Team WFR’s Jody Fannin and Warren Hughes were once again victorious in the British GT at Brands Hatch this weekend, as the almost unstoppable pairing saw them take home fifth win out of six races in the GT4 class.
As is now seemingly customary, a brief shower of rain fell on the grid of twenty-five cars before the five-minute board was shown, and once on the green flag lap, another was deemed necessary by the race director who was unhappy with the formation of the rolling grid.
In GT3, and incredible start for Team WFR’s Riki Christodoulou saw him propel his Ginetta into 15th from 24thon the grid, whilst in GT4 APO Sport’s Alex Osborne suffered from a lap one spin, putting him off the pace of his grid mates, by then end of the first lap, Jota Sport’s Mazda MX-5 had the lead of the class from the Ginetta G50s of Warren Hughes and the recovering Osborne.
By lap three the drizzle was beginning to disappear and Luke Hines (Optimum Ginetta G55) Made his way past the Ferrari of MTECH’s Cameron, whilst on the same lap, Stark Racing by Hepworth’s Jake Rattenbury posted the fastest lap a 1:34.515, three seconds a lap quicker than anyone else at that time.
Buncombe had extended his lead at the front to nearly seven seconds, finally breaking away from Parish. His new challenge however came in the form of Hines’ Ginetta, now past the two Motorbase Porsches and lapping quicker than the Nissan driver. Elsewhere, Osborne now led the way in GT4 after overcoming first the Mazda of Ticehurst and then Hughes’ Ginetta.
This, the second two-hour race of the 2012 season didn’t lack drama and a brief safety car period bunched the field together and allowed a number of cars to regroup with the field following spins or sluggish starts. Shortly after the race resumed, the Lotus Evora GT4 of Sailesh Bolisetti retired with damaged front suspension, Rattenbury’s GT3 dropped to eighteenth with a puncture, while Christodoulou received a drive-through penalty for a yellow flag infringement.
Similarly to Rockingham, the safety car went off track just as the pit window opened at the fifty minute mark. Hines pitted first, Buncombe soon followed, and GT4 class front-runner Osborne was promoted to the lead of the overall race. When the pit window closed, several team received penalties for mis-timed stops, not least Century Motorsport who for the second race in succession released their Ginetta G50 too soon.
While Armindo and Murrels fought it out for fourth and fifth, in GT3, Fannin now had the GT4 class lead after waiting patiently and reeling in the APO SportGinetta of Hove-based James May, but wasted no time in extending his lead over his G50 rival whilst newcomers Barwell Motorsport and their pilot Ben De Zille Butler sat a lap behind.
The win for Fannin and co-driver Hughes’ allowed them to extend their GT4 championship lead over Zoe Wenham to 52.5 points as she and co-driver Dominic Evans finished fifth in class. APO Sport’s hard fought second place gives May and Osborne a welcome 22.5 points.
The Mobil Service Centre Master of the Weekend was awarded to James May for his spirited efforts to hold off Fannin on a circuit he hadn’t driven on until the first practice session on Saturday.
The next round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship is in early August (4th and 5th) at Snetterton in Norfolk where the championship will contest its final 2 x 60 minutes format races of the year before the three-hour spectacular at Silverstone (8th and 9th September).
Race Six - Top Ten Results:
1. Jann Mardenborough/Alex Buncombe RJN Motorsports Nissan GT-R 74 laps / 2:01:14.098 / 89.11 mph
2. Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage +0.022
3. Alasdair McCaig/Oliver Bryant Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 +2.163
4. David Ashburn/Nicolas Armindo Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R +19.522
5. Luke Hines/George Murrells Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 +3.937
6. John Dhillon/Aaron Scott Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 +0.189
7. Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen Rosso Verde Ferrari 458 +9.428
8. Steve Parish/Stephen Jelley Motorbase Porsche 997 GT3 R +35.547
9. Jon Minshaw/Tim Harvey Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R +3.517
10. Godfrey/David Jones Preci-Spark Mercedes AMG SLS +13.358
1.Jody Fannin/Warren Hughes Team WFR Ginetta G50 70 laps / 2:01:34.657 / 84.06 mph
2.James May/Alex Osborne APO Sport UK Ginetta G50 +20.697
3. Mark Ticehurst/Owen Mildenhall Jota Sport Mazda MX-5 GT4 +1 lap
4. Peter Erceg/Ben De Zille Butler Barwell Motorsport Ginetta G50 +1 lap
5. Zoe Wenham/Dom Evans Century Motorsport Ginetta G50 +1 lap