Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw claimed their third GT4 pole position of the season at Spa-Francorchamps today (July 10) ahead of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship’s fifth round of the season tomorrow.
The ISSY Racing Lotus Evora dominated both 15-minute Pro and Am sessions en route to a commanding aggregate advantage of 1.756s over Beechdean AMR’s championship-leading youngsters Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn. Century Motorsport’s Ginetta G55 of Aleksander Schjerpen and James Birch made it three different manufacturers at the head of the class, albeit half a second further back.
Kershaw’s 2m33.165 wasn’t just the day’s fastest time but also more than two seconds quicker than last year’s qualifying benchmark at Spa. Tolman Motorsport’s Luke Davenport ran the Evora close, circulating less than three tenths shy, while FP1 pace-setter James Nash was the only other driver to lap below 2m34s.
Session two then saw Yusuf pick up where his co-driver had left off by also topping the times. Not even championship leader Chadwick could get close to the ISSY machine, which ended up 1.6s clear of the 17-year-old. Her lap still helped elevate the Beechdean Aston from fifth to second in class, though.
It was a similar story at Century where Schjerpen’s fastest time saw the #43 Ginetta leap from sixth to third and finish ahead of Paul McNeilly and Jamie Stanley’s Fox Motorsport G55. Davenport and Pattison ended up fifth with TrackGroup’s Adam Balon and Ben Clucas completing the top-six.
The Johnson/Robinson Optimum Ginetta, Barwick/Ellis Twisted Team Parker G55, Taffinder/Nash UltraTek Lotus and Walewska/Garofall University of Bolton Ginetta rounded out the top-10.
Oz Yusuf, #77 ISSY Racing Lotus Evora GT4: “I was happy with the lap but there was a bit more out there, too. Gavan also did a blistering time and between us it was enough. We’ve worked hard at it and the car seems well suited to the circuit, so who knows? It’s a long race, though, and we’ll have to wait and see. But we could really do with winning this one if we’re to have a chance of closing the gap in the championship. It helps that I absolutely love the track, but then who doesn’t?!”
Jamie Chadwick, #407 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Challenge GT4: “I was further off Ross than I’d have liked to have been and probably didn’t get enough out of it, in truth. But given the weight we’re carrying this weekend and our comparative inexperience of such a demanding circuit I think P2 is more than we could have asked for before qualifying. We’re delighted, actually, but not getting too far ahead of ourselves either. We’ve got a great team behind us but the aim is to score as many points as possible for the championship now that we’ve got a healthy advantage to play with.”
Aleksander Schjerpen, #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4: “We were happy with third after coming here without knowing where we stood compared to the other guys. James and I did well in both practice sessions and found a really good set-up and balance. I think we’ve got a good race car for tomorrow so we’ll be gunning for a podium. We really need some points after being unlucky so far this season. Hopefully we can turn it around here.”
Saturday’s two-hour race begins at 12:15 local time.