Teenage pairing Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn put in a measured and mature drive during Sunday’s two-hour Avon Tyres British GT Championship encounter at Rockingham to claim a well-deserved GT4 class win.
The #407 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin GT4 Challenge team-mates were on impressive form all weekend, taking pole in Saturday’s qualifying session and heading the pack throughout the two-hour race.
Chadwick handled the opening stint and built a significant gap over her rivals, bagging the Sunoco Fastest Race Lap of the Weekend prize in the process. Behind her the GPRM Toyota GT86 gave chase with Richard Williams at the controls, only for the #86 machine to suffer technical trouble during the second stint.
A fast and consistent pace allowed 16-year-old Chadwick to hand over to team-mate Gunn in the lead, completing a sterling weekend from championship’s youngest competitor. Gunn maintained the high standard by further extending the car’s advantage over new pursuer Dennis Strandberg, who produced a strong stint in his Academy Motorsport-run Aston Martin GT4 Challenge entry.
A late-race safety car bunched the pack up, but Gunn was able to keep a cool head and bring the Beechdean machine home for a deserved victory that also secured he and Chadwick Silver Cup honours. Strandberg took second and bagged Pro/Am spoils with Moore, while the #47 JWB BIRD Motorsport car of Kieran Griffin and Jake Giddings completed the podium – and ensured an Aston sweep of the top three.
Jamie Chadwick, Beechdean AMR: “I’m delighted! Ross and I knew we had the pace this weekend but we really had to work hard to make sure we managed the tyres effectively. I brought the car back with a healthy gap and then Ross absolutely smashed it in his stint. We just had to bring it home from there.”
Ross Gunn, Beechdean AMR: “Jamie definitely made my job easy! She put in really consistent lap times so it was just a matter of maintaining the gap. The pressure came on a bit with the safety car, especially with so much dicing around us. I was so pleased to cross the line at the finish.”
Dennis Strandberg, Academy Motorsport: “It was a great result for us. I think after qualifying we knew we could perform and I’m extremely pleased with second. It was tough at times but we did well and I hope we can keep it up for Silverstone.”
Kieran Griffin, JWB BIRD Motorsport: “Obviously we’re delighted with the result! We didn’t expect it, but Jake delivered a fantastic stint. Overall, a brilliant effort.”
Following the Rockingham encounter the overall GT4 and Pro/Am standings are led by the PMW Expo Racing/Optimum pairing of Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson. Chadwick and Gunn sit second in the GT4 Silver Cup to Aleksander Schjerpen and James Birch, while their Beechdean AMR squad occupy the same spot in their championship behind the PMW Expo Racing/Optimum outfit.
The 2015 British GT campaign returns to action in four weeks’ time at British Grand Prix venue Silverstone (May 30/31).