The second of the day’s British GT Free Practice sessions saw another Lamborghini topping the table, where the #33 Barwell Motorsport car held a paltry gap of just 0.130 seconds over the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3.
Thanks to the session staying dry, the times in this session were much more representative of the running order – in fact, the top 4 were all under the lap record set by Rick Parfitt Jr last season. The pairing of Parfitt and Seb Morris won the second race at Oulton Park last season, coming close to victory in the first encounter as well. The Lamborghini of Liam Griffin and Adam Carroll won that race last year, so the Barwell car’s 1m 34.291, representing a gap of just over half a second faster than the record last year, will have surprised few people as to the strength around the International circuit.
The session had briefly been red flagged only minutes from the drop of the green flag; Liam Griffin aboard the #6 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini had made a small mistake up towards Island bend, and sadly had found the barriers. Luckily for him, the damage was minimal at most; and a 5-minute red flag allowed him to be pushed out of the barrier, back onto the tarmac and brought himself into the pit lane. The same couldn’t be said for the #63 crew, with the second Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing ending its session backwards in the barrier at Druids, in a similar but much less severe impact than the accident that Mike Newbould suffered in the first session (Mike confirmed to be okay after the crash). Nonetheless, this meant that Team HARD’s day goes from bad to worse; and leaving much more work for them to be done to turn out that car for Qualifying in a few hours’ time.
Third place overall was the #6 Lamborghini, previously fastest in FP1, and the #11 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 of Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes would round out the top 4 in GT3. 5th went to the second TPR car, the #6, with Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod, where the top 6 was rounded out by the #24 MacMillan AMR car.
Over in GT4, the #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S GT4 of Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty continued their strong run of form, their 1m 43.351 gave them a comfortable tenth over the #111 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 of Anna Walewska and Mike Simpson, and a further 5 hundredths over the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta of Alex Reed and David Pittard. Whilst the top 3 were covered by less than a few feet, the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren of David Pattison and Joe Osborne was nearly half a second behind the 51, the #53 RJN Motorsport Nisan 370Z GT4 of Richard Taffinder and Martin Plowman and the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta of Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha rounded out the top 6 in class. How much were they all covered by? 1.001 seconds. Not bad, and we’re not even close to them at the absolute limit either; with qualifying set to be a spectacle!
Photo c/o Nick Smith/theimageteam.com