British GT: Nice victory for Attard and Sims at Brands Hatch
Reigning champions Marco Attard and Alexander Sims of the Ecurie Ecosse team are the winners of the British GT sixth round at Brands Hatch in GT3 class. In the GT4 class, the winners were Tolman Motorsport’s David Pattison and Luke Davenport.
Interestingly, the start of the race was quite smooth, without the usual dust gravel seen in the British GT races. After the opening laps, the standings in the GT3 class remained unchanged with Beechdean AMR’s Andrew Howard in the lead. The action in the GT4 class was more interesting as Will Moore in Academy Motorsport’s Aston Martin jumped from fourth spot to take a lead.
After ten minutes of racing, the first accident was seen when Ross Wylie (VonRyan Racing) was all over Lee Mowle’s BMW (Triple Eight Racing). They made contact and McLaren spun outwards, but managed to get back on the track. That allowed Howard to stretch the lead a little, but he still had to serve a 20-second-long pit stop penalty.
The battle for second spot in the GT3 class was very interesting as 6-7 cars were close to each other. Another accident was soon seen after 15 minutes when Marco Attard (Ecurie Ecosse) in a BMW overtook TF Sport’s Andrew Jarman, but they had a superficial contact so Jarman’s Aston Martin spun around, causing a yellow flag to be raised.
In the meantime, Fox Motorsport’s Paul McNeilly, who had a pole position, was forced to retire as he stayed stuck in the gravel after a collision with Derek Johnson (Optimum Motorsport) who also had to go into the pit.
The safety car was employed when Ross Wylie colided with David Jones’ Preci-Spark Mercedes. Both cars stayed in the gravel at Turn 8 but after the pit they returned to the race. After almost 10 minutes, green flags were seen and the racing kickstarted again.
An interesting detail was Rick Parfitt sneaking into the pit under the safety car to serve a drive-through penalty; however the stewards noticed so he had to come in again. A few laps later, Parfitt’s Ginetta hit the tyre barrier and that was the end of the day for him.
Marco Attard then dropped to fourth spot as Liam Griffin (Oman Racing Team) overtook him; unfortunately another Aston Martin of the same team was out of the race. The championship runners-up Ahmad Al Harthy pulled off just a few moments after the unscheduled stop in the pit.
Will Moore was on the top of GT4 rankings, with an advantage of 2.7 seconds in front of Aleksander Schjerpen and 4.8 ahead of Oz Yusuf, but GPRM’s Toyota in the hands of James Fletcher had a nice day jumping up to eighth after starting from last after missing Saturday’s qualifying.
After the change of the drivers at half stage of the race, Triple Eight Racing with Joe Osborne behind a wheel took the lead, but Alexander Sims was the real driver to steal the show as he set the fastest lap in Ecurie Ecosse’s BMW.
The safety car was deployed on the track again after Jamie Stanley in Fox Motorsport’s Ginetta was stranded facing backwards. It looked like this would be an interesting part of the race as Sims was right behind the second placed Rory Butcher (Oman Racing Team) in the queue at the head of GT3, while in GT4, Mike Robinson (Optimum Motorsport) was at the top.
The drama continued when Rory Butcher dropped to ninth spot after problems with his Aston martin, leaving Sims and Matt Bell (TF Sport) to fight for second position. Sims looked better and soon he was just 2.9 seconds behind Osborne. With some 25 minutes to go, the gap was less than a second! Beechdean AMR’s Aston Martin with Jonathan Adam was in constant chase, reducing the gap so that he was soon just behind Bell.
Finally, Sims managed to take the lead after making use of an opportunity to overtake Osborne who made a small mistake. Sims kept his lead and clinched his second victory of the season and maintained the lead in the championship standings. Joe Osborne finished second, while Tripel Eight Racing’s Lee Mowle had to settle at third, leaving Jonathan Adam fourth and Adam Carroll in FF Corse’s Ferrari in fifth place.
In GT4 class, Luke Davenport in Ginetta G55 secured the first win for Tolman Motorsport. It’s success is even more significant as the team began from the ninth place. The second position was won by another Ginetta driven by Mike Robinson (Optimum Motorsport), while third was championship leader Beechdean AMR’s Ross Gunn who was just four seconds faster than Academy Motorsport’s Dennis Strandberg.