The British GT roared and rumbled back into life Easter Monday at Oulton Park. Typical bank holiday weather meant that the picturesque Cheshire countryside was shrouded in grey cloud with the track wet and rain in the air.
Starting from pole in the GT3 class the Team Parker Bentley with Rick Parfitt Jnr at the wheel tried to hold off a fast starting Jon Minshaw in his Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini but by the time they went into Old Hall Minshaw made his move and was off. By the time they crossed the line at the end of lap one the Lamborghini was five seconds in the lead of Parfitt and his Bentley. By the time the pit window opened 25 minutes later the lead was already nearly 20 seconds.
Behind Minshw, the battle for second was on. Parfitt Jnr was pulling away from Liam Griffin in his Lamborgini only for Griffin to start to get close to the back of the Bentley. Griffin also had his mirrors full of TF-Sport’s Aston Martin with Mark Farmer at the wheel, Harry Gottsacker’s Century Motorsport Ginetta and the Mercedes-AMG of Lee Mowle.
Reinging Champion Martin Johnston in his TF-Sport Aston Martin had a great opening lap moving up three places. It wasnt long before another 2 places were gained when Ian Loggie spun his Team Parker Bentley and Lee Mowle in Mercedes-AMG ended up in the tyre wall at Shell Oils. Just before the pit window opened in soon became fourth for Johnstone as Farmer and Gottsacker were held up by a spinning Nissan 370Z GT4 of Tim Eakin.
Keen emerged from the pitsop with a great advantage but the battle for second still raged on but all much closer. Seb Morris rejoined in second, after taking over from Pafitt Jnr in the Bentley, but struggled and it wasnt long before Tordoff in the sister Barnwell Motorsport Lamborghini overtook the Bentley and was off after his team-mate. During the pit stops the TF Sport Aston Martins had swapped, but Jonny Adam soon got past his team mate and then forced himself passed Morris. The Bentley driver had to settle for fourth at the flag.
GT3 Winner Jon Minshaw & Phil Keen
Sandy Mitchell in his McLaren GT4 started on pole was off and soon built up a 10 second lead before the pitstop window opened. Unfortunatley a seized wheel nut during the pit stop scuppered his and team-mate Ciaran Haggerty’s chances.
Academy Motorsport and their Aston Martin of Will Moore had a great first part of the race and overcame Tregurtha and Balon.
Nicoll-Jones had to serve a 18s penalty after ther pitstop as the team didnt adhere to the minium pitstop time which scupped the lead he had initailly after the stops. The penalty to Nicoll-Jones meant that Mackay in his Track-Club McLaren was now in the lead but he too had a penalty for being too quick in the ptistops and had to serve a 1.5s penalty. Mackay had built up a lead such that even after his penalty he still emerged in the lead ahead of second placed Middleton in his HHC Motorsport Ginetta.
After serving his penalty, Nicoll-Jones crossed the line in third, but their were excluded because of the driving standards of Will Moore prior to the pit stop. The exclusion promoted reigining GT4 champions of Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson in their PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport Ginetta to the podium and continued their form of scoring podiums in their five GT4 races.
GT3 Winner Adam Balon & Adam Mackay