Ahead of the opening rounds of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Monday, GT REPORT caught up with two of the four pole-sitters across the two one-hour races to get their thoughts on a quartet of frantic qualifying sessions and how they’re feeling ahead of the season properly getting underway.

Rob Collard stormed to GT3 pole for Race One, in the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2, while Jamie Day took the honours for the opening race in GT4 in his Forsetti Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 Evo.


Collard left it late to take pole on his return to British GT, prevailing in a back-and-forth fight with 2 Seas Motorsport’s Kevin Tse in a session disrupted by a red flag to recover the Team ABBA Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 from Druids.

The 2020 champ admitted things got a little ‘tight’ towards the end of qualifying because of that break, but kept pressing right to the end. He added: “It was a little bit tight really because we were late going out and we didn’t set a time. Then we went out early [after the red flag] because my tyres were really cold and it was really struggling to get the car stopped and turned but luckily on the last lap we managed to get that extra lap in and we managed to hook it all up and get pole, which I’m delighted for!”

The former British Touring Car Championship racer is no stranger to the newest evolution of the Huracán, having raced it last year in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup with Barwell, and he said that experience with working on the car with Barwell round Europe has translated into a plan on how to set up the car for British GT.

It seems to have worked well, with Sandy Mitchell taking pole for the second race, with Rob’s son – and co-driver – Ricky taking fourth in the same section of qualifying.

“We’ve done a lot of work over the winter – the team has – because last year was the new evolution of the car and it struggled at the start of the year,” Collard explained. “Driving it in Europe, we seemed to work a lot and then we’ve literally turned the car upside down and started with a new platform this year and it’s really working. It’s working in the damp conditions, and today too, so absolutely delighted!”

If it was tight in GT3, GT4 was a display of domination – certainly in the battle for setting the grid for race one – as Jamie Day powered the Forsetti Aston to pole by more eight-tenths of a second, the first of what will no doubt be many British GT poles for the new Evo version of the Vantage.

For Day, the new version of the Vantage is a “massive boost from the old car” which was borne out over the course of Saturday with Day & co-driver Mikey Porter – as well as the sister car of Marc Warren & Will Orton always up towards the top of the timesheets. Of course, the decisive advantage of the new car came in qualifying. 

“It was really good, just managed to piece it all together on my second lap and came out with a really good qualifying, a really good result and nice to place to start on Monday morning!” Day explained.

“The team has been working hard all week, I’ve been working hard and we finally came together. We’ve made a mega setup, both with Forsetti and Aston, and then we’ve gone out there and just smashed it.”

The 2024 British GT Championship kicks off at 10.50am UK time (11m50am in Europe), and you’ll be able to watch all the action on GT REPORT!


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