Vantage Victorious at Sunny Silverstone

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.


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