Phil Keen made his way past James Littlejohn in the final minutes of British GT Championship Race 1 at Snetterton on Sunday morning, leading a Barwell Motorsport 1-2 finish.
Jon Minshaw started the No. 33 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 from second on the grid alongside Jack Mitchell, who instantly secured a considerable lead aboard the Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
The polesitter had a 12-second lead over the Lamborghini as the pit stops started, and stayed out until just before the pit window closed.
Minshaw pitted early however, handing over the No. 33 Barwell car to Keen with over 30 minutes on the clock.
While Littlejohn, now in the Macmillan Aston Martin, came out of the pits still with a six-second margin, Keen was on record-setting pace and soon closed the gap.
It took a while for the championship leader to beat Littlejohn’s defensive driving but he eventually made his way past with nine minutes to go, en route to taking the win by 3.8 seconds.
“I had a lot of fun!” Keen said. “James is an old friend – we raced together in Radicals – so it was good to have a battle together.
“Barwell and Lamborghini have done a great job with the car, which makes our lives easier. Snett seems to suit the Lambo – we went well here last year, but we’re using all our good circuits up early in the season!”
Sam Tordoff put the No. 6 Barwell Lamborghini into second having also made his way past the Aston Martin, while Littlejohn held onto the final podium position.
Seb Morris lost third position in the pit stops to Tordoff, and the Team Parker Racing driver was unable to make any more progress up the grid, eventually settling with fourth.
Morris and Rick Parfitt were later penalized for having a short pit stop, dropping the No. 31 Bentley Continental GT3 to seventh and promoting AmDTuning to fourth.
Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha took their second consecutive GT4 win, with the former passing David Pittard’s similar Ginetta G55 GT4 in the final five minutes.
Tregurtha started the race second in class in the HHC Motorsport Ginetta and passed polesitter Alex Reed in the Lanan Racing car.
The 17-year-old held onto this position but eventually lost it in the pits having served its ten-second success penalty picked up from its Rockingham victory.
This put Pittard and the Lanan crew out front for the second stint until Middleton completed a move at Nelsons after the two cars had been running nose-to-tail for several laps.
The HHC driver finished the race with a 1.5-second lead over Pittard, while Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell were third in the No. 100 Garage 59 McLaren 570S GT4.
The only car not to finish the race was the In2Racing McLaren, which left fluid on track at the final corner before Marcus Hoggarth abandoned it at the first corner.
Keen is on pole for Race 2 at 4 p.m. local time, which will be streamed live on the series’ Facebook page.
RESULTS: Race 1