Ecurie Ecosse duo Marco Attard and Alexander Sims emerged victorious from a two-part qualifying session producing a combined time to determine pole for tomorrow’s second round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
The Barwell Motorsport-run duo took pole with a best lap time from both drivers combining to a total of 2min 46.901secs, over a second faster than the combined time of the #1 Beechdean Aston combo of Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam.
Beechdean’s second place had looked in doubt as reigning champ Howard did not complete the requisite three flying laps during qualifying, however a visit to the scrutineers determined force majeure due to a brake issue with the car.
The #23 United Autosports Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Mark Patterson and Matt Bell set the third fastest combined time to mean three different marques at the pointy end of the grid for tomorrow’s two-hour race.
In GT4 it was the #42 Century Motorsport G55 Ginetta of Rick Parfitt and Tom Oliphant with pole with a combined 3min 819secs, half a second ahead of the #77 ISSY Racing Lotus Evora of Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw. Unusually, it was amateur driver Parfitt who ran with the professionals as team-mate Oliphant flew in from his double duties at Thruxton today.
The #407 Beechdean Aston of Ross Wylie and Jake Giddings set the third fastest combined time, just two tenths shy of the Lotus ahead to make GT4 emulate its bigger brother with three marques in the top three spots for the start of tomorrow’s race.
Sir Chris Hoy and Nissan GT Academy Team RJN team-mate Alex Buncombe in the #80 GT-R will start from P8 on the grid after a strong qualifying performance.
Bank Holiday Monday will see the two-hour race start at 13:55 with the amateur drivers taking the start and driving for a minimum of 50 minutes of the race before handing over to their professional colleagues.
Alexander Sims, #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3
“I’m very happy with that! It’s surprising, especially the advantage we had. We expected this to be one of our weaker circuits, and it looked like that in practice when we couldn’t get the car right. As a team we worked very hard, myself and Marco picked up things from each other, and got it together perfectly for qualifying. It was just the usual fixes we made to find the pace. It was really highlighted what we needed to work on, we analysed it and turned it into a success.”
Rick Parfitt Jnr, #42 Century Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4
“I’m really happy. I was out first against the quicker boys, and I knew the tyres were an issue, despite the car being good. The car felt great, and I was only a little off the pole setter in my session. I was competing with all these amazing drivers, and then there was me, this singer bloke! Superstar Tom flies in from Thruxton and jumps in the car to do an amazing job. It’s great to bounce back from Oulton, where everything went against us. We’ll see how we do and the aim is to stay away from the traffic.”