2 Seas Motorsport absolutely dominated qualifying for the Intelligent Money British GT Championship’s Silverstone 500, after a pair of stunning laps put the Mercedes team clear of the pack.
In GT4, a tight battle was decided in the favour of Steller Motorsport as Sennan Fielding put in a brilliant lap to ensure the top spot in class for the Audi R8 LMS GT4.
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It didn’t take too long for 2 Seas to make its mark with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Hunter Abbott. Halfway through the ten-minute Am session Abbott leaped ahead of early pacesetter Brendan Iribe with a stunning time of 1m59.960s – the only driver to break beneath the two-minute barrier in the opening session.
He then handed over the car to Martin Kodrić, who proceeded to drive it like he was never going to get another lap in a car again. His 1m57.757 was almost three quarters of a second faster than anyone else could manage in the session dedicated to Pro drivers, giving them a combined time that was more than 1.7seconds clear of the pack – a remarkable effort for the team and the drivers, neither of whom having had that much experience behind the wheel of the Mercedes.
Lining up alongside them on the front-row is reigning champion Sandy Mitchell alongside Adam Balon in the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini.
The pair initially qualified in third, but a post-session penalty for TF Sport’s Giacomo Petrobelli and Charlie Eastwood – having crossed the white line at pit exit – relegated the Aston Martin pair down from second to fourth and pushed the Huracán on to the front-row.
TF’s penalty was RAM’s boost too, as Ian Loggie and Yelmer Buurman moved from one side of the second-row to the other to start third. The fact the pair were so high up was testament to Loggie and Buurman’s great pace in the Mercedes, the duo were just 0.025s down on Mitchell & Balon.
After Iribe’s barn-storming run in the first part of qualifying, Ollie Millroy couldn’t quite match the same levels but did put the Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 fifth – a more than decent position when you consider the race is three hours long.
There’s another McLaren on the third-row as Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton unlocked the pace in their Enduro Motorsport example to comfortably put them in the top third of the grid.
Behind is a remarkable coincidence when you consider British GT’s method of combining two times to set the grid – both Barwell’s Dennis Lind & Leo Machitski, and Beechdean AMR’s Andrew Howard & Jonny Adam both set combined times of 3m59.856s. The fact that Lind set his time in Pro qualifying was the only reason he took seventh over the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Father and son duos rounded out the top ten – Balfe Motorsport’s Stewart and Lewis Proctor pipping Team Abba Racing’s Richard and Sam Neary by just over one-tenth.
One surprise finish came in the form of Brands winners WPI Motorsport – an unknown issue robbed the car of pace, relegating Michael Igoe and Phil Keen to 16th.
The top spot in GT4 swung this way and that throughout the two ten-minute sessions as Century Motorsport and Steller Motorsport battled it out for the pole.
In the first part of qualifying, it seemed as though it would be going the way of the #57 of Will Burns and Gus Burton, the former pipping Steller’s Richard Williams to top by 0.090s.
It swung round when the Pros got in the cars though, as Sennan Fielding put in the second-best lap of the session – a 2m10.269s – to power the Audi up to the top spot.
Taking over from Burns, Burton couldn’t match that pace at the front and was actually pushed down to third on the combined times – Scott McKenna putting in a scorching lap of 2m10.194 to sneak ahead in the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Supra and put he and John Ferguson onto the front.
The Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin took fourth thanks to a cracking lap from Aston legend Darren Turner, boosting up Matt Topham’s first effort to put them onto row two.
Indeed it was thanks to Turner’s blistering lap which nosed them ahead of the Assetto Motorsport Ginetta G56 by a tenth – Charlie Robertson’s late stormer recovering from a delayed start for the team in qualifying.
Brands Hatch winners Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke and Chris Salkeld could only qualify sixth having not been able to quite match the front-running pace ahead. They did, though, qualify more than one-second ahead of Fox Motorsport’s Nik Halstead and Jamie Stanley – the fastest of the McLaren 570S GT4 entries.
Three more McLarens filled the positions behind, with Team Rocket RJN’s Michael Benyahia and Alan Valente coming out on top of Balfe Motorsport’s Jack Brown & Ash Marshall.
The second RJN McLaren of Katie Milner and Harry Hayek rounded out the top ten.
Sunday’s three-hour Silverstone 500 begins at 12.10pm (13.10 CET) and GT REPORT is livestreaming it here.
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