Clutton taking a 26.5-point lead into the last two-hour race of the season.

Round 9 Race Results

GT3

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  3h 0m 43.609s / 86.70mph

2  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  +6.054s

3  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  +6.100s

4  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Stephen Jelley  +9.029s

5  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +33.549s

6  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Gordon Shedden  104 laps

7  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  104 laps

8  360 Vision Ferrari  Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox  102 laps

9  Speedworks Motorsport Corvette  Ron Johnson/Piers Johnson  102 laps

10  Rollcentre Ginetta  Martin Short/Matt Nicoll-Jones/Tom Sharp  102 laps etc

GT4

1  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  James Nash/Phil Glew  100 laps

2  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  99 laps

3  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  98 laps etc

Fastest lap: Bridgman 1m 31.205s / 98.17mph (record)

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Mortimer and Tate take maiden win as championship lead is turned on its head

5 09 2011

Mortimer and Tate celebrated their first 2011 win at Rockingham in a thrilling race

Mortimer and Tate celebrated their first 2011 win at Rockingham in a thrilling race

THE championship was turned on its head once again in race two at Rockingham as Alex Mortimer and Andrew Tate took their maiden 2011 win in the CRS Racing Ferrari 458.

The weather for race two was completely different to the rain-soaked Rockingham that met the drivers in race one but it still produced a result that sets the championship up for a grand stand finish.

The winning Ferrari pair had no match for the Trackspeed Porsche of Phil Keen in the opening stages but overtook them in the pit stops and never looked back as rear damage to the Porsche forced them into the pits for some repair work.

Ferrari rivals Glynn Geddie and Matt Griffin were flying but drive-through penalties for not obeying the track limits at the Tarzan hairpin dropped them both down into the midfield but their pace was such that they muscled their way back into contention and finished second and third respectively.

Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman continued their impressive season with a fourth place finish holding off the championship leading United Autosports Audi. A late overtaking attempt by Audi racer Mike Guasch dropped him back down to fifth from third as Lyons and Griffin’s teammate Duncan Cameron pounced on Guasch’s over-exuberance.

The result leaves Mike Guasch and Matt Bell now five points off the new title leaders, the Geddie father-son partnership, with Griffin and Cameron a further ten points back ensuring the Donington and Silverstone races will be enthralling.

The Trackspeed Porsche who had led the early laps finished in sixth with the #2 Trackspeed, who was due to start on pole, never making the starting grid with fatal engine failure in the early morning warm-up session.

Seventh was the powerful Mercedes, the Jones brothers failing to match their pace from the earlier race, and eighth was the popular Allan Simonsen and Hector Lester who struggled to match the pace of the newer cars in their older Ferrari 430.

Ninth was the sister United Autosports Audi of Jay Palmer and John Bintcliffe and race one winners Beechdean Motorsport rounded off the points.

Meanwhile Dan Denis and David McDonald secured a triumphant double in the GT4 class after Phil Glew had set the early pace after starting from class pole in the Lotus Evora, but was unable to pull out a significant lead over Marcus Clutton, who was hanging on doggedly in the ABG KTM X-Bow.

The Ginetta G50 of Josh Wakefield and Jake Rattenbury twice fell foul of the track limits ruling, which left them third at the end.

Race Two Results

GT3 & overall

1  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  1h 1m 02.070s

2  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +3.866s

3  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  +5.187s

4  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  +6.028s

5  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  +6.333s

6  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Phil Keen  +11.508s etc

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  41 laps

2  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  41 laps

3  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  41 laps

4  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  40 laps

5  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Phil Glew  26 laps

Fastest lap Mortimer 1m 21.433s / 85.76mph





Beechdean triumph in Rockingham rain as the championship front-runners stumble

4 09 2011

The Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin DBRS9

The Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin braved the rain at Rockingham to take the win (Pic: BritishGT)

BEECHDEAN Motorsport took a comprehensive victory in a rain-soaked first race at Rockingham finishing nearly a minute ahead of their closest rival.

The Aston Martin of Andrew Howard and Jonathan Adam took the win with the Preci-Spark Mercedes of David and Godfrey Jones in second and the consistent Trackspeed Porsche of David Ashburn and Phil Keen completing the podium.

After torrential rain in the morning warm-up session feelings in the paddock were mixed as to what set up to run and it was the  Aston Martin that made the most of the conditions with Howard and latterly Adam leading from the Mercedes of the Jones brothers.

The rain seemed to be clearing up with the track drying out as the start approached but with the race underway the rain started to fall again and those on the wrong tyres had to dive in to the pits to get their wet weather tyres on.

Championship leaders Matt Bell and Michael Guasch managed only tenth place and their title rivals, the Geddie father-son combo, failed to capitalise having to start the race from the pitlane and ended 12th. Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron, third in the title hunt, only managed 11th throwing the championship wide open.

The Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 of Jody Firth and Stefan Hodgetts produced a stunning display to finish fourth, only failing to make the podium after contact with the Trackspeed Porsche late on.

Sole GT3-B runners, John Dhillon and Aaron Scott finished fifth overall with Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen in the Rosso Verde Ferrari fifth, also setting the fastest lap, a 1;36;769.

Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman continued their debut season with a seventh place but struggled to match the leaders’ pace finishing a lap down. Adam Wilcox managed to put aside brake trouble and with Phil Burton brought the Ferrari 430 Scuderia home in eighth just ahead of the Ginetta G55 of Ian Stinton and Michael Simpson in ninth.

In GT4, Dan Denis and David McDonald followed up their victory at Spa with another class win finishing a lap ahead of the two Lotus’. Freddy Nordstrom and Leyton Clarke took second in class ahead of Lotus Sport UK teammates Ollie Jackson and Phil Glew and have closed the gap on the KTM X-Bow championship leaders. The open top racer of Peter Belshaw and Marcus Clutton came fifth and last in the GT4 class showing that this title race is not over either.

Race One Results

GT3 & overall

1  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam 1h 1m 35.928s / 68.02mph

2 Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Phil Keen +41.965

3 Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones/Godfrey Jones  +58.425s

4  Century Motorsport  Ginetta Jody Firth/Stefan Hodgetts +1:11.225s

5  MTECH Ferrari John Dhillon/Aaron Scott + 1:28.880s

6  Rosso Verde Ferrari Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen +1:36.514s

7  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman +1 lap

8  Predator CCTV Ferrari  Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox  +1 lap

9  Stark Racing Ginetta  Ian Stinton/Michael Simpson  +1 lap

10  United Autosports Audi  Michael Guasch/Matt Bell +1 lap etc

Fastest lap: Simonsen 1m 36.769s / 72.17mph

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  +1 lap

2  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  34 laps

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus Ollie Jackson/Phil Glew 34 laps etc





Mortimer leads field in FP1 after a close session at an overcast Rockingham

3 09 2011

Mortimer led FP1 in the CRS Racing Ferrari 458 which is sporting a fresh livery at Rockingham this weekend

Mortimer led FP1 in the CRS Racing Ferrari 458 which is sporting a fresh livery at Rockingham this weekend

ALEX Mortimer set the fastest time of free practice one at an overcast but crucially dry Rockingham and with just one second covering the top nine a close race is in the offing for Sunday.

Mortimer set the fastest time of the morning in his newly painted #11 CRS Racing Ferrari 458 – 1:19.488 – and all the top cars were running below last year’s qualifying time; a sure sign of how much the championship has moved forward in the last 12 months.

Mortimer’s CRS colleague, Glynn Geddie, had set the early pace in the session, but a power-steering pump failure mid-way through the session prevented any further improvement.

But while the 458s were running well, second and third places were occupied by Trackspeed Porsche’s – Phil Keen’s 1:19.622 in the #1 997 GT3 R being just over a tenth quicker than Tim Bridgman’s best in the #2 car. He in turn was just 0.029s quicker than the #21 MTECH 458, with Geddie fifth and Allan Simonsen sixth in the older #3 Rosso Verde Ferrari 430 Scuderia.

The Ginetta G55 contingent had some new, but familiar, faces. Martin Short and 2008 British GT4 champion Matt Nicoll-Jones were getting their first taste of the #18 Rollcentre car, while the #28 Century Motorsports G55 contained Jody Firth and Stefan Hodgetts. The latter had to deal with a snapped alternator belt, but ended the session as the quickest GT3 Ginetta.

GT4 was led by the ABG Motorsport KTM X-Bow, with Marcus Clutton’s 1:25.293 being three quarters of a second faster than the #42 Century Motorsports Ginetta G50 of Jake Rattenbury and Josh Wakefield.

The # 50 Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta improved to third on the final lap, moving clear of the two Lotus Sport UK Evoras, which seemed to be struggling to adapt to the ‘roval’ circuit.

The only incident on track was a spin for the #24 United Autosports Audi R8 LMS at the Chapman Curve. The car was able to continue undamaged and ended the session in ninth. The championship-leading #23 Audi of Matt Bell and Mike Guasch ended FP1 in seventh, 0.786s behind Mortimer.

Those mechanical gremlins that did strike appeared to be minor, and all the cars are expected to be ready for the second session at 11:45.

Free Practice 1

GT3

1  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  1m 19.488s

2  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Phil Keen  1m 19.622s

3  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  1m 19.753s

4  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  1m 19.782s

5  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  1m 20.135s

6  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen (DEN)  1m 20.214s etc

GT3B

1  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon/Aaron Scott  1m 23.142s

GT4

1  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  1m 25.293s

2  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  1m 26.038s

3  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  1m 27.364s

4  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Phil Glew  1m 27.480s

5  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  1m 28.088s





Maiden British GT win for MTECH Racing’s Griffin and Cameron in Race Two at Spa

9 07 2011

Griffin and Cameron took their maiden 2011 British GT win at Spa (www.britishgt.com)

Griffin and Cameron took their maiden 2011 British GT win at Spa (www.britishgt.com)

MATT Griffin and Duncan Cameron finally fulfilled their Ferrari 458s promise with a maiden 2011 British GT win at Spa in the second race.

The MTECH Racing pair have shown flashes of brilliance all season but could not hook up a full race weekend but after a second place in Race One, they followed it up with victory in Race Two.

Richard Westbrook had again led from pole and looked set to take his second race win of the weekend but a puncture forced him out on lap nine paving the way for Griffin and Cameron.

Griffin led from lap nine onward until the driving changes and then Cameron took over to maintain the lead and eventually take the flag by 0.9 seconds from Gregor Fisken.

Griffin was full of praise for teammate Cameron who held off a late charge from the Trackspeed Porsche.

He said: “I didn’t get a great start and was fourth. It took a little time for our car to get to where I wanted it to be grip-wise, but once it did I was able to get past Alex Mortimer and Glynn Geddie and started to catch Richard.

“I got the lead and was able to get my head down and build a lead. Duncan jumped in and did an incredible job under a lot of pressure. We got the win and we’re over the moon.”

The #2 Trackspeed Porsche of Fisken and Tim Bridgman was down in fourth after the pit stops but Fisken, the experienced Scot, was in a racy mood and soon took the Geddie CRS Racing Ferrari and the Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin.

Fisken was delighted with his pace and revealed he believed he could challenge the leaders and gave it everything right to the end.

He added: “It was very close; I certainly wasn’t going to settle for second if I could have taken the win.

“The team kept telling me I was taking time out of him, but it would have needed a mistake from Duncan really to get past him cleanly. Duncan was driving very well; it was a real good scrap.”

The Andrew Howard and Jonathan Adam Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin rounded off the podium only 6.7 seconds behind the winner.

Fourth was the debutant, the McLaren MP4-12C in the Invitational class with title leaders Mike Guasch and Matt Bell finishing fifth and the Geddie family in sixth.

A superb weekend for the Speedworks Motorsport Corvette of the two Johnson’s came home in seventh with Ron Johnson named Driver of the Weekend.

The popular Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen’s Rosso Verde Ferrari, the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari of Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman and the United Autosports Audi of Bintcliffe and Palmer rounded out the top ten.

In GT4, the first-race class victors, Dan Denis and David McDonald fought a pitched battle with the Phil Glew and Ollie Jackson Lotus for much of the race.

The Lotus gained the upper hand after three laps and maintained its advantage after the pit stops to win. It was not Denis and McDonald in second spot, however – their afternoon went wrong on the penultimate lap when their Ginetta’s gearbox developed a problem.

That allowed class points leaders Marcus Clutton and Peter Belshaw in their ABG KTM through for second, ahead of Aston Martin men Chris Holmes and Peter Erceg, who claimed a maiden class podium placing for the Secure Racing/Barwell Motorsport squad.

Race Two Results 

GT3

1  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  1h 0m 25.159s / 103.72mph

2  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  +0.888s

3  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam  +6.697s

4  McLaren GT McLaren MP4-12C (Inv Class) Chris Goodwin/Andrew Kirkaldy  +24.020s

5  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  +26.247s

6  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +27.726s

7  Speedworks Motorsport Corvette  Ron Johnson/Piers Johnson  +1m 22.574s

8  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen (DEN)  +2m 47.512s

9  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  23 laps

10  United Autosports Audi  John Bintcliffe/Jay Palmer  23 laps

11 & GTB winner  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon/Aaaron Scott  23 laps etc

Fastest lap: Westbrook 2m 24.615s / 108.34mph (Record)

GT4

1  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Phil Glew  23 laps

2  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  23 laps

3  Barwell/Secure Aston Martin  Peter Erceg/Chris Holmes  23 laps





Westbrook takes British GT pole with stunning lap as McLaren impresses at Spa

8 07 2011

Westbrook produced a phenomenal lap to take pole position in Race Two at Spa (www.britishgt.com)

Westbrook produced a phenomenal lap to take pole position in Race Two at Spa (www.britishgt.com)

A STUNNING lap by Richard Westbrook in qualifying put his Trackspeed Porsche on pole position for the second race in the British GT at Spa tomorrow.

Westbrook clocked a lap of 2.22.748 round the Belgian circuit, nearly a second faster than his nearest rival in the qualifying session for Race Two and was the only man to break 2.23.00 all day.

The session was called to a halt prematurely, a red flag unfurled after an incident between GT4 cars from another championship sharing the track, but in reality nobody looked like getting close to Westbrook’s sensational lap.

Allan Simonsen was second in his Rosso Verde Ferrari, Glynn Geddie’s CRS Racing Ferrari 458 was third and fourth was Matt Griffin who had posted the quickest time in Free Practice.

For the first race the McLaren MP4-12C, on its international racing debut, will start from pole after driver Chris Goodwin showed how competitive the new supercar is.

Goodwin was a second faster than the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 of Michael Lyons who was the closest driver in the first session.

Defending champion David Ashburn was third in his Trackspeed Porsche and David Jones, in the Preci-Spark Mercedes, starts fourth.

Other notable efforts include a superb drive from Ron Johnson to qualify the Speedworks Motorsport Corvette in ninth and championship leader Mike Guasch starts Race One from seventh.

There was a clean sweep in the GT4 category for Scuderia Vittoria, with Dan Denis claiming the class pole in session one and his team-mate David McDonald repeating the feat in session two. Lotus men Ollie Jackson and Phil Glew will line up behind them for respective races tomorrow.

Race One Qualifying Times

GT3

1  McLaren GT McLaren MP4-12C (Invitation Class)  Chris Goodwin  2m 23.479s

2  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons  2m 24.481s

3  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn  2m 25.820s

4  Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones  2m 26.022s

5  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron  2m 26.612s

6  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken  2m 26.896s

7  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)  2m 27.270s

8  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie  2m 28.577s

9  Speedworks Motorsport Corvette  Ron Johnson  2m 28.889s

10  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard  2m 29.163s etc

GT3B

1  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon  2m 35.276s

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis  2m 34.651s

2  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson  2m 36.716s

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Freddy Nordstrom  2m 38.297s etc

Race Two Qualifying Times

GT3

1  Trackspeed Porsche  Richard Westbrook  2m 22.648s

2  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Allan Simonsen (DEN)  2m 23.561s

3  CRS Racing Ferrari  Glynn Geddie  2m 23.571s

4  MTECH Ferrari  Matt Griffin (IRL)  2m 24.003s

5  CRS Racing Ferrari  Alex Mortimer  2m 24.198s

6  Chad Racing Ferrari  Tom Ferrier  2m 24.272s

7  United Autosports Audi  Matt Bell  2m 24.673s

8  McLaren GT McLaren MP4-12C (Invitation Class)  Andrew Kirkaldy  2m 24.898s

9  Beechdean Aston Martin  Jonny Adam  2m 25.006s

10  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Charles Bateman  2m 25.026s etc

GT3B

MTECH Ferrari  Aaaron Scott  no time

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  David McDonald  2m 35.114s

2  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Phil Glew  2m 36.538s

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke  2m 36.621s etc





Trackspeed pair Ashburn and Westbrook fastest in British GT Free Practice 2 at Spa

8 07 2011

Defending champion Ashburn wants to extend his lead at Snetterton

Defending champion Ashburn and co-driver Westbrook were fastest in FP2 at Spa

REIGNING British GT Champion David Ashburn and Porsche co-driver Richard Westbrook hit back in Free Practice Two clocking the fastest lap in their Trackspeed Porsche.

A lap of 2.23.490 around the four mile Spa circuit was enough for top spot in Free Practice Two but the lap was still half a second off the quickest time of the day posted by Matt Griffin in the MTECH Ferrari 458 in the first session.

The Trackspeed Porsche headed the timesheets, a tenth ahead of rivals Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen in their Rosso Verde Ferrari. Third in the session was the sister Trackspeed Porsche of Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman ahead of the pace setter Griffin in fourth.

The session as a whole was generally slower as teams tinkered with setup to find that extra tenth that will be vital in qualifying later today.

Griffin was delighted to have the fastest lap before qualifying but knows it will be a tough session ahead given the number of the cars on track.

He tweeted: “Great start to British GT race at spa, fastest by .5. Looking forward to qualifying although traffic will be difficult as 55 cars on track!”

Championship leaders Matt Bell and Mike Guasch were down in fifth but their United Autosports team-mates John Bintcliffe and Jay Palmer had clutch problems forcing them out of the session.

The Predator CCTV Racing Ferrari 430 of Adam Wilcox and Phil Burton who missed the first session are now undergoing a clutch change in the hope of being race ready for qualifying.

In GT4, the Lotus of Ollie Jackson and Phil Glew set the best time, a second clear of the Dan Denis/David McDonald Ginetta.

Elsewhere in GT4, it was a sad end to the weekend for Michael Mallock and Athanasios Ladas in their ABG Motorsport KTM as they retired for the event with major engine problems.

Free Practice 2 Results

GT3

1  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Richard Westbrook  2m 23.490s

2  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen (DEN)  2m 23.602s

3  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  2m 23.770s

4  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  2m 23.844s

5  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  2m 24.241s

6  McLaren GT McLaren MP4-12C  Chris Goodwin/Andrew Kirkaldy  2m 24.305s

7  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam  2m 25.023s

8  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  2m 25.433s

9  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  2m 25.888s

10 CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  2m 26.524s etc

GT3B

1  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon/Aaaron Scott  2m 28.990s

GT4

1  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Phil Glew  2m 35.676s

2  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  2m 36.684s

3  Barwell/Secure Aston Martin  Peter Erceg/Chris Holmes  2m 37.640s etc