ISSY Racing’s Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw prevailed in an entertaining GT4 qualifying session earlier today to grab their second pole position of the season ahead of tomorrow’s Avon Tyres British GT Championship round at Silverstone.
The fight for top spot remained a ding-dong battle throughout both 10-minute Am and Pro sessions before eventually going the Lotus Evora crew’s way by just 0.193sec from Richard Williams and Stefan Hodgetts’ GPRM Toyota GT86.
The third contender of the triumvirate, Beechdean AMR’s Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn, also looked capable of making it two pole positions on the bounce but ultimately had to settle for third.
Indeed, it was Chadwick and Yusuf who initially traded fastest times in the Am session, with the former prevailing after the Lotus’ fastest time was chalked off for exceeding track limits. Its banker lap was still good enough for second, though, until Williams’ late flyer wrested the advantage GPRM’s way by less than a tenth.
So competitive is the GT4 field that the Quantamatic Racing Aston Martin of Terry Langley ended up fourth with a time just 0.143sec shy of the Am session’s fastest.
It was then down to the Pro drivers, and it was Kershaw who made enough of a difference to leapfrog Hodgetts after lapping three tenths faster than the Toyota driver.
Second was still an excellent return for the GPRM crew, who spent the rest of Saturday afternoon promoting their #GetOnTrack initiative in aid of automotive industry charity BEN and Racing4MND.
Gunn was unable to make any inroads on the top two and actually ended up 0.625sec adrift of the front row. He was also just under two tenths clear of the fourth placed PMW Expo/Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 making a guest appearance at Silverstone in the hands of Alistair Barclay and Charlie Hollings.
Team-mates and championship leaders Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson are fifth, while the Langley/Terry Hart Quantamatic Aston dropped two places to sixth during the second session.
The sole Porsche 911, run by AmDTuning.com, of Graham Coomes and Jake Hill took seventh ahead of Paul McNeilly and Jamie Stanley in the Fox Motorsport Ginetta that had looked a likely top-five contender during practice.
Oz Yusuf, ISSY Racing #77 Lotus Evora GT4: “I’m really pleased to be starting on pole. It’s a long race and anything can happen but it’s always good to start from the front. Hopefully we can stay there and bring it home.”
Richard Williams, GPRM #86 Toyota GT86 GT4: “I didn’t expect to be that quick! I’ve never driven the new bit of the Grand Prix circuit so it took me some time to get my head around it, but I’m very happy to get the lap out of the car and be starting P2!”
Jamie Chadwick, Beechdean AMR #407 Aston Martin Challenge: “It was a good run but I was actually on a better lap second time around before getting caught up in traffic. Then Ross went out and did a great stint despite suffering a little bit of the same fate, so we couldn’t quite make pole. But we know between us that our pace is good, so we’re hoping for a good result tomorrow.”