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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Trackspeed take Donington Park pole as three-hour enduro tests title contenders

25 09 2011

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

Defending champions Trackspeed stole Donington pole after a close-fought qualifying session

DEFENDING champions Trackspeed will start the three-hour Donington Park enduro from pole after edging out rivals MTECH during an absorbing qualifying session for the penultimate event of the season.

In a red-flag affected session which featured a near half-hour stoppage, Stephen Jelley emerged with the quickest time at the wheel of the #1 Porsche 997 GT3 R; a lap of 1m 30.315s being the fastest seen over the course of the day and enough to secure his position at the head of the field.

The Porsche Carrera Cup racer, called into the Trackspeed line-up this weekend in the absence of Richard Westbrook, had just seen team-mate Tim Bridgman take provisional pole in the sister car when he produced a storming final sector to edge ahead and eventually took pole by just 0.005s.

Jelley said: “I’ll take that. The key to the lap was the chicane heading onto the Melbourne Loop as it’s very easy to get it wrong and overdrive the car, which is what I did on my first lap.

“The corner is deceptively quick and you can either slow down too much and cost yourself time, or you can try to go into the corner too quickly and end up braking too late.

“As it was, I managed to thread the needle and nail the lap to get pole. We’ve worked hard today and the car felt great, but it is a long race ahead. However, being on pole and starting at the front is the safest place to be.”

Matt Griffin would emerge as the closest challenger to the Porsche driver at the wheel of the #21 MTech Ferrari, having earlier admitted during free practice that he expected a close-run battle for pole.

Griffin had held provisional pole early in the session before the red-flag stoppage but when the session resumed, he fell agonisingly short of pipping Jelley to pole. However, he was as least able to split the Trackspeed Porsches with Bridgman left to settle for third place in the #2 997 GT3 R; albeit only 0.035s further back at the top three were split by just 0.040s.

Fourth quickest was the #23 Audi of Matt Bell, a tenth of a second away from pole, although it was a mixed session for the United Autosports team after John Bintcliffe went off into the gravel at McLeans inside the first ten minutes.

Having just set his quickest lap, Bintcliffe went backwards into the tyres at the right-hander and was ruled out for the remainder of the session; the car eventually being recovered to the pits when the red flag was thrown after the KTM X-Bow also went off track at the Esses.

Damage to the wall and the need to delicately lift the Audi onto a flat-bed truck before it could be returned to the paddock meant the stoppage eventually ran to more than 25 minutes.

Outside the top four, the #11 CRS Racing Ferrari of Alex Mortimer was fifth fastest having been the car to beat at the time the session was halted, with the top six completed by the Beechdean Aston Martin in the hands of Jonathan Adam.

The car, winner last time out at Rockingham, spent much of the early part of the session in the pits but Adam was than able to steadily climb up the field to secure a place on the third row of the grid.

Showing the close nature of the times, the top ten on the grid were covered by just eight tenths of a second when the 40 minutes came of running drew to a close.

Although the new Rosso Verde Ferrari 458 Italia successfully came through its first qualifying session to secure eleventh on the grid thanks to joint BTCC points leader Gordon Shedden.

There was trouble for other GT3 teams with Preci-Spark and Century Motorsport both forced to miss the session with engine problems. The Stark Racing Ginetta also hit trouble after stopping on track without setting a representative time.

In GT4, the battle for pole wasn’t quite as close as in GT3 but was still a tightly-fought affair, which eventually went the way of the #48 Lotus of Phil Glew and another debutant from the BTCC, James Nash.

Glew’s time of 1m 37.678s saw the Evora take pole ahead of the Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta G50 by just a tenth of a second, marking the first class pole for the Lotus Sport UK team.

Glew added: “That was really good for us. We’ve had our first win and now the team has told me that is our first pole, so it’s been a good day.

“As well as getting pole, we think we’ve got good race pace three hours is a long time tomorrow. We have to make sure we keep our noses clean at the start and hopefully the result will come.”

The KTM was third in class ahead of the second Lotus, despite the #49 car hitting problems which saw it return to the pits with damage to the front end. The Century Motorsport G50 and the Barwell-run Aston Martin Vantage rounded out the GT4 field.

Away from the two main classes, the Invitational Class Nissan GTR – making its British GT debut and competing for only the second time – bounced back from problems in the earlier practice sessions to set its quickest time of the day and will start the race from just outside the top ten in twelfth overall in the hands of Alex Buncombe and FIA GT1 World Championship racer Nick Catsburg.

Three places behind the Nissan on the times was the GT3B Ferrari 430 of Aaron Scott and John Dhillon in 14th, with the GTC class Chevron GR8 qualifying 16th on the grid in the hands of Jordan Witt and Anthony Reid.

Qualifying Results

GT3

1  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Stephen Jelley  1m 30.315s

2  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  1m 30.320s

3  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  1m 30.355s

4  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  1m 30.448s

5  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  1m 30.698s etc

GT4

1  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  James Nash/Phil Glew  1m 37.678s

2  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  1m 37.784s

3  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  1m 38.440s 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





United Autosports take Snetterton victory after late flag drama robs Geddie’s Ferrari

15 05 2011

United Autosports celebrate a maiden British GT win for the Guasch/Bell Audi © Jakob Ebrey

United Autosports celebrate a maiden British GT win for the Guasch/Bell Audi © Jakob Ebrey

The United Autosports Audi of Mike Gausch and Matt Bell took their maiden British GT victory at Snetterton after a dramatic final lap which saw CRS Racing’s Ferrari 458 called into the pits from the lead.

Glynn Geddie who had qualified on pole and led for most of the race was orange and black flagged to repair the damage to the front of his car. The Ferrari pitted on the last lap and allowed the Guasch/Bell Audi to sneak through and hold on to win by three seconds.

The ever impressive Allan Simonsen and Hector Lester marched up through the field to take a well deserved podium in the Rosso Verde Ferrari, just under five seconds ahead of the Jones’ Mercedes.

The sister Audi of John Bintcliffe and Jay Palmer finished fourth, with Iain Dockerill and Steven Kane’s Ferrari and the Howard/Adam Aston Martin in fifth and sixth respectively.

Eighth went to the sole GT3-B runner of Aaron Scott and John Dhillon who’s older car proved to be more reliable than the newer untested cars, showing it is as much about consistency as raw pace in the longer endurance races.

The Geddies cut a dejected figure on the podium after the last lap drama © Jakob Ebrey

The Geddies cut a dejected figure on the podium after the last lap drama © Jakob Ebrey

The gruelling two hours took its toll on the field as numerous cars retired throughout the race, none more high profile than MTECH Racing’s Matt Griffin who had been within three tenths of the lead before collecting an out of control Aston Martin into the first corner and retiring with fluid leaking out of the car.

This took the pressure off Glynn Geddie who looked to have victory sealed as he opened up a 40 second lead over the Audi helped by a drive through penalty for the United Autosports team for a yellow flag infringement. But the late pitlane drama for the broken front end cost the Geddie family, and their new Ferrari 458, a win from pole position.

Oulton Park winners Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman in their Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 were forced out of the race with rear suspension failure whilst pre-race championship leaders Trackspeed, were out of the race after only eight laps as their difficult weekend was compounded as their two Porsche’s collided at Williams forcing a double retirement.

In GT4, Peter Belshaw and Marcus Clutton took the honours for ABG Motorsport with the two Lotus Sport UK cars, at their home track, completing the podium. Michael Mallock clocked the fastest lap in the class but a puncture prevented a GT4 victory.

Round Three Results, Snetterton

GT3

1  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  2h 01m 48.407s / 84.82mph

2  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +2.946s

3  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen (DEN)  +14.761s

4  Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones/Godfrey Jones  +19.518s

5  United Autosports Audi  John Bintcliffe/Jay Palmer  +1m 11.666s

6  Chad Racing Ferrari  Iain Dockerill/Steven Kane  +1m 32.177s

7  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam  +1m 49.674s

8  MTECH Ferrari (GT3B)  John Dhillon/Aaron Scott  57 laps

9  Century Team LNT  Florian Renauer (AUT)/Michael Drabing (AUT)  55 laps

10  Predator CCTV Ferrari  Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox  53 laps etc

Fastest lap: MTech Ferrari  Matt Griffin  1m 51.640s

GT4

1  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  56 laps

2  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  56 laps

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Jack Drinkall  55 laps

4  ABG Motorsport KTM  Athanasios Ladas (GRE)/Michael Mallock  53 laps

GT Cup

1  Chevron Racing Chevron  Jordan Witt/Anthony Reid  40 laps





Geddie and CRS Racing celebrate maiden pole in their new Ferrari 458 at Snetterton

14 05 2011

Glynn Geddie

Geddie took his maiden pole of the season in the new Ferrari 458 © Malcolm Griffiths

CRS Racing and the Geddie family celebrated a pole position at Snetterton in their new Ferrari 458 Italia for the two hour British GT race tomorrow (Sunday 15 May) after clocking a lap half a second faster than the rest of the field.

The pole position represents an impressive turnaround by the CRS team having only taken delivery of their new car on Friday and such a dominant display will delight the father/son driver pairing.

The CRS Ferrari 458 beat the United Autosports Audi R8 of Mike Gausch and Matt Bell and the Rosso Verde Ferrari 430 of Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen into second and third respectively at the Norfolk circuit.

Unpredictable weather in the earlier practice sessions had left fans unsure of who had an ultimate pace but it was Glynn Geddie who posted a 1.50.929 in qualifying before a red flag stopped proceedings.

A Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 stopped out on track and halted the 30 minute qualifying period and the teams returned to the pits before charging out again to try and steal pole.

But it was not to be and Geddie held on for his maiden pole of the season. He told the official site: “We took a bit of a gamble with the set-up and it worked.

“We made good improvements in the session, which is a positive for the team, which has worked so hard today. We only got the car at eight o’clock last night, so to put it on pole is a good reward for them.”

The biggest disappointment was Trackspeed who had been first and second in Free Practice Two but only the #1 car of defending champion David Ashburn and Phil Keen made it into the top 10.

Seeing the Ferrari 458’s pace at the hands of Geddie must have been tough for MTECH Racing and Matt Griffin who managed to qualify fifth but gearbox problems hampered their running in an undoubtedly quick car.

Mallock and Ladas will pair up again the KTM X-Bow

Mallock demonstrated his talent again in the KTM X-Bow taking GT4 pole

Elsewhere, the sole competitor in the GT3-B class, the Ferrari 430 of Aaron Scott and John Dhillon qualified a respectable 15th, only four seconds off the pace of the pole sitter.

In GT4, the impressive Michael Mallock put his KTM X-Bow on pole as the sister ABG Motorsport KTM locked out the front row. The Lotus Evora, in its home county, was third at the hands of Leyton Clarke.

Whilst qualifying well is always important in motorsport, the two hour endurance race tomorrow around a circuit unfamiliar to all the drivers should provide some thrilling racing.

Round 3 Qualifying

GT3

1  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  1m 50.929s

2  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  1m 51.398s

3  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen (DEN)  1m 51.427s

4  Vantage Racing Aston Martin  Tom Black/Stuart Hall  1m 51.829s

5  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  1m 51.935s

6  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  1m 52.073s

7  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam  1m 52.210s

8  Predator CCTV Ferrari  Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox  1m 52.251s

9  Chad Racing Ferrari  Iain Dockerill/Steven Kane  1m 52.369s

10  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Phil Keen  1m 52.428s etc

GT3B

1  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon/Aaaron Scott  1m 55.178s

GT Cup

1  Chevron Racing Chevron  Jordan Witt/Anthony Reid  1m 58.301s

GT4

1  ABG Motorsport KTM  Athanasios Ladas (GRE)/Michael Mallock  1m 59.706s

2  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  1m 59.725s

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  2m 00.047s

4  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  2m 01.369s

5  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  2m 02.274s

6  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Jack Drinkall  2m 02.285s





New co-driver for leader Ashburn as British GT heads to Snetterton for new 300 layout

9 05 2011

Defending champion Ashburn wants to extend his lead at Snetterton

Defending champion Ashburn wants to extend his lead at Snetterton

DEFENDING champion David Ashburn will lead the British GT Championship into the two-hour endurance race at Snetterton this weekend (Sunday 15 May) alongside a new co-driver in the #1 Trackspeed Porsche.

Ashburn and Richard Westbrook won Race One of the Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Monday but Westbrook will be absent at Snetterton and is replaced by FIA GT3 race winner Phil Keen, who had British GT experience in a KTM X-Bow two years ago.

Trackspeed are hoping that the all round abilities of the Porsche 997 GT3R will give them an edge around the new Snetterton 300 layout which will make its championship debut.

CRS Racing who struggled with their older Ferrari 430 Scuderia at Oulton will be forced into running it again as delivery problems have upset plans to unveil their new Ferrari 458. CRS have also announced a driver change as whilst the Geddie family continue, the sister car will see Andrew Tate joined by 2006 British GT Champion Tim Mullen who replaces Alex Mortimer.

MTECH Racing and Scuderia Vittoria both have their Ferrari 458s and will be looking to improve on what was an impressive debut for the Prancing Horse. Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman steamed to victory in Race Two for Scuderia Vittoria at Oulton in the Ferrari 458 and Matt Griffin for MTECH Racing put in some of the fastest laps all weekend.

Griffin also competed in Round One of the FIA GT3 Championship at Portimao on Sunday 8 May and showed the cars potential, qualifying second and clocking the fastest time of any Ferrari driver all weekend.

All the other cars from Oulton Park have confirmed they will be on the grid for the second meeting with local fans excited at the prospect of Norfolk-based Lotus Sport UK challenging for honours in GT4.

Ollie Jackson lives in Attenborough, minutes from Snetterton, and cannot wait to get in the Lotus Evora at the new 300 layout and get on his home podium.

He told the official site: “I can’t wait to get out there on it. I was always a huge fan of the old Snetterton and the feedback I have been getting from people who have raced the new layout is all positive, and of course it is always nice to be racing close to home.

“We had a tough weekend at Oulton Park battling some problems which would have been sorted earlier had we had the luxury of more testing time, but I was amazed at how professional the team was in coping with those issues and I think we should have them sorted now.

“Not having tested the Lotus at Snetterton may be a small handicap for us, but we know where we are going with the set-up of the Evora and I am sure we will be on the pace.”

Snetterton timetable

Saturday 14 May: 0930-1030 & 1300-1400 practice; 1725-1755 qualifying

Sunday 15 May: 0900 warm-up; 1315 Round 3 (120 mins)





Debut win for Lyons and Bateman in new Ferrari 458 as safety car causes pit drama

25 04 2011

Lyons and Bateman celebrate a debut victory for Scuderia Vittoria's Ferrari 458

Lyons and Bateman celebrate a debut victory for Scuderia Vittoria's Ferrari 458

BRITISH GT debutant Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman took the checkered flag in their Ferrari 458 for maximum points in an eventful Race Two at Oulton Park.

Lyons and Bateman had started at the back of the grid but early safety cars and pitlane drama left the field turned on its head and the Scuderia Vittoria team ended the race 20 seconds clear of the Jones brothers, with Michael Gausch’s Audi completing the podium.

A first corner crash for the KTM of Marcus Clutton forced the safety car out but it did not effect the leaders, Richard Westbrook led the field from the restart and set a new lap record, a 1.38.491. Westbrook in the Race One-winning Trackspeed Porsche opened up a big lead before the second safety car in 20 minutes caused mayhem.

With 23 minutes on the clock the pit lane opened and all the cars bar four dived into the pit lane to make their driver changes and try to gain positions with a quick switch.

The biggest winner was the Trackspeed Porsche of Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman who had started from the pitlane after a broken steering rack in Race One had left the team with a rebuild moments before the start.

Bridgman had benefited from the first safety car by catching the back of the pack but the second worked even better as he pitted on the lap the safety car was deployed and allowed Fisken to rejoin in third position.

The lightning quick United Autosports Audi was one of the cars not to stop and lost out, the fact Michael Gausch made it back up to third shows how with a bit more tactical nous, they could have won the race.

The race was full of drama even after the safety car had returned to the pits. Hector Lester spun from second place and David Ashburn got a stop/go penalty for not waiting long enough during the pitstop which dropped him back to fifth.

The MTECH Racing Ferrari 458 of Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron which had been so quick in the second half of Race One was going well before a mechanical problem forced them out promoting more cars into points paying positions.

And with the clock ticking down there was just time for Fisken to run wide and allow Ashburn and Guasch past.

Westbrook led the field from the restart after the first safety car

Westbrook led the field from the restart after the first safety car

All the incident happened behind the race winner though, Lyons who drove superbly in his first race was understandably delighted with the result.

Lyons told BritishGT after the podium celebrations: “I’ve seen three cars in a GT career so I can’t complain! The pit stop worked out perfect, from my point of view it couldn’t have gone better.

“I thought podium was on the cards before the race but that safety car really helped us out. The car is coming along really well. We’ve done no running in the car and it’s already there, I can’t wait for Snetterton.”

In GT4, Freddy Nordstrom and Leyton Clarke believed they had won in their Lotus Evora but a yellow flag infringement demoted them to second behind Jake Rattenbury and Josh Wakefield in a Century Motorsport Ginetta G50.

The Anthony Reid/Jordan Witt Chevron GR8 had another solid finish in 12th having run in the top ten for most of the incident filled race.

Race Two Results

GT3

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  1h 0m 18.610s / 85.70mph

2  Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones/Godfrey Jones  +21.633s

3  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell  +30.411s

4  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Richard Westbrook  +36.125s

5  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +50.527s

6  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  +1m 06.906s

7  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen (DEN)  +1m 12.725s

8  Predator CCTV Ferrari  Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox  +1m 19.535s

9  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Freddie Hetherington/Julien Draper  +1m 23.238s

10  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  +1m 45.222s

Fastest lap: Westbrook 1m 38.491s / 98.39mph

GT Cup

1  Chevron Racing Chevron  Jordan Witt/Anthony Reid  31 laps

GT3B

1  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon/Aaaron Scott  30 laps

GT4

1  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  31 laps

2  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  31 laps

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson/Jack Drinkall  31 laps

4  ABG Motorsport KTM  Athanasios Ladas (GRE)/Michael Mallock  30 laps