Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jr. have kept their British GT Championship title hopes alive by winning the penultimate round of the season at Brands Hatch on Sunday, taking them into the finale at Donington Park next month with a 10.5-point lead.
The Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 took the lead of the race during the opening stint and came out of the pit stops with a margin of over 20 seconds which it held onto and increased for the remainder of the two-hour race.
The No. 33 Barwell Lamborghini of Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw, which came into the meeting with a 12-point lead in the standings, could only manage a fifth-place finish and so drops back to second in the championship battle.
Minshaw started the race from pole position with the Lamborghini relishing the damp conditions during Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, but struggled for pace under bright skies in the race.
He was passed by Parfitt for second place 20 minutes into the race, while the Bentley driver was later able to take the lead when the Macmillan AMR entry came into the pit lane early.
A throttle issue while leading just before the halfway mark prematurely ended Macmillan AMR’s race with James Littlejohn and Jack Mitchell driving the No. 24 Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
This allowed Parfitt to move into the lead position a few minutes before making his pit stop to hand the car over to Morris.
Ultimately, Morris crossed the line 33.8 seconds ahead of Sam Tordoff’s Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to secure his third win of the season after previously claiming victory at Rockingham and Silverstone.
“I had the worst start ever but we set the car up with really low [tire] pressures to make sure that our advantage would come midway through our stint, and that’s exactly what happened,” Parfitt told Sportscar365.
“Our tires came into their own as everyone else was starting to lose their grip, so I was able to go on the offensive as everyone else started defending.
“We’ll have a success penalty for Donington and a lead can easily be reversed. I’ve never led the GT3 championship so I’m just going to enjoy that moment and six weeks of Minshaw feeling really angry!”
TF Sport finished third and fourth with Jon Barnes keeping the No. 11 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 ahead of teammate Jonny Adam, while Keen followed closely behind in fifth.
Jan Jonck ensured Macmillan AMR had some success however, winning the GT4 class battle after passing Ciaran Haggerty around Druids with 15 minutes remaining.
The Danish driver and co-driver Will Phillips finished just 2.3 seconds ahead of Joe Osborne’s Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4.
Haggerty was set to finish third in his Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren but went off track and into the tire barrier on the final lap, allowing HHC Motorsport’s Stuart Middleton to take the final podium position.
The HHC Motorsport pairing retains the championship lead after the Lanan Racing car, which came into the weekend just 2.5 points down, lost several laps to a steering issue for David Pittard.
RESULTS: Brands Hatch