Carroll fastest at British GT season opening
The British GT season has started on Easter Monday at Oulton Park and the winner of the cracking opening race is Adam Carroll, driver of FF Corse team in Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
He was just 1.089 seconds faster than Rory Butcher of Motorbase Performance/Oman Racing Team in Aston Martin Vantage GT3, while the third, with a gap of 2.379 seconds, was Joe Osborne of Triple Eight Racing in BMW Z4 GT3.
In the GT4 class, Mike Robinson of Professional Motorsport World Expo racing with Optimum team won in front of Beechdean AMR’s Ross Gunn and Mike Hurt of Quantamatic Racing.
Liam Griffin od Motorbase Performance/Oman Racing Team had a pole position and had a clear lead in front of FF Corse‘s Ferrari, but it didn’t last long. Salih Yoluc’s McLaren tangled with the 22GT Racing Aston Martin and the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin GT4 Challenge. Yoluc managed to continue but both the 22GT car and the Academy Motorsport pulled off into retirement.
After short safety car stnt on the track, Griffin still had a lead. It seemed to settle for a few minutes after that, with Griffin continuing to sit pretty in the no.6 car with Eastwood not able to reduce the gap and eventually being overtaken by Watson. Unfortunately for him, his second place didn’t last long as a trip into the barriers at Island Bend put pay to his charge before it had properly started.
That elevated the chasing pair of Derek Johnson and Alistair MacKinnon, but their promotion was short lived when the RAM Racing Mercedes SLS AMG caused what was adjudged to be an avoidable incident along The Avenue that also eliminated Jon Minshaw’s Barwell Motorsport BMW and badly damaged the sister Ecurie Ecosse Z4 of Marco Attard.
The necessary Safety car appeared just as the pit window opened after 25 minutes when both Griffin and Eastwood opted to stop. Good work from the FF Corse crew had Carroll strapped in and away just ahead of Rory Butcher, and the two would remain at the head of the field once racing resumed. Lee Mowle’s Triple Eight Racing BMW Z4 GT3 was 11th when the accident occurred but picked its way through the carnage and busy pit-lane to somehow emerge third in the hands of Joe Osborne.
In the second race, RAM Racing Mercedes will take a five-place grid penalty for causing avoidable contact. Meanwhile, the Von Ryan Racing McLaren has been excluded from the meeting for Yoluc’s part in a race one incident.