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Rockingham Weekend Notebook

Jake Kilshaw’s British GT weekend notebook from Rockingham…

Photo: British GT

Photo: British GT

***Twenty-nine cars are set for the third round of the British GT Championship season, a two-hour race at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, Northamptonshire. Running on the 1.9-mile International Super Sportscar Circuit layout, the British GT cars use the front straight and first corner of the banked oval before tackling a technical infield section.

***Barwell Motorsport had to change the engine in its championship-leading No. 33 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 on Saturday, with a technical problem forcing Jon Minshaw to abandon the car on the inside of Turn 1 at the end of Free Practice 1. The team missed Free Practice 2 in a race against the clock to prepare the car for qualifying. 

***This comes after the sister No. 6 Lamborghini was retired from the second Oulton Park race with a similar engine problem. “There’s a technical issue somewhere with them and they’re working hard to resolve it,” Phil Keen told Sportscar365. “We don’t worry about it, we just get on with it and do the best we can.”

***There were further issues for Barwell in this morning’s warm up session, as Sam Tordoff suffered a puncture in the No. 6 car. Polesitter Jonny Adam topped the session for TF Sport.

***If Keen and Minshaw are able to come back to win this afternoon’s race, they would become the first drivers to win three British GT races in succession since 2010, and the first to win the opening three rounds in more than ten years. 

***The second Free Practice session was red-flagged twice in quick succession to collect the Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of William Phillips and Marcus Hoggarth’s In2Racing McLaren 570S GT4, which had both gone off track. 

***The No. 29 In2Racing McLaren was withdrawn from the event after FP2, with the team citing severe internal damage to the car, taking Hoggarth and Matty Graham out of contention. 

***Polesitter Jonny Adam is hoping he and Derek Johnston can win at Rockingham for the second year in succession. “I think we’ve got good pace, and we won here last year by 20 seconds as well,” he told Sportscar365.

“Derek loves Rockingham, and he’s been fast so far. I’m sure we’ll be there or thereabouts, we’ve got 15 seconds [in success penalty] to claw back, but it’s all about the Am’s first stint. Derek, with what he showed last year, he can do it again.”

***Simon Rudd and Jordan Stilp were a late addition to the entry list on Friday evening, replacing Mike Newbould and Michael Caine in the Team HARD-run No. 36 Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing Ginetta G55 GT4, after Newbould aggravated an injury in last weekend’s LMP3 Cup opener at Donington Park.

***Team HARD Manager Tony Gilham has said there is a possibility for the Kent-based squad to field a third GT4 Ginetta later in the season, likely to allow Rudd and Stilp to enter further rounds. 

***Parker Chase is enjoying racing in British GT after so far only competing in the U.S., and says he has been impressed by the professionalism of the series. “It’s really professional and we’re just blown away by how well put-together everything is,” the young Texan told Sportscar365. “I really like it and hopefully we can do some more over here in the future.”

***British GT will have live streaming of its races for the first time this season, available on the series’ Facebook page and GT World YouTube channel, as well as television coverage in the United Kingdom on Front Runner TV. No TV or streaming coverage will be available for the series’ only overseas round at Spa-Francorchamps in July, however.

***Today’s race will get underway at 1:10 p.m. local time.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist focusing on European series for Sportscar365. Kilshaw was the founder of WorldSportsCar.co.uk and is a member of the Autosport Academy. Contact Jake

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