Team Parker Racing and RAM Racing shared the fastest times in Free Practice, as the Intelligent Money British GT Championship got ready for a second three-hour race of the season at Donington Park.
GT4 was also shared, with Team Parker double top in FP1 thanks to Seb Hopkins and Jamie Orton in its Porsche Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, while Freddie Tomlinson struck late on to ensure Ginetta ended FP2 with first-place.
Free Practice One
Scott Malvern ensured Team Parker Racing began its bounce back from its Silverstone nightmare in solid fashion as he topped the first Free Practice session in the Porsche 911 GT3 R.
He was on the pace right from the go, with an initial early time that was second behind series new-comer Ulysse De Pauw – replacing Jamie Caroline in the #15 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Ten minutes later and on his second run, Malvern took half-a-second off his first effort with a time of 1m26.653sec to catapult the grey and blue Porsche ahead of De Pauw by exactly 0.200sec.
Only once was his benchmark ever under threat, and that was from Marcus Clutton in the Enduro Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 – a winner at the final round at Donington last year. He lit up the timing screens, but fell just short – ending 0.023sec down.
Adam Carroll took fourth for Balfe Motorsport in a productive session for the Audi squad, eventually jumping up the order with a rapid stint in the final quarter of the opening 60-minute practice.
Another late mover was Lewis Proctor, in the Greystone GT McLaren, who put in a lap late on which was enough to go half-a-tenth ahead of the 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes of James Cottingham and Lewis Williamson.
James Dorlin put in a solid session to be first of the Lamborghini Huracáns for Redline Racing. He was seventh, ahead of Callum Macleod and Ian Loggie in the second RAM entry.
WPI Motorsport took ninth with Phil Keen and Michael Igoe sharing the driving, two-tenths ahead of Adam Balon and Sandy Mitchell in the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini.
Team Parker Racing took double-top in the first practice, with the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport of Seb Hopkins and Jamie Orton topping GT4, ahead of the similar car of Valluga Racing’s Ross Wylie and Matty Graham.
The class front-runners were nipping at their heels behind, with Richard Williams 0.033sec down in third in the Steller Motorsport Audi R8 LMS and Darren Turner just 0.010sec off his time in fourth in his Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage.
Marco Signoretti was also right in that mix at the top of the secondary class, just a tenth and a bit off the leading pace in the Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang he’s sharing with Matt Cowley.
Free Practice Two
RAM Racing topped lunch-time’s second practice session thanks to a great lap from De Pauw which dropped the times into the 1m25s.
The Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver struck just before the halfway mark with an initial 1m26.277sec to unseat Sandy Mitchell, and then on a later run shaved another three-tenths off his personal best with a blistering 1m25.942.
Mitchell ended up finishing fourth, in the Barwell Lamborghini he shares with Balon, as a flurry of late laps shuffled the top 10.
First, Lewis Williamson put in a scorching lap in the 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes-AMG went just 0.091sec down on De Pauw’s time. Then, Malvern found the same sort of pace that put him on top of FP1 to hustle the Team Parker Porsche up to third and within half-a-second of RAM.
Hankey left it to the last lap of the session to move the 7TSix McLaren 720S GT3 up to fifth, only 0.061sec ahead of Rob Bell – subbing for Jamie Stanley in the Fox Motorsport McLaren – who himself set his fastest laps in the closing stages of the session.
Sam Neary moved the Team Abba Racing car up to seventh, just ahead of Callum Macleod’s best effort in the updated version of the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
After running near the top early on, a switch of focus to race runs meant Enduro Motorsport didn’t improve on early quick laps as Clutton and Morgan Tillbrook finished ninth, while Phil Keen rounded out the top 10 for WPI Motorsport.
Freddie Tomlinson – doing all the running during Free Practice because of school commitments for co-driver Joe Wheeler – topped GT4 in the Assetto Motorsport Ginetta G56 GT4, 0.099sec ahead of the Hopkins and Jamie Orton-driven Team Parker Porsche Cayman.
Will Burns ensured some decent variety at the top of the class, as he went third in his Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 – a whisker ahead of the Steller Motorsport Audi, 0.012sec to be exact.
Newbridge Motorsport rounded out the top five, Darren Turner overhauling Josh Miller in a mini battle of the Aston Martins.
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