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British GT Snetterton Round-up

GT3 victories for Shaun Balfe and Sandy Mitchell in Race 1 while John Ferguson and Rafaelle Marciello came out on top in a great battle in Race 2. In GT4 Freddie Tomlinson and Stuart Middleton claimed Race 1 honours and Charles Clark and Jack Brown notched up win number 2 this season with victory in Race 2.

Race 1


Starting from pole, Balfe managed to keep the pack at bay as they entered Riches for the first time and then used the traction advantage to pull a small enough gap as they all exited Wilson. Balfe got his head down and slowly built up a decent gap to the rest of the GT3 field. By the time the pitstop window opened the Lamborghini was already 6s down the road.

The Barwell squad left Balfe out longer than those behind him and a super clean stop by the team meant that Mitchell was able to rejoin in the lead. Mitchell plugged away and by the time the flag fell at the end of the hour, he was 11.1s clear of the rest.

Behind the rampant Lamborghini it was all up for grabs for the remaining steps of the podium. Darren Leung in the Century Motorsport BMW was running second, but chasing hard for that was Simon Orange in the Orange Racing McLaren.

Despite starting back in P7, Orange was a charge and made some great moves as they entered Wilson hairpin and was then pushing Leung. Unfortunately for the team an infringement during the pitstop and subsequent drive-through meant finishing P11.

Century lost time in their stop as Leung handed over to Dan Harper and Enduro Motorsport were handed a penalty for having a short stop which effectively ruled them out from a podium.

With all this going on, the big winner was Sky Tempesta Kevin Tse and Chris Froggatt. Once all the stops had shook themselves out they found themselves up in P2 but with some fast Pros behind.

Rob Bell in the Optimum McLaren was pushing hard as he was being chased by Harper. Harper found a gap and a chance at to pass Bell then made his chance into Riches and into P2. Bell then also found a gap to pass Froggatt to complete the podium.

Race 1 GT3 winner #78 Barwell Motorsport


Race 1

Starting from pole, Middleton left the chasing pack and off into a decent lead. Josh Miller and Aston Millar tried to chase the gap down.

As the GT4 pitstop window opened, Middleton was able to hand over the Raceway Ginetta to Tomlinson who in turn enjoyed a clean race to the finish to claim his and the teams first victory.

Completing a great race for the team, the sister car finished P2. Michael Crees was running P5 and just behind the pack, but a shorter stop thanks to the Pro-Am pairing, meant that Tom Holland emerged behind the sister Ginetta and followed it home to the flag.

The final podium spot was up for grabs with Seb Hopkins' R Racing Aston Martin enjoying that final spot after taking over from Miller. He was being harried by the Century Motorsport BMW duo of Chris Salkeld and Lewis Plato. With Miller watching his mirrors over the BMWs, this meant that Josh Rowledge soon joined the party. Hopkins held on to the final spot despite some close hard racing.

Race 1 GT4 winner #56 Raceway

Race 2


Pole sitter Alexander West and Marvin Kirchhoefer in their Garage 59 McLaren withdrew before the race started promoting Ross Gunn in his Beechdean AMR Aston Martin to pole.

Gunn made good his new advantage and headed the pack into Riches for the first time. Jules Gounon and Marciello gave chase and when Gounon ran deep at Wilson, Marciello tried to capitalise but couldn't force his nose ahead.

For the next 30 minutes it was a procession as no one could find a way past each other. Then the pit window opened.

The top 3 all stopped at the same time with Andrew Howard taking over the lead Aston Martin with Ian Loggie and Ferguson chasing. However disaster was about to strike Howard with having to serve a stop-go penalty for the pit stop being 1s too short and dropped the Aston back to P6. More woe for the Aston team as the team were hit by a further penalty for speeding in the pit-lane resulting in finishing outside the top 10.

This meant reigning champion Loggie was now in the lead still being chased by Ferguson. As the pair headed into Murrays Ferguson made his move for the lead. With Loggie now chasing and Ferguson watching his mirrors James Cottingham was catching the pair and soon joined the fight.

Loggie made a move and got alongside Ferguson as the pair headed down the pit straight rubbing shoulders with each other, and this gave Cottingham the chance to make a bold move over his team mate round the outside of Riches and into P2.

Cottingham wanted more and was pressuring Ferguson for the lead. Despite everything Cottingham threw at Ferguson held on as the race was ticking towards the close.

Simon Orange was closing fast as the lead trio were fighting each other and made his move as Loggie headed into Wilson. Loggie reclaimed the spot when Orange tried to pass Cottingham but ran wide at Riches.

With the clock ticking down Ferguson was doing all he could to cling onto the win. The leading pack crossed the line as the hour was up with the win going the way of Ferguson by a mere 0.042s! The top 4 were only covered by 0.7s.

Race 2 GT3 winner #2 RAM Racing


Clark started on pole and got away cleanly and more importantly clear of the first lap incident that resulted in Tomlinson hitting the DTO Motorpsort McLaren of Rowledge and retiring the Ginetta. The McLaren however kept going despite with most of the rear diffuser missing.

Back at the front, Clark was being chased by Mike Simpson but as the pair headed into Wilson hairpin the McLaren was tipped into a half spin.

Simpson was handed a 10s stop-go for the incident and with that penalty dropped back out of the fight.

Clark was able to maintain the lead but the advantage he had previously enjoyed had all but disappeared. At the pitstops, the Century Motorsport BMW of Carl Cavers emerged in the lead thanks to serving a shorter stop over the Silver pairings. Brown however soon reeled in the BMW and passed Cavers into the lead and claimed the win for the Optimum Motorsport McLaren.

Rowledge and Millar had a good run after the pit stop in the damaged McLaren to claim P2 while Seb Hopkins built on the hard work by Miller to claim the last spot on the podium.

Race 2 GT4 winner #90 Optimum Motorsport

Following an incident after the race between Michael Crees and Erik Evans both were disqualified from qualifying and both races. There was contact on track and that spilt over to some verbal abuse in the paddock. The Clerk of the Course "found both drivers to be in breach of Motorsport UK's Race with Respect code of conduct for competitors (Appendix 10 of the British GT Championship regulations)". Six penalty points were also handed out to the pair on their race licences. This meant that in Race 1 Miller and Hopkins move to P2 while Michael Johnston and Chris Salkeld now claim the final spot.

The next round heads overseas to Portugal and the Autodromo do Algarve on July 22nd / 23rd.


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