Barwell Motorsport was victorious in the first of two British GT Championship rounds at Oulton Park on Monday, with its Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Adam Carroll and Liam Griffin.
Having lost second position at the start to Rick Parfitt Jr., Griffin held onto third for most of his stint, while Jon Minshaw and Parfitt battled ahead for the lead, in the sister Barwell Lamborghini and Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3, respectively.
Minshaw survived a restart after a 12-minute safety car period to collect a stranded Ginetta G55 GT4, and led until the pitstops.
Phil Keen was unable to keep the lead in the No. 33 Barwell car that he took over from Minshaw, but it was in fact the sister No. 6 car that inherited the lead.
From third, Griffin pitted a lap later than his competitors and this proved to be the right call as Carroll continued out front until the end of the 60 minute race.
“I struggled a little with the tires at the start of my stint before they came back in towards the end, so I wasn’t as close to the other Lambo as I’d have liked,” said Griffin.
“But we knew that if we weren’t within a certain time that we’d do an extra lap, which worked out for us in the end. I guess we were fortunate to get the jump and come out with a nice healthy lead.
“Clearly anything can happen in the pitstops so we’re not completely out of it in race two, even with the success penalty.”
Joe Osborne and Lee Mowle brought the AMDtuning.com BMW Z4 GT3 home in second, with the former finishing 11.620 seconds behind Carroll.
Seb Morris took the final podium position in the Team Parker Bentley, despite initially losing positions on the pit exit when Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s Rob Bell blocked his getaway.
The Bentley driver pressured Osborne on the last lap but was unable to pass for second and so finished 0.230 seconds behind.
The two TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s finished fourth and fifth, with Jon Barnes holding off Jonny Adam.
Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson continued the good form of Optimum Motorsport with a GT4 class win in the No. 50 Ginetta.
In second was the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 of Generation AMR Macmillan Racing drivers Jack Mitchell and Matty Graham, while a tense battle for third ensued in the final stages of the race.
William Phillips and Jordan Stilp finished third in their RCIB Insurance Racing-run Ginetta, albeit with damage picked up on the restart.
The safety car period occurred with just four minutes completed, after Sean Byrne crashed into the barrier and lost a tire at Knickerbrook. A similar accident occurred later in the race with Kieran Griffin but this was not serious enough to halt the racing.
There were two other retirements: the Maserati GT MC GT4 of Ebor GT Motorsport’s Abbie Eaton and Marcus Hoggarth, and Lanan Racing’s Ginetta of Alex Reed and Joey Foster.
Race two is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. local time this afternoon, with the Pro drivers set to start.
RESULTS: Race 1