British GT takes on Spa. We take a look at the major players


We were at the British GT at Spa over the weekend.  Here we take a look at the overall action from the weekend with quotes from selected teams.  Watch out for more coverage from the British GT at RacerViews.


A strong performance at Spa-Francorchamps helped Ecurie Ecosse open up a strong lead in the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship title race after Marco Attard and Alexander Sims scored their second win of the season.

Victory in the second of round five’s two races, as well as fourth place in Saturday’s opening encounter, has helped Attard establish a 23.5 point advantage over #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 drivers Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam.

“I couldn’t have been any happier after qualifying on pole for both races,” said the trophy winner. “However, the manner in which we battled back to finish fourth and then take a well-deserved victory was fantastic. Establishing a healthy championship lead just topped off the weekend perfectly.”


The #4 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine and the sister  #5 car in the hands of Rory Butcher and Jeff Smith finished second and third in the first race of the weekend to give the team their best result in the championship.

“It was a tough call by the team to go with slicks for the first race,” said Butcher. “We were one of the only teams to make the call, but it worked out for the best and that was my first overall podium in British GT.”

“Overall, it was a great weekend for the team and our first double podium,” said team principal David Bartrum. “The drivers did a great job and everyone in the team worked really well.”


The fifth round of the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship afforded Triple Eight little cause for joy, despite Lee Mowle and Joe Osborne securing more points.

The race then began and the La Source hairpin became the scene of much action. Both Triple Eight cars escaped without issue, and Mowle rose to fifth while Johnston ran in eighth.  Race two took place in dry conditions and Osborne started well, moving to fourth before a safety car. At the restart Osborne dropped to fifth as the pit window opened and Hines handed over to Johnston from 20th place.

“I saw Eastwood coming on the last lap,” explained Mowle. “Out of Blanchimont he looked far enough back and I thought to myself, he’s not going to have a lunge from there, but he did. It’s a shame as a podium would’ve been a great way to end the weekend after the first race we had.”


The #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 had a tough weekend at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship, while the GT4 #407 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin GT4 Challenge continues to lead the title race.

“It just wasn’t our weekend for the GT3 side of the garage,” said Howard. “We had strong pace but were just unlucky in a few situation on race day. It was great to see our GT4 Beechdean AMR drivers and team have a successful weekend. They now lead the championship and both guys are driving very well in what is a hard-fought class in 2014.”


Sir Chris Hoy took his first ever podium finish in the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship, alongside Wolfgang Reip, with the Nissan team sealing a second place finish in race two at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

“Bob Neville, the team boss, told me to push like hell at the start so that’s exactly what I did,” said Reip. “I took second place going into the first corner and then I had Alexander Sim’s BMW in front of me. I got a better exit out of Eau Rouge so the added momentum helped me to pass him on the straight before Les Coombes.”

“Those final laps were pretty tense,” said Hoy. “Being in second was a new experience for me; you don’t think about what’s behind you and the less excited you are, the easier it becomes. I kept it simple, as I’m still learning and it’s not second nature to me yet.


Overall round up

Trackspeed and Ecurie Ecosse took their second GT3 wins of the season whilst TF Sport and Beechdean AMR extended their GT4 win tallies after an exciting two races in the Spa Francorchamps round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship.

The Trackspeed Porsche combo of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen were victorious in the #63 car in the morning 60 minute race, which saw many teams caught out by fitting wet tyres to leave the pit lane for what turned out to be a predominantly dry circuit. Trackspeed – who changed the #63 car to dry tyres after the first formation lap – led home the Oman Racing Team Astons, with the #4 Ahmad Al Harthy / Michael Caine car taking second and the #5 Jeff Smith / Rory Butcher car taking third.

The afternoon 60 minute race started and finished dry with pole-sitter Alexander Sims and team-mate Marco Attard taking victory to propel Attard back to the lead of the drivers’ championship and the squad to the top of the teams’ championship. Attard led home Chris Hoy, who finished on his first British GT podium, partnered by Wolfgang Reip in the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R. Third place went to the #18 FF Corse Ferrari of Gary Eastwood and Adam Carroll.


As well as returning to the lead of the drivers’ championship, Attard was also a worthy winner of the Blancpain Gentleman Trophy for his efforts over the weekend.

The first race was particularly close in the GT4 class with a lengthy battle between eventual victors Andrew Jarman and Devon Modell in the #49 TF Sport Aston and the #407 Beechdean Aston of Ross Wylie and Jake Giddings. In a crowded penultimate corner, the #407 lost P2 to the late charging #77 Lotus Evora of Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw with Kershaw at the wheel, only for a post-race judgement to reverse the positions.

The second race was less contentious in GT4, with the Beechdean car taking honours from the Lotus with the #42 Century Motorsport Ginetta of Tom Oliphant and Rick Parfitt Junior taking third.

The Mobil 1 Service Centre Master of the Weekend award was given to Jake Giddings for his weekend-long strong and consistent performance in the #407 Beechdean AMR Aston.


Race 1 Results

Race 2 Results


(c) Ashley Westwood,  July 2014

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