Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang of Will Moore and Matt Nicoll-Jones won the opening GT4 race

Video: Gounon and Marciello dominate rain in GT Oulton Park British thrillers

This was most likely the toughest win of all. Jonny Adam is not any stranger to profitable in British GT, and the four-time general champion was as soon as once more on the highest step of the rostrum after the primary spherical of the season at Oulton Park.

However this one arguably meant greater than the earlier 16 wins not solely was it achieved in Aston Martin’s manufacturing unit drivers’ a centesimal outing within the championship, it was most likely their most hard-fought victory after immense stress within the circumstances altering over the past laps.

Adam had the right alternative to win his century profession, his 2 Seas Motorsport team-mate James Cottingham handed his Mercedes-AMG GT3 lead after dominating the opening phases from pole .

His background behind the wheel of historic equipment paid dividends within the early phases as occasional gentle rain made circumstances slippery, with some rivals choosing slicks on the moist observe. Cottinghams 2 Seas team-mate and reigning champion Ian Loggie gave chase, the Scot having handed entrance row holder Kevin Tse off the road, the latter additionally falling behind Richard Nearys Mercedes in Previous Corridor.

After a quick security automotive to retrieve the Simon Oranges McLaren 720S GT3 Evo from the Lodge gravel lure on lap two, Cottingham and Loggie pulled away from the chase group as Neary turned a cork within the bottle for Tses McLaren, Andrew Howards Aston Martin Vantage and Morgan Tillbrooks McLaren.

Tse compelled his manner up the within of Neary at Previous Corridor on lap seven however extremely Howard went to the within of each to maneuver up two positions. In the meantime, behind, Enduro Motorsports Tillbrook had caught as much as Lodge and dropped down the order. The Howards Beechdean machine made up extra floor on the obligatory stops, transferring forward of Loggies Mercedes with Jules Gounon now behind the wheel after the two-time GT3 champion had eradicated the hole for the remainder of his stint.

With Ross Gunn now on the controls of the Aston, a five-second deficit to Adam was diminished to only 1.6 seconds earlier than a second security automotive interval after Sam Neary, who was changed by father Richard misplaced management of his Abba Mercedes spinning across the GT4 visitors and went out at Druids. Enduro Motorsport’s McLaren Artura GT4 of Harry George acted as a buffer on the restart between the main duo, permitting Adam to take a vital 2.5 second lead by the top of the lap.

Behind, Dan Harper had been third on the restart behind the wheel of Century Motorsport’s BMW M4, however had overtaken Gounon a fraction earlier than the beginning and earned a drive-through penalty. Marcus Clutton changing Tillbrook additionally bought the leap on Mercedes manufacturing unit driver Gounon, however his transfer was authorized.

Initially, he struggled to maintain tempo with the main pair, however with the rain beginning to fall once more and all riders on slicks, each he and Gunn started to make inroads on Adam. With 5 minutes to go the main trio had been collectively, with Clutton first to make a transfer on the within at Previous Corridor. However with the rain getting heavier, the McLaren driver started to lose tire temperature and Gunn regained the place on the identical level within the last lap.

Extremely, the 2015 British GT4 Champion closed a 1 second hole on Adam for the rest of the lap and appeared to the surface in the direction of Lodge for the ultimate time. Each ran huge and brushed the sting of the turf however held their positions on the checkered flag as Clutton had fallen too far again to problem and simply held Gounon at bay on the line.

Raffaele Marciello completed fifth on his British GT debut after RAM Racing team-mate John Ferguson had been one of many few GT3 racers to begin on slicks, whereas Harper and Darren Leung managed sixth regardless of the drive-through.

It was the flip of Marciello/Fergusons to endure a penalty within the follow-up, denying them a well-deserved victory. In heavy rain, reigning GT World Problem Europe Endurance Cup champions Gounon and Marciello had been the category of the sector in the course of the first stage, the latter barely quicker of the 2 earlier than working into Island Bend. By some means he recovered, and being out yet one more lap than all his GT3 rivals meant Ferguson was again within the lead forward of Loggie.

However RAM Racing’s pit cease had been 1 second below the obligatory time, forcing them to serve a penalty, dropping them to second, as had been their dominance over the remainder of the sector. Marvin Kirchhofer/Alex West completed third after working a solitary race of their storage 59 McLaren as Adam/Cottingham, Gunn/Howard and Harper/Leung continued their robust begins to the season by finishing the highest six in a contest which, remarkably, he didn’t. they embody a safety automotive.

British GT4: Slicks guess pays off for Academy Motorsport

Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang of Will Moore and Matt Nicoll-Jones won the opening GT4 race

Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang of Will Moore and Matt Nicoll-Jones gained the opening GT4 race

Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey

The choice to begin with slicks on a slippery and treacherous observe proved an impressed transfer by Academy Motorsport as their Ford Mustangs took the highest two spots within the first British GT4 race. Will Moore and Matt Cowley raced nostril to tail all through the opening interval after ranging from the pits, passing their rivals on moist tires and even main briefly because the GT3 area made their pit stops .

The turning level of the race between the 2 crews got here when a security automotive was deployed simply as Cowley had come ahead at hand over to team-mate Erik Evans, following Sam Nearys’ crash . With Moore stopping a lap later, and the sector at a diminished tempo behind the protection automotive, crew proprietor Matt Nicoll-Jones was capable of rejoin simply earlier than the pit exit closed, giving- it’s basically a step above the sister Academy Mustang.

For the remainder of the race Charles Clark pressured Evans for second, the Optimum Motorsport McLaren Artura driver having taken over from Jack Brown, who had initially led the early phases from pole earlier than being overtaken by the duet of the Academy.

Clark briefly took the lead at the beginning of the ultimate lap over the road, however handed Previous Corridor and dropped down the order, ultimately qualifying seventh, within the Raceway Motorsport Ginetta G56 of Michael Crees and Tom Holland the primary benefactors and finishing the rostrum. .

The DTO Motorsport McLaren of Aston Millar and Josh Rowledge might have been on the rostrum after working within the lead group, however pitting 4 minutes early meant they had been penalised, dropping them to ninth . Josh Miller’s contact within the R Racing Aston Martin Vantage meant he and team-mate Seb Hopkins retired early.

Clark made amends for his spin within the sequel by main impressively from Tom Wrigleys Race Lab McLaren as Tom Rawlings acted as a damper on the chasing pack in his Paddock Motorsport McLaren.
A shorter pit cease for the Professional-Am pairing of Wrigley and Ian Gough gave the latter the lead, whereas an issue together with his tires prevented Brown from closing the hole to five seconds.

He simply held off second on the checkered flag for Millar, teammate Rowledge who was first to cross Rawlings as Hopkins/Miller made up for his or her earlier disappointment with fourth place. “I am nonetheless pinching myself that I am a British GT driver,” mentioned Gough, who together with Wrigley and Race Lab gained his debut British GT weekend.

GB3: Loake and Hedley share the spoils within the opener

James Hedley edged out race one winner Joseph Loake in a wet GB3 race

James Hedley edged out race one winner Joseph Loake in a moist GB3 race

Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey

Unpredictability turned the norm for the primary spherical of the GB3 Championship, each by way of the pecking order and the climate. If selecting a pre-season title favourite had been tough earlier than the weekend, then the occasions on the Cheshire venue solely muddied the waters additional.

British Method 4 graduate Joseph Loake was the standout, taking a double pole and profitable the opening race comprehensively on his debut. He left Oulton Park with a five-point lead within the standings and a brand new lap report of 1m28.619s.

Matthew Rees made it a JHR Developments 1-2 after beginning alongside Loake on the entrance row and trailing his team-mate all through, whereas fellow GB3 runner-up Callum Voisin (Rodin Carlin ) accomplished the rostrum in a processional show. The race led to unusual circumstances, nevertheless, after the broken automotive deserted by Costa Toparis plunged down in the direction of the Lodge circuit and simply missed the sector earlier than proceedings had been dropped at a pink flag halt.

Saturday’s superb sunshine was changed by heavy showers for Monday’s motion, with James Hedley dominating the circumstances in a race that bought off to a complicated begin. With the rain, half the sector pitted for rain tires on the finish of the primary of two inexperienced flag laps, earlier than with the ability to exit the pits to regain their unique positions.

Because the rain turned heavier in the course of the re-grid, the choice was ultimately made to permit the slick-shod riders to additionally change to wets on the grid, necessitating one other delay. As soon as the race began, Hedley jumped from fourth and into second by Previous Corridor, and instantly started to problem the chief Loake.

A lower on the exit of Druids on the second lap gave Hedley the within of Lodge and the lead, with Voisin following three laps later on the exit of Lodge. Regardless of having his lead diminished, Arden VRD rider Hedley held on for his first GB3 win, with Voisin and Loake finishing the rostrum.

Max Esterson (Fortec Motorsports) added fourth to complete seventh in race one, whereas reigning British F4 champion Alex Dunne endured a tough encounter. The Hitech rider raced on the Cascades and completed thirteenth, having solely managed sixth within the first race.

The inverted grid race turned a non-event because the nine-lap competitors was basically run behind the protection automotive for its length. McKenzy Cresswell stalled at the beginning and was picked up by Lucas Staico, whereas front-row starter Shawn Rashid and Voisin had been pulled at Previous Corridor, with all 4 retiring.

They adopted three laps behind the protection automotive, however had been instantly referred to as again after Esterson and Arthur Rogeon exited at Island Bend. Though there have been 10 minutes remaining, the time it took to recuperate the vehicles meant the race ended below the protection automotive. Hillspeeds Daniel Mavlyutov took the win from pole place, with Elites Ayato Iwasaki second and Fortec rider Ed Pearson third.

Author: ZeroToHero

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