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TF Sport Crowned British GT Champions; McLaren Wins Race

Derek Johnston, Jonny Adam win British GT title for TF Sport…

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston won the 2016 British GT Championship for TF Sport, with a second-place finish in Sunday’s race at Donington Park.

The pairing took the No. 17 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 to pole on Saturday, and Johnston remained out front for the entirety of his opening stint.

They lost the lead to Rob Bell in the pit stops, but Adam held onto second while the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse-run McLaren 650S GT3 took its first win of the season, driven by Bell and Alasdair McCaig.

Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen, who came to Donington as points leaders, dropped out of the running with 40 minutes completed, as Minshaw crashed his Lamborghini Huracan GT3 into the barriers.

He was trying to overtake Alasdair McCaig and a GT4 car at the Old Hairpin, but dropped onto the grass and lost control of his Barwell Motorsport car.

The final car that was in the title hunt was Team Parker Racing’s Bentley Continental GT3. Seb Morris took this car to third position at the line, but he and Rick Parfitt Jr. would need a win to win the championship.

Rory Butcher, driving the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin that Adam co-drove with Andrew Howard to last year’s championship, managed a fourth-place finish.

Adam and Johnston won the first two races of the season, at Brands Hatch and Rockingham. They were leading the championship until the penultimate round at Snetterton.

Adam becomes the first driver to defend their British GT title, while Johnston takes his first championship, fittingly at his home track.

“There was pressure throughout the year, but for Aston Martin Racing to place me with TF Sport, which I knew to be a very good team, was really exciting for me,” said Adam.

“Derek has put in quick stints at every stage of the season, he has worked so hard both on and off the track and he stepped up to the mark.

“I have to take my hat off to Tom [Ferrier, team manager], because TF Sport is arguably the best team I have ever driven for – the detailing of the cars and the capability of everyone involved is phenomenal.

“It’s fantastic for Aston Martin to achieve another title – the third in four seasons for the V12 Vantage – with a strong customer team that believes in the product. Tom has given us the right kit to do the job and I’m made up for the team.”

Optimum Motorsport secured the GT4 title with the PMW World Expo Racing-backed Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson.

A third-place finish was enough to take the class honors home, while rivals Beechdean AMR dropped back in the latter stages of the race with problems for Ross Gunn.

Gunn himself wasn’t in the championship hunt, having only completed two rounds in the GT4 car this season after stepping down from the GT3 team. Co-driver Jack Bartholomew had to settle for second in class’ standings, however.

The class race win itself went to Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty in the No. 59 McLaren 570S GT4, giving Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse a sweep of both classes.

Matty Graham finished second in the Generation AMR Macmillan Racing Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4.

RESULTS: Donington Park
RESULTS: Final Championship Standings

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.


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