The reigning champions of 2013 made their mark in qualifying for the third round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, the Silverstone 500, with combined results from the two qualifying sessions meaning poles for 2013 GT3 champion Andrew Howard and team-mate Jonny Adam’s #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage in GT3 and GT4 champion Rick Parfitt Jr and team-mate Tom Oliphant taking GT4 pole in the #42 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55.
Howard and Adam were over a second ahead of their nearest rivals with their pole ‘lap’ determined by the team-mates’ fastest times in their individual qualifying sessions being combined. Their time over the two laps of 4mins 05.155secs was over a second ahead of the championship leading #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 duo of Alexander Sims and Marco Attard. The class top three was rounded off by the #6 PGF – Kinfaun AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Phil Dryburgh and John Gaw.
GT4 pole was a combined lap time of 4mins 29.424secs from Pariftt and Oliphant, with the class leading #407 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Ross Wylie and Jake Giddings second fastest, just over 1.3secs adrift. The #55 Academy Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4 of Matt Nicoll-Jones and Oli Basey-Fisher rounded off the class top three.
It was a bad day at the office for the #2 Generation Bentley Racing car and #77 ISSY Racing / Oz Yusuf car. The #2 Bentley Continental pf Steve Tandy and James Appleby caught fire in the second practice session whilst the #77 Lotus Evora of Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw didn’t turn a lap all day.
Race day opens with warm-up at 10:10 – 10:20 then the race itself at 14:15 – 17:15. The race is televised delayed live on Motors TV – which is now available subscription free in the UK on channel 240. Highlights of the event will be televised on Channel 4 and BT Sport as well as on Motors TV.
Andrew Howard – #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3:
“We’re thrilled. When you’re running in this sort of Championship and you’re just trying to score points, it is nice to stretch your legs and do what we do, which today is coming first! I’m happy with my lap times, I struggled last week in Blancpain here, so it is good to come back this week after looking through data. The team set me challenges in free practice and they all came off which is fantastic.”
Marco Attard – #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3:
“We’re happy, but obviously it would have been better to be on pole. Andrew Howard did a stunning lap to deny us without a doubt, their car is very good. Our consistency has been good, there’s a lot of great competition out there, all across the grid. They’re very quick and we can’t forget that and you have to constantly watch them.”
Phil Dryburgh – #6 PGF – Kinfaun AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3:
“We’re very pleased as we’re essentially two amateur drivers. Car is great and so are the tyres. Myself and John Gaw set some good laps too. John did incredible, fourth amongst world class drivers is incredible. He wears a suit during the week! We’re never in the car outside of race weekends, so it is an incredible job. He topped FP1 here last year so we know he goes well at Silverstone, and so does the car.”
Tom Oliphant – #42 Century Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4:
“We’re over the moon with pole position. Every session today has been really successful, we keep changing the car and it keeps getting better. Both myself and Rick put in two great laps and we’re happy with the result. Between me and Rick, the team and pace is there and we stand a really good chance.”
Jake Giddings – #407 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin GT4 Challenge:
“P2 isn’t a bad start, and it’s good place to work from in the race. The Aston likes the big wide open tracks like Silverstone. We should do pretty well, but we have some catching up to do with Barrie Baxter and Dan Cammish’s Porsche, that’ll be the main challenge as he’s obviously very quick in a straight line. I’m quite happy with my lap times, there’s some more time to be found, but then again I’ve never driven around the Grand Prix circuit. I have some learning to do, but I’m pretty happy with qualifying.”
Oli Basey-Fisher – #55 Academy Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4:
“We’re very happy with today. We didn’t think the GT4 Ginetta would be that competitive here, especially in a straight line. To qualify P3 was a real success, and it seems the Ginettas have done well here which is surprising. I thought the Astons and the Porsches would be up there. Since Oulton we have turned the corner, it wasn’t the best of races for us, but Rockingham was fantastic and we’ve come here to see what we can do and we’re aiming for a top five finish.”
Source. British GT Championship