Phil Keen brought back the 33 Barwell Motorsport to take the first GT3 win of the day. It was after Joe Osborne was hit with a thirty-second penalty when he did not take a drive-through penalty picked up in the closing stages that promoted Keen to the top spot. The penalty handed to Osborne dropped him from first to fifth, handing Jon Barnes second place and gifting Seb Morris a surprise third for the hampered Bentley #31.
The Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse GT4 team of Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty took their maiden victory in class, managing to just hold off the attack of second-placed Ross Gunn in the #407 Beechdean. Matthew Graham and Jack Mitchell finished off the podium, ending a strong third.
The start of the race saw Jon Minshaw caught off guard at the rolling start, losing two positions to Derek Johnston and Alasdair McCaig before Turn 1. The GT4s took the start line three abreast, taking the fight into the first corner. It was Graham in the #42 Generation AMR MacMillan Racing
Aston Martin, making a move around the outside, who got the early lead, pulling ahead of Jack Bartholomew in second and pole-sitter Alex Reed dropping to third. Championship leader Graham Johnson was left behind in fourth and didn’t make much of an impression throughout the race.
The opening laps held tight fights for the lead, with both second-placed drivers looking keen to close and make the pass. Bartholomew was 0.3 seconds off the back of Graham at one point, unable to find a gap to pass the Generation Aston Martin. Out in front Mark Farmer was pulling a decent lead that got up to around seven seconds.
Carnage began to fall behind the leading cars as McCaig was closing on GT3 Championship leader Johnston. Trying a move on the inside, both the Aston and the McLaren touched, spinning out and losing a handful of positions. They re-joined ninth and tenth, with Johnston still ahead. The incident was investigated but no further action came of the contact. Sadly for the #79 Black Bull McLaren, front end damage was suffered on the car because of the incident with Johnston, which eventually led to the McLaren having to retire as the radiator failed.
Further back in the GT3 class, contact was made between Liam Griffin and Mike Brown as they tussled for position. Brown was the loser of the incident as he spun off, dropping all the way down the order. Griffin had to limp the #6 back to the pits as the contact gave him a front right puncture. The incident was investigated but no further action was taken.
Reed managed to get passed Bartholomew just before the pit window opened, taking second off the Beechdean car. Most of the GT4s poured into the pits on the same lap, meaning that those with success penalties from last race suffered more than they would have been hoping too. The big
winner of the pit stops was Sandy Mitchell in the McLaren #59, who managed to take the lead from the pits stop, something he held until the end of the race. Graham had a dominating lead until the pit stops, but lost that to the McLaren as his teammate, Jack Mitchell, took to the track P2.
Farmer, unfortunately, had not got enough of a lead to cover his ten-second success penalty as the pit stops occurred, dropping down to P6 when his teammate Barnes headed back out on track. Minshaw, who had been second, also had a success penalty but his was only a seven-second stop. Keen managed to get the Barwell Lamborghini out P4. Gaining two positions, Keen put himself net first with only Phil Dryburgh in the #8 Motorsport Performance ahead who was yet to pit.
Joe Osborne had come out of the pits on a mission, finding himself P2. He looked to have a superior pace to Keen ahead in the #33 as he was closing the gap down at a flying rate, running nose to tail with the Lamborghini for a couple of laps coming down the pit straight. But it all went wrong for the AMDTuning.com BMW as Osborne dove up the inside trying to make the passing move, making contact with the Lamborghini and spinning Keen off the track. He suddenly had the lead with a seven-second advantage as Keen managed to get himself back on track, the rear damage not being too much of a deficit.
Osborne was handed a drive-through penalty for the avoidable contact with three laps to go. He stayed out on track, taking the flag first and was hit with a 30 second time penalty post race, dropping him to fifth. Osborne went straight to Keen after the race, apologising for the contact. He
admitted he was in the wrong but was annoyed at the fact he had been handed a 30 second time penalty. Osborne claimed that others in the past had been handed smaller time penalties for doing what he did and he was not happy with the inconsistency of the penalties.
After running in a close battle with Jonny Adam in the closing stages for third place, Seb Morris hung onto the final podium position. Osborne finished fifth after the time penalty in the AMDTuning.com #7, with Ross Wylie bringing the #8 Motorsport Performance car back for sixth in front of Jody Fannin in the #5. Mike Simpson finished eighth, with Alexander Sims recovering after the early puncture to take two points from the first race. After the contact and spin with Griffin, Matt Maderson did well to recover from the back of the grid to take the final GT3 point just ahead of Luke Davenport in the #56 Tolman Motorsport.
Gunn was pushing hard through his stint, closing down a 6.5-second gap to under a second in about five laps. He was in the best place to take the win, with a clearly superior pace in the Aston than the McLaren. But back makers and excellent defending from Ciaran Haggerty in the #59 Black Bull McLaren saw him hold onto the team’s maiden win. Early leaders #42 Generation AMR MacMillan Racing finished off the podium, holding off the pole-sitting #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta.
Championship-leaders #50 PMW World Expo Racing finished down in fifth, only taking 10 points from the race whilst their closest championship rival took 18. This brings Bartholomew 8 points closer to taking the Championship lead away, bringing the advantage down to 9.5 points. They will be desperate for a better race this afternoon. Jordan Stilp brought the #45 RCIB INSURANCE RACING Ginetta home for sixth, with #60 Ebor GT Motorsport, #75 RCIB INSURANCE RACING, #73 Century Motorsport and #46 Adrian Barwick finishing off the top ten.