A mega opening stint on a soaking wet track by Yelmer Buurman secured RAM Racing’s first Intelligent Money British GT Championship victory of the season in mixed conditions at Snetterton.
Will Moore’s great performance in the Ford Mustang as the track dried out secured the first win in a year for Academy Motorsport as he bossed the GT4 field.
SNETTERTON: ENTRY LIST | LIVESTREAM | PRACTICE REPORT | QUALIFYING REPORT | RACE ONE REPORT | RACE TWO REPORT
Through the spray at the start, Dennis Lind and Buurman rubbed shoulders on the run to Riches for the first time, but it was the RAM Racing driver who came out of the relatively quick right with the lead as he committed to the outside line and used the extra grip to pull clear of the Barwell Motorsport driver.
Far more comfortable in the soaking conditions, Buurman opened up a gap of more than two seconds at the end of the first lap and was growing it further before a safety car was called for five minutes in to put the tetracell barriers back in place, after they were knocked down by Jake Giddings’ GT4 Mercedes.
Buurman’s luck held at the restart. He was separated from Lind’s Lamborghini by Darren Turner’s Newbridge Aston Martin Vantage GT4 – which had to pit early for a puncture – and as he went through the tight final corner, Buurman accelerated the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and had more than three seconds over the Dane as they crossed the line.
That lead only grew after Lind ran slightly wide at Riches and allowed race one winner Charlie Eastwood and team-mate Sandy Mitchell to sneak through.
Buurman grew his advantage at the front as Mitchell tried to relieve Eastwood of second. It was only after 22 minutes of the race had elapsed that Mitchell finally made a move stick as Eastwood went slightly too deep in the Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston at Agostini, and Mitchell powered the Huracán into second.
Heading into the pits with a lead of just over eight seconds, Ian Loggie took over the RAM Mercedes with a more slender 3.6sec lead over Mitchell’s co-driver Adam Balon as the Am drivers got to grips with the conditions as the track continued to dry out and get greasy.
That advantage never really got cut down, even when the track completely dried out at the end, and Loggie took the team’s first win of the year by 4.6sec and propelled themselves back into the championship fight – just 6.5 points behind Lind and Leo Machitski after a fifth place for the #63 Barwell car.
Mitchell and Balon took second in a good race for the pair, but were possibly counting their blessings that the race wasn’t five minutes longer. That’s because WPI Motorsport’s Michael Igoe cut down a 20-second deficit to Balon to just over three seconds at the flag in what was an absolutely amazing performance by Igoe, who also claimed the fastest lap – almost one-second clear of the rest of the GT3 field.
Fourth went to Ahmad Al Harthy, who put on a great display of round-the-outside overtaking as he passed Andrew Howard’s similar Aston Martin Vantage, and then Machitski’s Lamborghini round the outside of Coram twice in pretty much successive laps as the Omani proved his experience.
Howard took sixth alongside Jonny Adam, the pair not quite having the same pace over a full stint compared to the cars around them.
The Proctors finished seventh for Balfe Motorsport, a lap ahead of Kelvin Fletcher’s Paddock Motorsport Bentley which was given a 23-second stop/go penalty for pitting after the mandatory pit window had closed.
Rounding out the GT3 field was the G-Cat Racing Porsche, which finished ninth overall after retirements for both Enduro Motorsport and Team Parker Racing.
Slick work in the pits and a willingness to let the car drift round most of the circuit was what secured Academy Motorsport its first win since Brands Hatch 2020.
Despite a moment for Matt Cowley in his stint, he and Will Moore benefitted from a lack of success penalties coming over from race one to jump ahead of many of their rivals and into third as the GT4 pit window shut.
Moore’s path was cleared somewhat by a penalty for the Will Burns #57 BMW M4 GT4 which was pinged for a fractionally short pitstop. Promoted to second, the Mustang racer made easy work of passing class leader Nick Halstead in the Pro/Am Fox Motorsport McLaren 570S, the bronze-rated driver holding his own in the greasy conditions but not quite being able to hold off the more experienced Moore.
Halstead then dropped a few more places, a novice to British GT for this year but learning quickly, with Chris Salkeld moving into second after a great recovery for the #9 Century Motorsport BMW after a oil leak in race one.
Salkeld was running well in the M4, but Moore was a man on a mission in the Mustang and was very much a hooligan as he drifted and slid his way to victory.
Third was a recovering Alain Valente and Michael Benyahia, a podium the just reward for pace that went unrewarded in the opening race earlier on. They finished just ahead of race one winners James Kell and Jordan Collard, who themselves moved up fourth late on after Burns and Gus Burton’s stop/go penalty.
The duo, though, recovered to fifth at the flag to keep themselves in a reasonable position in the GT4 drivers’ championship.
Sixth on the road went to Halstead and Jamie Stanley, but were dropped to the back of the GT4 runners after a 40-second post-race penalty in lieu of a drive-through after one of the mechanics dropped a wheel nut which rolled into the fast lane during the mandatory stop.
The next round of the British GT Championship is another double-header weekend, this time at Oulton Park on September 11&12.
Please consider making a donation so we can keep bringing you our best content from the racetrack.