British GT3 at Silverstone 500 - Time for someone to make a stand

British GT3 at Silverstone 500 - Time for someone to make a stand

06.06.2018: BRITISH GT CHAMPIONSHIP Silverstone 500 - Silverstone Circuit Five races, five different winners. That’s the state of play in GT3 as the 2018 campaign enters its second half at Silverstone. But with almost as many points available for the final four

BRITISH GT CHAMPIONSHIP
Silverstone 500 - Silverstone Circuit





Five races, five different winners. That’s the state of play in GT3 as the 2018 campaign enters its second half at Silverstone. But with almost as many points available for the final four endurance contests as those already done and dusted, there’s still every opportunity for almost any entry to mount a championship challenge.


Indeed, the top seven crews are separated by less than the 37.5 points available for victory this weekend.



Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman’s full marks at Rockingham helped them retain top spot in spite of two subsequently tough Snetterton races a fortnight ago. However, the ERC Sport duo saw their championship lead slashed to just 4.5 points by Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen (Lamborghini) who, just like their Mercedes-AMG rivals, won’t serve a pitstop success penalty on Sunday.



That honour is reserved for the next three Aston Martin pairings, all of whom featured on Snetterton’s Race 2 podium last time out.



Three rostrums in as many events see Beechdean AMR’s Darren Turner and Andrew Howard sit 12 points behind the championship leaders. A thrilling battle for victory at Snetterton might not have gone the latter’s way but it undoubtedly proved the two-time champion has lost none of his fight.



 Now he and Turner must be similarly combative this weekend if they’re to overturn a 15s success penalty at a venue where they finished third together as long ago as 2010.



TF Sport’s drivers dominated at Snetterton and all four should be a threat again at Silverstone where Aston Martin claimed pole position 12 months ago. Race 2 victory last time out ensures Derek Johnston and Marco Sorensen must serve the full 20s success penalty at the first of their three mandatory pitstops, while team-mates Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim – who bounced right back into championship contention with a win and podium – have a 10s handicap.


Elsewhere, Optimum Motorsport’s Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam have so far failed to match the promise they showed on the opening weekend at Oulton Park, while a difficult round for Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod at Snetterton has consigned Team Parker Racing’s best placed Bentley crew to seventh.



Its other car features reigning champion and 2017 Silverstone 500 winner Rick Parfitt Jnr who, together with Ryan Ratcliffe, would dearly love to keep hold of the RAC Trophy he and Seb Morris won last season.


A first British GT podium last time out for Graham Davidson and Maxime Martin mean Jetstream Motorsport’s Aston Martin can’t be discounted either, while the returning Team ABBA Racing Mercedes-AMG also features recent Silverstone podium finishers, albeit from other series, in the form of Richard Neary and Adam Christodoulou.



 The latter also ensures that eight GT3 factory drivers will start this year’s race after Balfe Motorsport’s McLaren – peddled by Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell – was confirmed following its Snetterton sabbatical.



Elsewhere, a one-off appearance from Ultimate Speed’s Aston Martin guarantees a season-high 14 GT3 cars are entered this weekend.




- Benjamin Franassovici - photo SRO

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/british-gt3-silverstone-500-make-a-stand---176951.html

06.06.2018 / MaP

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