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Apr 22, 2014 - 05:29 PM
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Bumper Aston Martin Grid at British GT
Posted by: newsla on Apr 22, 2014 - 05:28 PM
Sports Cars
Bumper Aston Martin Grid at British GT


Eighteen Aston Martins raced at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend, eight in the opening round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship and 10 in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge support race.

 

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In the British GT Championship, there was success across the weekend, as the Vantage GT3 of the Oman Racing Team took the race one win in the GT3 class, and Beechdean and TF Sport both claimed wins in the GT4 class.

Six V12 Vantage GT3s and two V8 Vantage GT4s were included in the full 36-car grid, which included Ferraris, Porsches, Bentleys and McLarens, to name a few. Qualifying took place on Saturday (19 April) with the first two races of the year being held on Easter Monday.

In the top-level GT3 class, the 2013 championship-winning Beechdean machine competed alongside a pair of Motorbase-run Vantages, an entry from new partner team TF Sport, one from MP Motorsport and the final from PGF-Kinfaun.

Following a pole-position qualifying session from Ahmad Al Harthy (OM), the Motorbase-run Oman Racing Vantage GT3, also driven by Michael Caine (GB), held the lead from the start of race one, despite an ongoing attack from Beechdean’s Andrew Howard (GB) and Jonny Adam (GB). When the chequered flag waved the pair of V12 Vantages took the top two steps of the podium.

In race two, Beechdean stood on the podium once more after finishing third, which means, following the opening round of the championship, Caine and Al Harthy now lead on 31 points with Howard and Adam close behind on 30.

“Winning the first race on the Oman Racing Team’s official debut in British GT, with a brand new car in the Aston Martin, is truly amazing – it hasn’t sunk in yet,” commented Al Harthy. “What a fantastic start to the season, the perfect way to begin the year.”

In the GT4 class, the young Beechdean team of Ross Wylie (GB) and Jake Giddings (GB) finished their debut race in first place with the Vantage GT4 of TF Sport in third.

“We’d qualified on class pole for the opening race ahead of reigning GT4 champion Rick Parfitt Jr.,” explained Wylie, aged 22. “He put me under pressure in the race but I was also trying to drive conservatively. He kept me on my toes for a while and it was a bit of a relief when he disappeared from my mirrors.”

Despite Beechdean’s first race success, in the second race of the day it was the TF Sport car of Andrew Jarman (GB) and Devon Modell (GB) that took the chequered flag, meaning they head into the second round of the championship as GT4 class leaders.

"It's great to see so many Aston Martins on the grid at the British GT Championship, but its even better to see that they are winning," comments Aston Martin Racing team principal John Gaw. "We have worked hard to develop two Vantage-based race cars that are extremely competitive and we are proud of the customer teams who represent us - they are incredibly professional and all did a great job this weekend."

In the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge support race, it was ex-BTCC driver Liam Griffin (GB) and co-driver Kieren Griffin (GB) who took the win, despite a challenge from Frank Yu (CN) and Jade Edwards (GB) in the V8 Vantage N340-liveried Silverstone Auctions AMR GT4. After 80 minutes of bumper-to-bumper racing, Yu was contacted from behind by the third place car and the pair retired from the race, leaving the Griffin brothers to take their debut win.

“The GT4 Challenge became a British GT Championship support race for 2014,” explains Gaw. “Saturday’s racing was extremely exciting and the level of competition was really high. We believe it is the perfect feeder series to the main race and a breeding ground for future GT talent.”

The second round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, including the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge support race takes place at Rockingham on 3-5 May.


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