Adam, Haigh Win British GT Opener; Race 2 Cancelled
Jonny Adam and Flick Haigh won the opening race of the British GT Championship season at Oulton Park on Monday with Haigh becoming the first female driver to claim overall victory in the series’ history.
The pair finished 28.2 seconds out front in their Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 while the second 60-minute sprint race of the day was cancelled due to heavy rain that affected running all day long at the Cheshire circuit.
Beechdean AMR made it an Aston Martin 1-2 on its return to the series with Andrew Howard and Darren Turner driving, while the ERC Sport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Yelmer Buurman and Lee Mowle finished third.
Haigh started from pole and was pressured by Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw as the race got underway but the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 suffered a broken wheel later in the race after contact with a GT4 car.
Track-Club secured the first GT4 class victory of the season with its McLaren 570S GT4 driven by Adam Balon and series debutant Ben Barnicoat.
Tolman Motorsport finished second in class ahead of one of Century Motorsport’s BMW M4 GT4s on the car’s maiden appearance in the series.
RESULTS: Race 1
Sylvest Quickest as Mercedes Dominate ADAC GT Masters Test
Nicolai Sylvest posted the best lap time in the two-day ADAC GT Masters test last Monday and Tuesday (March 26-27) for Team Zakspeed BKK Mobile Oil Racing.
The Danish driver, who set a best time of 1:23.320 in the fifth and final session on Tuesday, shares his Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Kim-Luis Schramm.
The three fastest cars over the course of the test were all Mercedes, with the HTP Motorsport car of Markus Pommer and Maximilian Goetz in second.
Luca Stolz and Sebastian Asch completed the top three in the other Zakspeed car.
While the Mercedes set the overall best times, the Team ORANGE1 by Grasser Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli topped two of Monday’s three sessions.
News & Notes
***Former Porsche LMP1 race engineer Kyle Wilson-Clarke has moved to the GT Masters along with Timo Bernhard to work with KÜS Team75 Bernhard. Wilson-Clarke, who worked with Bernhard in the Porsche LMP1 program, was looking after the Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by the German and Kevin Estre at Oschersleben last week.
***Optimum Motorsport will embark on a full-season program in the International GT Open this year, running an Audi R8 LMS for Bradley Ellis and Oliver Wilkinson in the Pro-Am category. The team entered the season finale last year, finishing second.
***Craft-Bamboo Racing has announced that Darryl O’Young and Aidan Read will drive its second Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Blancpain GT Series Asia. Sandy Stuvik and Shae Davies have already been revealed as the team’s other GT3 lineup while Frank Yu and Jean-Marc Merlin will return to the GT4 class in a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
***Aditya Patel will return to the Blancpain GT Series Asia alongside 2017 teammate Mitch Gilbert in the OD Racing Audi GT3, now run by Team WRT. Gilbert was announced as the first driver earlier in the year along with the news that the Belgian team would take over the operation.
***The Ligier JS P4 will make its racing debut in the LMP3 Cup Championship season-opener at Donington Park later this month, United Autosports has announced. The Yorkshire-based team will field a pair of Ligier JS P4s in the series following its announcement in January.
***Pirelli has been named as the exclusive tire supplier for the Super Taikyu series which got underway at Suzuka at the weekend. The Japanese series features a wide range of different cars including GT3 machinery, and this deal is the first Pirelli motorsport operation in the country.
***Dragon Racing has committed six cars to the new Gulf Sportscar Championship, which was announced last month. The UAE-based outfit will enter a Ferrari 488 GT3, Ferrari 488 Challenge and a Porsche Cayman GT4 as well as three other cars. The series will begin in November.
***The SRO Motorsports Group has donated money received from fines in last year’s GT4 European Series Northern Cup to the Lymph&Co foundation. The series raised a total of €11,208 (c. $13,820) in fines paid by teams and drivers.
***The GT4 European Series gets underway this weekend with a pair of 60-minute sprint races at Zolder, in support of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup. Over 40 cars are expected to be on the entry list.