Rob & Ricky Collard marked their return to the British GT Championship with a controlled victory for Barwell Motorsport in a race that was disrupted by a lengthy Full Course Yellow. 


Forsetti Motorsport’s Mikey Porter & Jamie Day converted the latter’s dominant pole to an equally dominant win as they didn’t put a foot wrong to comfortably distance Team Parker Racing by the chequered flag. 


A night of rain turned into a day of rain, meaning the start of the opening round 0f 2024 was held under the safety car for a lap before the field was released. 

Starting from pole, Rob Collard  didn’t hesitate to put as much time into 2 Seas Motorsport’s Ian Loggie as he possibly could, knowing that the Mercedes-AMG GT3 racer is no slouch in the rain. Keeping things consistent, Rob was managing a slender lead which was yo-yoing between 0.9 and 1.4 seconds as the pair alternated quicker laps. 

With quarter of the race gone, that gap had shrunk down to 0.692sec and Loggie was shaping up to slice that deficit down even further. He was denied the chance, though, as a Full Course Yellow was called for, first to recover the #62 Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang which had got stuck in the mud coming out the Shell Oils Hairpin, and then extended when Kavi Jundu hit the barriers at the same corner five minutes later. 

The pit window opened during the neutralisation, with positions remaining almost the same except for the Optimum Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 of Mark Radcliffe and Tom Gamble which managed to vault itself from seventh to fourth having been in the perfect place to jump into the pits just a few seconds after the window opened. 

With a safety car ending the ‘long’ FCY, which is mandated in the rules, there was a moment of some confusion. Having taken over from Rob, Ricky was leading the pack behind the safety car when its lights went out at turn two, according to the rules he was allowed to set the pace – which he duly did. Giving himself a decent gap, and knowing GT4 traffic split him and Loggie’s co-driver Phil Keen, he launched his restart at Clay Hill and built up a gap of five seconds across the line. 

There were brief messages of an investigation into Ricky’s restart, and a brief flash of a 30-second time penalty for not following the rules. However, this ended up being overturned when it was deemed that the safety car arguably turned its lights off too early.

Penalty-free, Ricky was free to focus his attentions on holding off a rapidly charging Keen, who had cut down his five-second deficit to just over 1.4 seconds in just under 10 minutes in what was a real qualifying run from the Mercedes racer.

Managing his pace, he maintained his advantage to cross the line with 1.470sec in hand, despite never having raced at Oulton Park in the wet in a GT3. 

He told GT REPORT after the race: “We did not expect this, we had a dream as a father-son to go out there and have fun and you have a lot of fun when you’re winning races! My first time ever driving this track in the wet! We didn’t do any laps in the warm up this morning, we were just focusing on getting the pitstop sorted. I hit the brakes into the first corner for the first time and I had no idea where I was supposed to be braking – I was using my touring car references a little bit!

“The safety car turned its lights off coming out of turn two and accelerated so I assumed, following the rules of the blue book [Britain’s motorsport rules guide] that I could set the pace, so I could have really, really slowed it up but I didn’t want to do that. I just proceeded with caution and focused on bringing the tyres in and then made a good restart and managed the gap from there!”

Keen and Loggie took second, splitting the Barwell entries as Alex Martin and Sandy Mitchell converted what was a great opening stint from Martin to shadow the leading the duo. Mitchell took over, and was one of the fastest on track as he tried to reel in Keen ahead but just ran out of time – he was eight tenths down at the flag. 

Radcliffe and Gamble finished just off the flag, with fellow McLaren squad Garage 59 taking fifth and first in the Silver-Am class for Shaun Balfe and Adam Smalley.

Callum Macleod held off a late charge from Marcus Clutton to ensure Greystone GT took a well-earned sixth alongside Mike Price in their Mercedes-AMG GT3. 

Behind Clutton and Morgan Tillbrook, was the Buncombes – Alex & Chris taking eighth for Team RJN. 

Defending champion Dan Harper took ninth alongside Michael Johnston in their Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, while Jonny Adam and Giacomo Petrobelli rounded out the top 10 in their Blackthorn Aston Martin Vantage. 


Calm and collected were the key words to describe Mikey Porter and Jamie Day’s drive to the win in their Forsetti Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 Evo. 

Such was their dominance, it was hard to properly keep track – they just slipped under the radar as they built up a lead that stretched to more than 12 seconds over Jack Brown in the Optimum Motorsport McLaren Artura. 

After the pitstops, despite needing to serve an extra 15 seconds in the pits as a Silver Cup entry, Porter took over the Aston with a still healthy lead over Will Orton – who had sprung up the order because of his Pro-Am status alongside Marc Warren. It wasn’t to last long though as the second of the Forsetti Astons was given a one-second stop/go for a short pitstop. 

His misfortune was Seb Morris’ reward. The Team Parker Racing driver inherited the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in a top five position from Charles Dawson and proceeded to set the class alight as he tore his way into the podium places and was setting faster laps than Porter ahead, but didn’t have enough time to really close in. 

Third went the way of Brown and Zac Meakin – having lost a bit of track position with their extra time in the pits, while the second Forsetti entry ended up taking fourth overall and second in Pro-Am while Century BMW M4 GT4 took fifth with Ravi Ramyead and Charlie Robertson – the pair rounding out the Pro-Am podium to secure silverware in the pair’s debut in the M4. 

The final spot in the Silver Cup podium went to Marco Signoretti and Erik Evans in a solid if relatively unremarkable debut race, for one of the Academy Motorsport Mustangs at least. 

Race Two gets underway at 3.45pm local time, 4.45pm in Europe. 


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