So you wanted more! More from the British GT opener



Britain’s premier GT Series kicked off to an explosive start last week at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit.


Race 1 began with the #15 Fortec Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 on pole position, after a blistering qualifying time of 1:37.098, two tenths faster than the second place of  the #27 Vita4One 458 of Jay Palmer and Mateo Bobbi.


Although the circuit was dry, conditions remained difficult as the biting wind and cold temperatures made heating the tyres incredibly challenging. On the warm-up lap, the Vita4One car found itself buried in the Armco, causing a delay to the start of the race as the damage to the barriers was assessed.


Eventually the debris was cleared and the race, and season, was set to go. With the damage to the rear portion of the #27 car, second place was taken by the #33 Trackspeed Racing Porsche of John Misnhaw and Phil Keen, followed closely by the #1 Motorbase Porsche piloted by Ahmad Al Harthy.


The British GT Championship is populated by some fantastic driving talent, and on such a small circuit like Oulton Park it manifests itself in exciting, close racing. Particularly in the midfield.


Midway through the race, the front of the field started to shake up. The #15 Mercedes and the #31 Trackspeed car of David Ashburn were involved in a laps-long scrap for the top spot, with both of the Trackspeed team-mates finding their way through to take the lead. They remained this way through to the chequered flag, bringing the first race of the season to a great finish for two thirds of the Trackspeed team, with their fellow #32 car facing a disqualification after a first-lap altercation.


Race 1 Results

133GT3TrackspeedJon Minshaw
Phil Keen
Porsche 997 GT3 R33 laps
231GT3TrackspeedDavid Ashburn
Nick Tandy
Porsche 997 GT3 R33 laps
315GT3Fortec MotorsportsJason Minshaw
James Walker
Mercedes AMG SLS GT333 laps
41GT3Motorbase PerformanceAhmad Al Harthy
Michael Caine
Porsche 997 GT3 R33 laps
53GT3Rosso VerdeHector Lester
Allan Simonsen
Ferrari 458 Italia GT333 laps
679GT3Ecurie EcosseMarco Attard
Oliver Bryant
BMW Z4 GT333 laps
713GT3AF CorseJohn Dhillon
Aaron Scott
Ferrari 458 Italia GT333 laps
821GT3MTECHDuncan Cameron
Matt Griffin
Ferrari 458 Italia GT333 laps
925GT3United AutosportsMark Patterson
Matt Bell
Audi R8 LMS ultra33 laps
106GT3PGF-Kinfaun AMRPhil Dryburgh
John Gaw
Aston Martin Vantage GT333 laps



The second race of the day started with the #3 Rosso Verde Ferrari of Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen leading the grid, with the #31 Trackspeed car again poised to take a high position from the number two grid box.


Their fight for the top spot was possibly the highlight of the race, with each driver setting fastest laps consecutively as they chased each other down. However, a slow pit stop pushed the Ferrari down the field, eventually bringing the car home in 4th place.


After an abysmal Race 1, the #007 Beechdean Aston Martin Vantage of Andrew Howard and Jonathan Adam were surely hoping for a better Race 2, starting from third spot, and holding the position from the start. However, a mistake from the #33 Trackspeed Porsche found the car being launched directly at the Aston, pushing them to 22nd place for the chequered flag.


And mere minutes later, the IDL-CWS Ginetta G55 found itself erupting into flames on the back half of the circuit, after a broken exhaust snagged, and then erupted a fuel line.


The driver, Colin White, quickly brought the car to a stop and jumped from the car, though forgetting to turn off the ignition, leading to an extended and incredibly difficult to extinguish blaze. Adding to the story, the only other Ginetta in the field, ran by Team LNT, had suffered a similar, but smaller blaze in Race 1. Whether it was a coincidence or a major issue is yet to be seen.


The race resumed with two minutes left on the clock, but it couldn’t stop the #31 car from taking the win, followed closely by the United Autosports’ Audi, and Ecurie Ecosse’s #79 BMW Z4, wrapping up the opening round of the championship. Round 2 is at Rockingham on the 6th of May.


Race 2 Results


131GT3TrackspeedDavid Ashburn
Nick Tandy
Porsche 997 GT3 R34 laps
225GT3United AutosportsMark Patterson
Matt Bell
Audi R8 LMS ultra34 laps
379GT3Ecurie EcosseMarco Attard
Oliver Bryant
BMW Z4 GT334 laps
43GT3Rosso VerdeHector Lester
Allan Simonsen
Ferrari 458 Italia GT334 laps
5888GT3888OptimumSteve Tandy
Dan Brown
BMW Z4 GT334 laps
614GT3Fortec MotorsportsBenji Hetherington
Ollie Hancock
Mercedes AMG SLS GT334 laps
718GT3FF CorseGary Eastwood
Rob Barff
Ferrari 458 Italia GT334 laps
822GT3Preci-SparkDavid Jones
Godfrey Jones
McLaren MP4-12C34 laps
91GT3Motorbase PerformanceAhmad Al Harthy
Michael Caine
Porsche 997 GT3 R34 laps
1023GT3United AutosportsZak Brown
Glynn Geddie
McLaren MP4-12C34 laps


Full race results, season standings, and more, can be found at


Photos and story by Nat Twiss, April 2013

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