Geddie father/son combo secured British GT title in dramatic Silverstone finale

9 10 2011

Despite not winning a race all season, the Geddie's ended the season as champions

Despite not winning a race all season, the Geddie's ended the season as champions (www.britishgt.com)

CRS Racing pair Glynn and Jim Geddie took championship glory in the final round of the 2011 season at Silverstone with a third place finish.

The race was won by Beechdean Motorsport’s Jonathan Adam and Andrew Howard in their Aston Marton DBRS9. A dozen drivers could have claimed the title in the exciting two hour finale.

The early stages of the race had been dominated by the Audi of Joe Osborne, which had been added to the United Autosports line-up to aid the championship challenge of Mike Guasch and Matt Bell.

Having qualified on the second row of the grid, Osborne moved into second place at Stowe on lap one and then took the lead from David Ashburn’s Trackspeed Porsche on lap two before streaking away at the head of the field.

Behind, Charles Bateman attempted to give chase in the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari, having worked his way up to second place with defending champion Ashburn running in third. Poleman Howard, meanwhile, had slipped back the order to fifth by the end of the second lap.

As the first half of the race played out, United Autosports’ decision to put Osborne out for the opening stint saw him increase his lead to the best part of half a minute from Bateman behind, while Howard – after a difficult opening few laps – fought his way back ahead of the Porsches of Gregor Fisken and Ashburn to go third.

Heading towards half-way and the start of the driver changes, Bateman and team-mate Michael Lyons found themselves as the men to beat in the championship, with Jim Geddie running down in eighth.

However, the race would be turned on its head when Paul Whight went off in his GT3B class Aston Martin DBSR9 exiting Stowe, with the car going backwards into the tyre wall on the inside of the circuit.

Just as the field started to cycle through the mandatory stops, the Safety Car was deployed to allow the Aston Martin to be recovered, with a number of cars electing to pit straight away – although the leading Audi wasn’t amongst them.

Osborne was however waved through by the Safety Car and then elected to pit, which allowed team-mate Zak Brown to resume in the lead.

With the Safety Car having not picked up the leading car, there was then a lengthy run under caution before the race resumed with Brown leading in the Audi from Michael Lyons in the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari and Godfrey Jones in the Preci-Spark Mercedes, which had made up places after a strong opening stint from twin brother David, who was handed the Sunoco Driver of the Day award for his efforts.

Jonny Adam was fourth ahead of Richard Westbrook’s Porsche, with Glynn Geddie sitting sixth. As it stood therefore on the restart, Lyons and Bateman were set to take the title by a single point.

Within a matter of laps of the restart, however, that all changed, as Adam, Westbrook and Geddie all got ahead of Jones’ Mercedes in quick succession – with fifth place set to hand the Geddies the championship crown.

Having been able to close on Lyons thanks to the Safety Car, Westbrook and Geddie then moved ahead of the double race winner while, out front, Adam took little time in reeling-in Brown’s Audi to move into the lead in his Aston Martin.

Lyons slipped behind both Tim Bridgman and Matt Griffin before his title hopes were ended by a drive-through penalty for exceeding the track limits. Griffin’s hopes of taking the crown for MTech also faded when he was given a stop-go penalty for a pit-stop infringement.

As Adam pulled away at the front of the field, Brown tried his best to defend second from Westbrook before conceding position to the Porsche, and Geddie eventually followed him through into third, albeit only after a huge battle with Brown’s Audi which saw the two cars almost banging wheels on more than one occasion.

With Westbrook and Geddie then fighting over second, Adam found himself unchallenged at the front of the field and he successfully brought the Beechdean Aston Martin home to the finish to take victory in what will be the car’s final race before retirement.

Behind the Aston Martin, Westbrook took the flag second despite struggling with tyre wear as the race wore on, which allowed Geddie to close in behind.

Although third would have been enough to secure the title, Geddie gave his all to try to find a way through but as the two cars exited Luffield for the final time, it was the #1 Trackspeed Porsche that crossed the line second, with Geddie still behind.

Title success for the Scottish pair came despite them failing to win a race all season, with the championship instead being the reward of a consistent approach over the course of the year.

Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman took fourth place for Trackspeed while the Jones brothers crossed the line fifth. Despite Osborne’s earlier heroics, Brown had to settle for sixth at the wheel of the #29 Audi, ahead of a disappointed Lyons and Bateman, who crossed the line seventh after their drive-through.

Of the other drivers who had help championship aspirations before the start, Griffin and Cameron took ninth while Hector Lester finished just outside the points in 11th. Mike Guasch and Matt Bell meanwhile ended the race 22nd after losing time in the pit repairing damage picked up in contact on track.

As was the case in the penultimate race of the season, at Donington Park a fortnight ago, the Lotus Sport UK team took GT4 victory thanks to the #48 Evora.

Having qualified on class pole, Glew led the class early on ahead of the Ginetta of Dan Denis, with the pair battling hard on track through the early stages before the Evora started to establish an advantage.

Glew kept the lead until handing the car over to team-mate Holmes, and he maintained the advantage to secure what would ultimately be a comfortable victory when the Ginetta was handed a drive-through penalty and slipped to third in class.

Despite a tough opening stint, the ABG KTM fought back to take the chequered flag in second place, which was more than enough to secure class championship honours for Clutton and Belshaw, who had gone into the weekend needing only to finish inside the top six.

Round 10 Race Results

GT3

1  Beechdean Aston Martin  Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam  2h 01m 26.220s / 97.68mph

2  Trackspeed Porsche  David Ashburn/Richard Westbrook  +22.738s

3  CRS Racing Ferrari  Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie  +22.939s

4  Trackspeed Porsche  Gregor Fisken/Tim Bridgman  +37.231s

5  Preci-Spark Mercedes  David Jones/Godfrey Jones  +43.170s

6  United Autosports Audi  Joe Osborne/Zak Brown (USA)  +56.941s

7  Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari  Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman  +1m 14.286s

8  MTECH Ferrari  Julien Draper/Matthew Draper  +1m 20.669s

9  MTECH Ferrari  Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL)  +1m 23.848s

10  CRS Racing Ferrari  Andrew Tate/Alex Mortimer  53 laps etc

GT4

1  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Chris Holmes/Phil Glew  52 laps

2  ABG Motorsport KTM  Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton  51 laps

3  Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta  Dan Denis/David McDonald  51 laps

4  Century Motorsport Ginetta  Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury  50 laps

5  Magic Ginetta  Stewart Linn/Chris Midmark (SWE)  50 laps

6  Lotus Sport UK Lotus  Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom  49 laps

7  Secure/Barwell Aston Martin  Peter Erceg/Tiff Needell  49 laps

Fastest lap Bateman 2m 06.162s / 104.45mph Est Rec

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Fisken and Bridgman rue bad luck with backmarkers at Donington Park enduro

26 09 2011

Bridgman had looked quick in qualifying but engine failure put paid to a second 2011 win © Jakob Ebrey

Fisken and Bridgman were unlucky with a GT4 backmarker that compromised their chance of victory © Jakob Ebrey

A THIRD podium finish for Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman could of been so much more after a backmarker ruined their chances of a win.

The pair reminded the field that the Trackspeed Porsche still packs a punch despite being out of the title hunt after the Rockingham engine disaster and again mastered changeable conditions as they had at Brands Hatch.

After narrowly sneaking second after a penalty for the MTECH Ferrari 458, it was a feeling of what might have been after a clumsy moment with a GT4 backmarker robbed them of the lead.

Fisken was forced to circulate slowly under Safety Car procedure behind a crippled GT4 Aston Martin, allowing the chasing MTECH Ferrari to close in.

With their advantage now all-but negated, the backmarker then swerved late across the Porsche’s path into the pits just as racing resumed. With Fisken hard on the brakes, Duncan Cameron was able to easily nip past, even though the race remained under caution.

Fisken was happy to be back on the podium but understandably disappointed with the impact that the GT4 backmarker had.

He said: “It’s great to get back on the podium and an excellent result for the team, but I can’t help feeling a sense of ‘what if’. I was really enjoying myself out there, especially in the opening stint, when the track was at its trickiest.

“I’ve always revelled in those sorts of conditions because of my background in historic racing where power comfortably outstrips grip.

“Tim was then able to extend our lead before I got back in. We were comfortably clear of the rest so to have the GT4 Aston Martin compromise our race like that is just so disappointing.

“I had no choice but to stay behind even though the Safety Car was going faster. That allowed the others to claw back everything they had originally lost.

“Without being so badly delayed I think we would have won, especially when Tim showed in the final stint that we also had the dry pace to compete with the Ferraris. That at least bodes well for the final round where we will be looking to end our year on a high.”

Bridgman was equally delighted to get some big points but again left frustrated that bad luck compromised a winning position.

He added: “I’m delighted with the podium but can’t deny my frustration with all the little elements that conspired against us throughout the race. The car was great this weekend, especially in the changing conditions, which allowed me to open up a decent gap during my first stint.

That it was negated behind a Safety Car isn’t the problem – that’s endurance racing – it was the way in which Gregor, who was fantastic in those tricky early conditions, was held up by the stricken Aston Martin during the caution period, which helped others catch up, that really cost us.

 “We know the Ferrari 458 is a faster package in the dry over a stint but on sheer one-lap pace we were right there, as proven by the fastest lap.
“I was pretty certain the MTECH car would be penalised so it was just a case of sticking with him and picking up the pieces post-race. It was a great result that sets us up nicely for the final round.”




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)





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





Bridgman’s promising pole ruined by engine failure in warm-up at Rockingham

6 09 2011

Bridgman had looked quick in qualifying but engine failure put paid to a second 2011 win © Jakob Ebrey

Bridgman had looked quick in qualifying but engine failure put paid to a second 2011 win © Jakob Ebrey

A SCINTILLATING lap helped Tim Bridgman and Trackspeed claim pole position for round eight of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Rockingham on Saturday before a mechanical failure put paid to his hopes of a second victory in 2011.

On a weekend that saw most of their championship rivals also encounter problems, Bridgman and team-mate Gregor Fisken demonstrated the sort of pace that should have seen them claw back vital points as the season enters its final stages.

In qualifying at least Bridgman was in imperious form en route to the #2 Porsche’s first pole position of the year thanks to a lap 0.337 seconds faster than his nearest challenger during the second session. That Rockingham is regarded by fellow drivers as a difficult circuit to exploit made the time all the sweeter.

Bridgman said: “Our car can be a bit sensitive when the track is still green but essentially it was great out of the box at Rockingham.

“Once the rubber went down in practice we were able to really push so I was confident going into qualifying, especially after Gregor had gone third fastest in the first session.

“My first lap was probably the only time so far this season that I’ve had a clear track in qualifying and fortunately I was able to exploit that, as the next two were compromised. Set-up wise the team did a great job.”

But Bridgman, whose prowess in changeable conditions had helped the #2 car record its first victory of the season at Brands Hatch earlier in the year, would be denied a shot at doubling his tally ahead of Sunday’s opening race when a rare mechanical issue struck during warm-up, forcing he and Fisken to withdraw from the event.

Bridgman added: “Naturally we’re both very disappointed because the pace was clearly there to score a couple of big results which would have got us right amongst the championship battle.

“But that’s racing sometimes and at least we can go to Donington later this month knowing that the car is in good shape. Now it’s just a case of finishing the season on a high and making up for the frustration here.”





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





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