bgt-logo 2Trackspeed and Beechdean AMR celebrated their first wins of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship season during two hard-fought races at Snetterton.

Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen emerged victorious from the opening 60 minute race of the weekend in Norfolk at the wheel of their Porsche, before defending champion Andrew Howard clinched top honours in race two alongside Jonny Adam in his Aston Martin Vantage.

GT4 meanwhile saw the victories shared between the ISSY Racing pairing of Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw, and the Twisted Team Parker duo of Adrian Barwick and Bradley Ellis.

Victory for Trackspeed in the opening race came after Keen was forced to defend hard to keep returning former champion Jonny Cocker at bay throughout the second half of the race as an intriguing battle between the pair played out on track.

Cocker’s team-mate Marco Attard had led the race from pole before the positions were reversed during the driver changes – with less than a second then splitting the Porsche and BMW all the way to the finish.

Third on the road was the #888 BMW of Derek Johnston and Luke Hines, but a post-race exclusion for an incident earlier in the race handed the final podium spot to the sister car of Joe Osborne and Lee Mowle.

Race two, which had to be restarted after a three-car accident on the second lap that caused a stoppage of nearly an hour, was won in comfortable fashion by Howard and Adam, who led from start-to-finish for their first success of the year.

Adam built a lead in the opening stint which allowed Howard to then bring the car to the flag well clear of the FF Corse Ferrari of Adam Carroll and Gary Eastwood; the pair making up for an earlier retirement by taking a podium finish to add to the team’s victory earlier in the year at Rockingham.

Third went the way of Strata 21 pair Tom Onslow-Cole and Paul White, who stepped onto the British GT podium for the first time having emerged on top of a heated battle behind the top two.

In the GT4 class, the opening encounter saw the Lotus take a home win, with Oz Yusuf leading early on and then Gavan Kershaw bringing the car to the finish despite a late scare when the water temperature started to rise. The Beechdean AMR car of Ross Wylie and Jake Giddings was unable to take advantage however and took second, ahead of the Ginetta of Rick Parfitt Jr and Tom Oliphant.

Race two would be an all-Ginetta affair, with Barwick and Ellis adding to their victory at Silverstone with victory ahead of Parfitt and Oliphant; who were only able to race when their Century Motorsport team was able to use the red flag period to change the gearbox on their car.

The sister car of Morten Dons and Alexander Schjerpen took a superb third position, giving them a second podium finish of the season. The pair lapped strongly throughout on their first outing at the circuit and could well have pushed for victory given a few more laps.

Alongside the main accolades, the Mobil 1 Service Centre Master of the Weekend award was handed down to Dan Cammish for his performance on track in the GT4 class, taking the fastest lap in both races at the wheel of his Team Parker-run Porsche and also leading the second race prior to his mandatory stop.

The Blancpain Gentleman Trophy meanwhile went the way of Triple Eight’s Lee Mowle, who celebrated a podium finish in race and then took a solid fifth in race two in his BMW Z4 GT3.

The Snetterton weekend also saw the British GT paddock come together to remember the late Allan Simonsen, with a minute’s silence being observed on the grid prior to the start of race one on the first anniversary of his death in the 2013 Le mans 24 Hours.

The Avon Tyres British GT Championship now heads for Spa for the next round on the weekend of 11/12 July.

Race one report and results: http://bit.ly/1jHx4nF
Race two report and results: http://bit.ly/1ps396T

Championship standings following Snetterton: http://bit.ly/1proInX
Penalties:
Race one:
#888 BMW – excluded from the result for driving in a manner not compatible with general safety. Derek Johnston handed four points on his racing licence, and docked 12 championship points.

#38 Aston Martin – Entry fined £500 for driving in a manner not compatible with general safety and handed a six place grid drop for the next race. Mark Poole handed four points on his racing licence, and docked 9 championship points.

#55 Ginetta – handed 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits.

Race two:
#6 Aston Martin – excluded from the results for driving in a manner not compatible with general safety and fined £1,000. John Gaw handed four points on his racing licence and both Gaw and team-mate Phil Dryburgh docked 9 championship points.

#2 Bentley – Steve Tandy given 2 points on his racing licence and both Tandy and James Appleby docked 6 championship points for contact with the #13 Ferrari.

#55 Ginetta – handed 35 second penalty for exceeding track limits.