Fast starter Bridgman claims pole for race two at overcast Rockingham in British GT

3 09 2011

Trackspeed hope the Fiskens sponsored Porsche will be a 2011 challenger

Tim Bridgman took pole for race two with a blistering opening lap in the Trackspeed Porsche

TIM Bridgman stole pole position for race two with a stunning opening lap, a 1:18:494 on his first flier after overtaking a Ferrari on his outlap.

Matt Bell came closest to deposing the Porsche with a 1:18.831 in the #23 Audi, but a double-pole remained beyond the reach of United Autosports.

Several contenders for pole appeared to halt their chances by lapping in a group – Alex Mortimer (#10 CRS Ferrari 458), Phil Keen (#1 Trackspeed Porsche) and Charles Bateman (#5 Scuderia Vittoria 458) all getting in each others way when their tyres were at their best.

Mortimer would claim third, but Keen only managed fifth despite a last-gasp effort on a clear track.

Matt Griffin improved to fourth by the end, but it was clearly no easy matter in the #21 MTECH Ferrari. The Irish driver was labouring down in 21st after six minutes, before improving to sixth at the halfway point. His fourth-place time came on his next lap.

Allan Simonsen was the first to pit, from sixth place in the #3 Rosso Verde Ferrari Scuderia, and he was soon joined by several other cars. As the session neared its end, only the #24 Audi of John Bintcliffe was still circulating of the leading cars.

The clearer track enabled him to move from tenth to ninth to eighth by the end, just behind the #10 CRS Ferrari of Glynn Geddie. Keen rejoined the track with just under two minutes to go, but his single flying lap was probably one too few.

Aaron Scott managed to get the GT3B MTECH Ferrari 430 ahead of the two surviving Ginetta G55s (the Rollcentre car having sadly been withdrawn with engine problems) before parking up, while Adam Wilcox had the troubled #12 CCTV Predator Ferrari as high as sixth at one point, before slipping to 12th by the end.

GT4 saw a second pole for Scuderia Vittoria, as David McDonald beat a determined Phil Glew to the top spot. Marcus Clutton had led the class initially in the #44 X-Bow, but it wasn’t long before Glew had the #48 Evora on provisional pole. McDonald wasn’t having any of it though and hit back with a 1:24.288 to secure pole by 0.387s.

Race Two Qualifying

GT3

1  Trackspeed Porsche  Tim Bridgman  1m 18.494s

2  United Autosports Audi  Matt Bell  1m 18.831s

3  CRS Racing Ferrari  Alex Mortimer  1m 19.078s

4  MTECH Ferrari  Matt Griffin (IRL)  1m 19.383s

5  Trackspeed Porsche  Phil Keen  1m 19.430s

6  Rosso Verde Ferrari  Allan Simonsen (DEN)  1m 19.468s etc

GT3B

1  MTECH Ferrari  Aaron Scott  1m 21.602s

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  David McDonald  1m 24.288s

2  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Phil Glew  1m 24.675s

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke  1m 25.559s

4  ABG Motorsport KTM  Marcus Clutton  1m 25.636s

5  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield  1m 29.542s

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Guasch secures dominate race one pole for United Autosports at Rockingham

3 09 2011

United Autosports lead the championship going into the two month summer break (www.britishgt.com)

Championship leader Mike Guasch took pole for Race One at Rockingham (www.britishgt.com)

MIKE Guasch claimed pole for the first Rockingham Avon Tyres British GT Race, setting a 1:19.750 lap time in the #23 United Autosports R8 LMS midway through the first of the two 15-minute sessions.

Michael Lyons’ #5 Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 was the first car out of the pit lane at the start of the session, but an error at Deene allowed Gregor Fisken to go by and it was the #2 Trackspeed Porsche that set the first benchmark – 1:23.188.

Clearly this wasn’t going to remain unbeaten for long and the Scot went 2.2s faster on his next lap. Lyons recovered from his error to go second, with David Ashburn third in the #1 Trackspeed Porsche.

The fight for GT4 pole was destined to be an eventful one, with Dan Denis setting a 1:25.398 in the early moments of the session in the #50 Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta G50.

Mike Guasch was always going to feature prominently in Qualifying after two encouraging Free Practice sessions, and it wasn’t long before the #23 Audi was posting fastest sector times; and when the third dot turned purple, the R8 had moved to the top of the times with a 1:20.394 – and improved again the next time around.

Lyons managed to secure a front-row starting place in the #5, while the two Trackspeed Porsches locked out Row 2. All four leading cars would end their sessions with several minutes still remaining.

Andrew Tate and Duncan Cameron appeared to be struggling in their Ferraris during the opening stages, being in 18th and 14th positions respectively at the midway point, but both improved as the final five minutes approached.

The #21 MTECH 458 jumped to sixth, while the #11 CRS car claimed tenth. David Jones placed the #22 Preci-Spark Mercedes SLS on the third row, alongside Cameron.

Phil Burton found himself immediately in brake trouble as the session started and was forced to pit after two laps. Some quick adjustments allowed him to claim 14th by the close.

The GT4 lead changed a number of times during the quarter hour. Jake Rattenbury, in the #42 Century Motorsports Ginetta, and Freddy Nordstrom’s #49 Lotus Evora both demoted the Scuderia Vittoria G50 before Dan Denis regained the upper hand with a 1:24.884 – the top four cars in the class being covered by half a second. P

eter Belshaw was unable to break the 1:26 mark in the ABG KTM X-Bow and would start the race from the back row.

Race One Qualifying

GT3

1  United Autosports Audi  Mike Guasch (USA)  1m 19.750s

2  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons  1m 20.141s

3  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken  1m 20.634s

4  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn  1m 20.707s

5  Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones  1m 20.980s

6  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron  1m 21.113s etc

GT3B

1  MTECH Ferrari  John Dhillon  1m 25.948s

GT4

1  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis  1m 24.884s

2  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Jake Rattenbury  1m 25.056s

3  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Freddy Nordstrom  1m 25.071s

4  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Ollie Jackson  1m 25.346s

5  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw  1m 26.360s