Phil Keen prevailed in an intra-team battle with 2 Seas Motorsport team-mate Maxi Götz to top a wet first British GT Championship session at Spa, before Ricky Collard made the most of a rare spot of drying running to set the pace in Pre-Qualifying for Barwell Motorsport.


In GT4, it was a mix of teams at the top with Charlie Robertson topping Free Practice for Century Motorsport, before it appeared as though Gordie Mutch comfortably set the pace for Mahiki Racing in Pre-Qualifying before his lap time was deleted and the Optimum Motorsport McLaren went to the top.

Free Practice

What is something that any going to Spa-Francorchamps always knows? It’ll rain at some point over the weekend. Lo and behold, British GT’s first competitive session in Belgium for two years – having elected to go to Portimao last year – was a damp affair as heavy early morning rain led to a soaked opening session. 

That possibly explains why, certainly after two relatively dry test sessions on Friday, that the field wasn’t exactly eager to go out and risk driver and machine in clearing the standing water. Indeed, with 20 minutes of the session in the books, only 16 cars had ventured out to set a lap with Raffaele Marciello the first to log a time with a 2m43.607sec in the RAM Racing BMW M4 GT3. 

With the rain starting to calm, and the track starting to be rid of much of the significant standing water, times started to tumble with Optimum Motorsport’s Tom Gamble and Barwell’s Donington Park winner Sandy Mitchell lowering the benchmark down into the 2m30s. 

Quite aptly, considering how much water was falling in the Ardennes, the battle for the top spot then shifted to 2 Seas Motorsport as Kevin Tse and Ian Loggie – who had done the early running in their respective Mercedes-AMG GT3s handed over to Maxi Götz and Phil Keen respectively and let the pair do battle. 

First it was Götz, who set two quick laps almost in succession to lower the time to a 2m36.092sec before Keen set three rapid laps – following an almost push-cool-push strategy – to put in a best of 2m34.668sec. 

There could have been a disruption to the 2 Seas dominance at the top as Marciello wound himself up for a final run that was looking quick as he started to set personal best sectors. However, a late red flag to recover a stranded car out on circuit denied him the chance of troubling the top of the timing sheets. Instead, he split the Mercedes with a time 0.977sec off the pace.

Behind Götz, Adam Smalley clocked the fourth fastest time alongside Shaun Balfe in the Garage 59 McLaren, while Callum Macleod pipped Hugo Cook by 0.026sec to ensure the Greystone GT Mercedes finished ahead of the J&S Racing Audi R8 LMS. 

In GT4, it looked as though Zac Meakin and Jack Brown – who both set fastest times in their Optimum Motorsport McLaren Artura – would be topping the times, but didn’t count for the late pace of CWS Racing’s Thomas Holland. The Spa debutant was flying, and quickly vaulted the Ginetta G56 GT4 Evo to the top of the times with a 2m45.980sec – just 0.782sec off the slowest time set in GT3, which was by Greystone GT’s #99 McLaren.

Brown and Meakin couldn’t even have second, as Charlie Robertson – in the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 he shares with Ravi Ramyead – squeaked ahead of the pair at the flag in a GT4 top three separated by less than a tenth of a second. 


Compared to the earlier session, the track started to dry out throughout the second hour of practice with Pre-Qualifying giving teams a reminder that they needed to take this session seriously, if qualifying gets washed out later on – the forecast suggests no more rain, but you can never tell in this part of Belgium.

With the track drying out, the times tumbled throughout as a drying line was carved out by the Pirelli wets until a point where the crossover onto slicks seemed like the only sensible option. 

In the early phase, it was movable feast in terms of who topped the times with Oli Webb – returning to British GT in the #99 Greystone 720S GT3 alongside Andrey Borodin – setting the pace initially before he was pipped by Lewis Plato and then Tom Roche – the latter getting a firm handle on things in his first GT3 outing at Spa. 

It was after the halfway point that things started to significantly change with Giacomo Petrobelli – in the Blackthorn Aston Martin Vantage – one of the early switchers onto slicks and quickly up to the top of the times. But with a number of Pros in their cars, his time was just an early signifier that the track was definitely ready for dry tyres as Webb put in a 2m20.815sec to go more than 1.5 seconds clear of the competition. 

His target was broken a number of times, with Ricky Collard ultimately ending the session with the fastest time – his 2m18.093sec proved 0.488sec quicker than anyone else could manage and put the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 on to the top of times ahead of what should be a fast and furious qualifying session later on this afternoon. 

Hugo Cook came close to unseating Collard, but ultimately set a 2m18.581 – enough to keep him ahead of Webb by 0.115sec in what is proving to be a strong day so far for the Audi racer. 

Mitchell made it two Huracáns in the top four as he pipped Callum Macleod – another driver having a good day so far in the Ardennes. With teams not pushing too hard on their slicks, times had a pretty decent spread compared to what British GT is used to seeing with Tom Roche the last driver within a second of the fastest time – he put in a 2m19.066sec in his Orange Racing by JMH McLaren 720S GT3. 

The order was regularly getting shaken up in GT4 too, but one of the constants in the secondary class was the speed of Gordie Mutch, in the Mahiki Racing Lotus Emira, who set the pace early on when the track was still damp and then kept improving his time on slicks. 

He didn’t have it all his own way though. Forsetti Motorsport made an early change onto the dry rubber and that led to Will Orton & Mikey Porter powering their way up the order – Porter ever so slightly ahead – but with more teams gradually moving onto slicks, the order started to change and for a time it was Alex Walker in the Paddock Motorsport McLaren Artura who found himself 11th overall as he got the most out of the newly found grip out on circuit.

Again, though, nothing stayed static for long and it was Mutch who put in a 2m30.083sec to go back to the top of the class and into what was for a time ninth overall before the GT3s found their extra speed to relegate him back to 21st overall. 

Brown and Meakin featured at the sharp-end once again as they took second – first in the Silver Cup – with Stuart Middleton & Freddie Tomlinson just behind in their DTO Motorsport Ginetta G56 GT4 Evo. 

Fourth went the way of Walker, alongside new team-mate for this weekend Adam Hatfield, while Callum Davies & Sai Sanjay rounded out the fastest five for RACE LAB.


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