The Oman Racing pairing of Ahmed Al Harthy and Michael Caine steered their Aston Martin Vantage to GT3 and overall victory in today’s British GT race at a splendidly sunny Silverstone.
Having qualified 4th with two more Astons above them – those of Beechdean’s Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam, who took pole, and Phil Dryburgh and John Gaw in the PGF car – the ex-Porsche Carrera Cup pair crossed the line in formation with the other team’s car, driven by Liam Griffin and Rory Butcher a lap behind. The race wasn’t without controversy though as two drivers – Dryburgh and Alain Schlesinger (BMW M3) – were penalised and excluded from the race for “avoidable contact”. Not only will neither driver take any points from the weekend – they also had 12 championship points deducted – a clear sign of the MSA’s continuing moves to reduce avoidable contact in circuit racing.
Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Sir Chris Hoy continued his racing career in the Nissan Academy GTR, paired with experienced driver Alex Bruncombe and the team landed a season-best overall 7th finish with their fastest lap less than a second slower than the winners.
Bentley had an unfortunate weekend with one of their two Continental GT3s damaged by fire in free practice on the Saturday and the second landing a 30-second penalty in the BMW collision (that resulted in Schlesinger’s exclusion) robbing them of a podium finish.
In the GT4 class, Adrian Barwick and Bradley Ellis took the win for Twisted Team Parker in a G55 Ginetta with Optimum Racing’s G55 second under Ryan Ratcliffe and Matt Draper.
Tom Oliphant’s Century Motorsport G55 cruised into the pits late in the race to be set-upon by marshals as the rear of the car caught fire – causing a retirement just two laps from the end.
The Championship heads to Snetterton for the next round with two races over the 21/22nd June weekend. Lets see if anyone can challenge Aston Martin at the top level of British GT motorsport.