The TF Sport pairing of Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson stormed to a second British GT Championship pole in a row as they stormed to the top in their Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
In GT4, the Multimatic Ford Mustang of Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell will start Donington Park’s two-hour race on pole after a rapid day for the blue oval – with a 100% streak of topping all the sessions so far.
A frenetic session for the top class ended in with the two Scots on the front-row thanks to Davidson’s rapid lap – he one of only two drivers in the Am portion of qualifying to break into the 1m27s having set a 1m27.810.
Combined with Adam’s 1m26.982, the pair four-tenths clear of the rest of the field on the combined times in a 20-minute spell where they found themselves completely ubtroubled. Indeed, Adam’s early flying lap paid dividends when a red flag was called for with just three minutes of the session gone. The interruption – to recover Callum Macleod’s RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 from the gravel at the Fogarty Esses – disrupted the rest of the field enough to ensure there wasn’t enough time left to really challenge the TF Sport car.
Joining them at the front is the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of Michael Igoe and Dennis Lind. After the former set a lap half-a-second down on Davidson, Lamborghini factory driver Lind stormed to the fastest individual time of qualifying – a 1m26.753 – to leap ahead of the competition and into second.
Their promotion relegated the Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S to third. Shaun Balfe was sitting at the top of the times for the majority of the Am session before he was bested by the Aston, but Rob Bell couldn’t replicate that front-running pace in the Pro segment to log a combined time two-tenths down on the two ahead.
Fourth and fifth went to the pair of Barwell Motorsport Lamborghinis with the Adam Balon & Phil Keen car edging out the sister entry of Jonny Cocker & Sam De Haan by 0.150s having failed to replicate the same sort of form that propelled Keen to the top of the standings in Free Practice Two.
While the Astons and Lamborghinis found themselves up the sharp-end of the field, struggling for pace all day were the Bentley Continental GT3s of JRM and Team Parker Racing. The former was the highest-placed in qualifying, with Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris taking 10th compared to P13 for Ryan Ratcliffe and Glynn Geddie.
After Macleod’s off in the Pro part of qualifying, the Silverstone-winning Ram Mercedes will start 15th in class having failed to set two times to make an average.
After topping both the practice sessions, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see the #15 Mustang top the times again in qualifying, but what made Priaulx and Maxwell’s pole even more remarkable was that the Multimatic pairing were second in both sessions but their rivals couldn’t capitalise.
In the Am section, Maxwell finished 0.146s behind Angus Fender in the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 but Fender’s team-mate Andrew Gordon-Colbrooke couldn’t replicate the pace in the Pro qualifying with 13th in his session. That relegated them to eighth, while Priaulx’s lap – 0.117s down on team-mate Billy Johnson in the #19 – allowed them to leap into the front.
Second went to the #4 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S of Josh Smith and James Dorlin after two consistent laps for the pair allowed them to jump a tenth ahead of the HHC Motorsport McLaren.
Fourth – and in a reversal of what happened with the sister #43 – is the #42 Century BMW of Mark Kimber and Jacob Mathiassen. After the Dane claimed seventh in Am, Kimber jumped up to fourth in his session to make a combined time good enough for the second-row of the grid.
Silverstone race winners Team Parker Racing will start fifth, Scott Malvern’s fastest lap of the day in GT4 – a 1m34.720 – couldn’t make up the one-second deficit Nick Jones had to the pole time in the first session. They did, though, take Pro/Am pole by a whole 0.017s from the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage of Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman, which will line-up sixth.
The second Multimatic Mustang of Johnson and Sir Chris Hoy will start in 14th, as the Olympic gold medalist adapts to the heavier car – at least compared to the Caterhams he has most recently been racing. They finished 0.080s ahead of the Steller Performance Audi R8 LMS GT4 on combined times, after both Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding failed to set a rapid time.
Sunday’s 120-minute race, the first of the year, will start at 13.10.
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