Sandy Mitchell headed a Barwell Motorsport one-two in Free Practice, before Alex Buncombe left it late to top Pre-Qualifying in a pair of sessions peppered with numerous stoppages.


In GT4, Seb Morris put in a late stormer to pick up top spot in the morning session, before Jamie Day stormed the Forsetti Motorsport Aston to the top of lunchtime’s Pre-Quali.

Free Practice

Red flags and Full Course Yellows ruled the roost in the opening official British GT session of 2024, with two interruptions – the second taking out almost 20 minutes minutes of an extended 70-minute session as Matt Topham ended up in the Shell Oils Hairpin tyre barrier in his Blackthorn Aston Martin Vantage GT3. 

The disruptions – pretty much back-to-back – meant it became a session of two halves. For the 13 minutes before the first red flag, only 15 cars ventured out to set laps – perhaps worn out from three hours of testing on Friday – with Topham and J&S Racing’s Hugo Cook sharing the top spot – with Alex Buncombe jumping in the mix too in the Team RJN McLaren 720S GT3. Indeed RJN prompted the oddest penalty of the weekend so far – slapped with a two-place grid penalty for doing an install lap at the start of the session on wet Pirelli tyres.

Once all the pauses were filtered through, only 15 minutes were left and it saw the full field – minus our two stoppers, the first being Ed McDermott’s Paddock Mercedes-AMG GT4 which ground to halt at Knickerbrook with an exploded torque tube – go out and try and set the fastest time gently used tyres could muster.

One thing was consistent, and that was the speed of the two Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2s with Sandy Mitchell and Ricky Collard swapping fastest times as the benchmark was pushed down from the 1m34s to the 1m32s – Mitchell ultimately ending the quickest with a 1m32.942sec, Collard clocking a 1m33.522sec. 

Mercedes-AMG GT3s locked out the spots behind with Phil Keen – in the 2 Seas entry he’s sharing with Ian Loggie – a tenth ahead of Sam Neary in the Team ABBA Racing machine and Callum Macleod in the Greystone GT example.

The fastest of the McLarens was sixth, with Tom Gamble just 0.023sec down on Price in the Optimum Motorsport machine. Maxi Götz was fastest for a time in the second of the 2 Seas AMGs but he handed over to Kevin Tse with a few minutes left on the clock and lost the chance to really lower his time when the Oulton Park track conditions were best. 

He was seventh, with Raffaele Marciello eighth in the RAM Racing BMW M4 GT3 – half-a-second ahead of Jonny Adam in the #87 Blackthorn Aston. Tom Roche rounded out the top 10 in the Orange Racing by JMH McLaren 720S.

In GT4, it was Team Parker Racing who ruled the roost with Seb Morris leaving it late in a brief run towards the end of the session to put his Mercedes-AMG GT4 almost a second ahead of Charlie Robertson’s Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4.

Things were closer behind with Jack Brown putting the Optimum McLaren Artura third, just 0.092sec down on the lead pair, but 0.032sec ahead of Tom Wrigley in the second Century BMW. 

Adding some variety to the top five was Thomas Holland, who was fifth in the CWS Racing Ginetta G56 GT4 Evo he shares with Colin White. Mikey Porter & Jamie Day were sixth for Forsetti Motorsport in the fierce looking Evo of the Aston Martin Vantage. 

Seventh went to Gordie Mutch in the Mahiki Racing Lotus Emira, 0.074sec ahead of the second Forsetti entry driven by Will Orton. 


If anyone thought that Pre-Qualifying would focus the attention of drivers needing to make sure they banked times in case Qualifying gets cancelled, they would be sadly mistaken.

It took just nine minutes for the first of two red flags to be flown as Adam Smalley went off at Druids and made contact with the barrier in his Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3. He was thankfully unhurt, but it took 17 minutes for the barriers to be repaired, leading to another significant reduction in running. 

When the track went green, it took a time for anyone to dislodge Marcus Clutton’s early benchmark in the second of the Garage 59 McLarens, with most of the action actually coming from GT4 where drivers were falling over themselves to move into second behind Charlie Robertson’s Century BMW. 

It took until the final 10 minutes for Clutton to be relegated, with first Sam Neary – in the ABBA Mercedes – and then RJN’s Alex Buncombe taking the top spot to push Clutton down to third. 

Anyone on any late charges had the rug pulled from under them after a stoppage with two minutes to go to recover the Mahiki Racing Lotus of Gordie Mutch which had come to a stop out of the Brittens chicane. 

Mike Price and Callum Macleod ended the session in fourth – capping a good morning of running – with Mitchell and Alex Martin taking fifth, ahead of Smalley and Shaun Balfe – the former on a flyer before his premature end. 

In GT4, Jamie Day pipped Callum Davies to ensure top spot went to Forsetti, rather than RACE LAB with a storming lap more than eight-tenths faster than the rest of the field in his Aston Martin. 

Adding to the variety, former Porsche Carrera Cup racer Nathan Harrison stuck his Lotus Emira in third, a tenth down on the front pair but 0.051sec ahead of the second Forsetti Aston of Marc Warren and Will Orton. 

Jack Brown and Zac Meakin rounded out the fast five in their McLaren Artura. 


Please consider making a donation so we can keep bringing you our best content from the racetrack.