Torrential rain made for a second utterly compelling Avon Tyres British GT Championship round of the weekend at Snetterton this afternoon where there was a first GT4 win of 2015 for the Fox Motorsport Ginetta of Jamie Stanley and Fulvio Mussi.
Meanwhile, fourth place for Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn helped the Beechdean AMR teenagers wrap-up a history-making GT4 title with one round to spare.
Ginetta claimed all three GT4 podium places in a race turned on its head by the appalling weather. Fox Motorsport’s Silver Cup pairing of Stanley and Mussi – the latter subbing for the car’s regular co-driver, Paul McNeilly – was the first past a very wet post ahead of two more G55 crews.
Tolman Motorsport’s Brands Hatch winner Luke Davenport made the early running and set fastest lap on his way to establishing a formidable 12-second advantage over Stanley during the opening stint before seeing his less experienced co-driver David Pattison overhauled in the treacherous conditions by Mussi, who was lapping some five seconds faster in the wet.
Fredrik Blomstedt and Aleksander Schjerpen made it two podiums out of two for their weekend, the Century Motorsport duo going one better than earlier in the day by finishing second after taking advantage of Pattison’s late spin. He’d hold on to finish third for Tolman, though.
With the adverse weather catching out both the championship-chasing ISSY Racing Lotus Evora and Optimum Motorsport Ginetta, the way was left clear for Chadwick and Gunn to make history. Having earlier seen their points’ advantage slashed by Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw in the dry opening race, the 17 and 18-year-olds kept their heads to finish fourth and claim the GT4 title. The pair travel to Donington with a 38.5-point lead over the ISSY Racing Lotus, one more than is available for victory in the two-hour finale.
Chadwick becomes the first female driver to win a British GT title of any kind, not to mention its youngest; her 17 years and 95 days eclipsing that of 2004 champion Jonny Cocker who was 18 years and six days old when he lifted the NGT crown.
There’s still much to play for in GT4, though, what with the incredibly competitive Pro/Am title still up for grabs. To that end Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson will be relieved to have recovered from their spin and bring the Optimum Motorsport Ginetta home fifth. They head to Donington this September four points behind Yusuf and Kershaw in the fight for the overall runners-up spot and 19.5 points adrift in the Pro/Am title fight.
Anna Walewska and Rob Garofall scored University of Bolton’s best result of the year with sixth after challenging for a podium early on, ahead of Tim Eakin and Jamie Wall’s UltraTek Lotus. Chris Webster and Mike Hart were the only Academy Motorsport crew to finish after Race 1 runner-up Will Moore crashed his Aston soon after taking over from Dennis Strandberg, while the lack of a wet set-up and a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits condemned pole-sitters and Beechdean’s closest title rivals, ISSY Racing, to ninth. David Tinn and Jade Edwards completed the top-10 aboard their Stratton Motorsport Aston Martin.
Fulvio Mussi, #48 Fox Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4: “The team’s done such an amazing job all weekend, especially given how they’re one of the smallest in terms of numbers in the paddock. We’ve had a few problems to contend with this weekend but the guys have never complained, kept their heads down and got on with the job at hand. Having that sort of confidence in the team is mega. Jamie did the hard yards early on by picking up places and I went out there with the mind-set of matching his lap times, although it soon became apparent that wasn’t going to be possible as the conditions deteriorated!”
Jamie Stanley, #48 Fox Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4: “Brands was really good on the Saturday what with the pole position, but Sunday just turned into a nightmare. Then to initially carry that bad luck over into Race 1 here when the clutch failed wasn’t ideal, so to finally come away with a win hopefully gives everyone in the team and Paul [McNeilly] confidence. It’s something we can take into next year.”
The ninth and final round of this year’s Avon Tyres British GT Championship takes place at Donington Park over the weekend of September 12/13.