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Minshaw and Keen double up as Bartholomew and Gunn seal GT4 spoils at Snetterton

Minshaw and Keen picked up their second win of the day by four seconds from TF Sport’s Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam after overcoming a 10-second success penalty in the pits for winning the day’s opening race.

Keen’s pole lap offered them a chance to limit the damage at the start, and he duly obliged by maintaining the lead into Turn 1. Meanwhile Adam, who lost the championship lead for the first time this season after race one, gave chase but couldn’t dislodge the Huracan over the course of the opening stint as the pair traded fastest laps.

The sister Barwell Lamborghini driven by Alexander Sims didn’t quite have the pace of the top two, while Joe Osborne also dropped back to fifth behind Jon Barnes after jumping ahead of the TF Sport Aston early on.

Sims, who like Adam had no success penalty to serve, was the first of the leaders to stop but fell out of contention soon after when co-driver Liam Griffin retired the Lamborghini with a damaged front wishbone. That should have made TF Sport’s life a little easier over the final stint but that was without reckoning on a tangled seatbelt, which essentially cost Johnston the lead.

Not that it concerned Barwell, whose slick pit-stop helped Minshaw emerge three seconds clear of Lee Mowle, who’d taken over from Osborne, and the delayed Johnston.

Although the gap between the top-two remained fairly constant for most of the stint, Minshaw was able to ease away from Mowle over the final third as the BMW slipped into Johnston’s clutches. And, in what could be crucial to this year’s title race, the Aston Martin eventually found a way past to limit the damage in the drivers’ standings.

Barnes’ co-driver Farmer brought the second TF Sport Aston home fourth after their seven-second success penalty for finishing second in race one restricted their chances. The result also means the pair have missed a chance to fight for the title at Donington by just half a point.

However, Team Parker Racing’s Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris added fifth to their opening race podium to remain the third and final crew in title contention. Parfitt Jnr spent the first half of his stint harrying Farmer for fourth before eventually finishing two seconds behind the Aston, while Ian Stinton picked up the Blancpain Gentleman Driver of the Weekend Award for taking the Tolman Motorsport Ginetta he shared with Mike Simpson to sixth overall.

Phil Dryburgh and Ross Wylie were the last of the GT3 finishers in seventh.

As well as taking the GT3 points lead, Keen left Snetterton with his second Sunoco Fastest Lap of the Race Award of the season after recording a new British GT3 best of 1m48.579s in his battle with Adam.

And Tolman Motorsport can be proud of their hard work after picking up the PMW Expo Team of the Weekend prize for rebuilding the #56 Ginetta G55 in time for qualifying after it suffered substantial damage in first practice.

Jon Minshaw, #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3: “I came here hoping to have a great first race after working hard on my qualifying, which obviously went well and allowed us to fight at the front in race one. But what I didn’t expect was to win the second, which I have to say was down to the team and Phil. We came in knowing we had the 10 seconds to serve and nailed it. Ok, we were a bit lucky with Derek being delayed but everyone still had to do their jobs.”

Derek Johnston, #17 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3: “It doesn’t feel good, to be honest. We’ve had some issues this weekend and would have left the pits leading race two had the seatbelt not got tangled up. We just panicked a bit and lost too much time. Then it was hard work following and trying to pass Lee. I maintained the pressure hoping for him to make a mistake or run wide, which he did. It’s just a pity we weren’t a bit closer to Jon. But the pit-stop cost us victory today. At least there are still plenty of points on offer at Donington.”

8.5 points behind before the weekend, Minshaw and Keen leave Snetterton with an 11.5-point advantage over Johnston and Adam who had been top since the opening round at Brands Hatch. Parfitt Jnr and Morris are the only other crew who can now win the crown, although they’ll need to overturn a 27.5-point deficit.

The teams’ title will also go down to the wire with TF Sport leading reigning champions Barwell by 14.5 points.


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