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Ecurie Ecosse battles to victory in second British GT race

Monday, April 21 2014

The Ecurie Ecosse BMW won an incident-filled second Avon Tyres British GT Championship race at Oulton Park today (Monday). However unlike the earlier polesitter's race, this victory was less straightforward, with Marco Attard benefitting from the two leading cars taking each other out with just a quarter of the race remaining.

As Alexander Sims took his line for Old Hall at the rolling start, Aaron Scott challenged Jonny Adam into the first corner but was unable to steal the place, and had to settle for third ahead of Steven Kane's Bentley. The leading two began to escape the rest, as Scott came under an increasing amount of pressure from Kane. Behind him the two Oman Racing Aston Martins and Richard Abra's MP Motorsport Vantage kept a watching brief.

The Bentley made the first move, taking third place after ten minutes had been run, but soon after the gap between the leading pair disintegrated and all of a sudden Adam looked set to head the race. However whilst lapping traffic, Kane caught both cars and it became a three-way fight.

Meanwhile Gavan Kershaw was leading Dan Cammish in GT4 by several seconds, but then the chasing Tom Oliphant parked his Ginetta in the barriers at Old Hall, and so the safety car was ordered to neutralise the race for the time being. With under 40 minutes to go, attention turned to the pitlane, but with the pro drivers in the cars, teams were furiously calculating their options.

Several cars pitted as soon as the window opened, including United Autosports, MP Motorsport and FF Corse and with the safety car coming in on the next lap, their respective managers were hoping to have capitalised.

When the race restarted, the race one-winning Oman Racing Aston pitted, as did Triple 8, Generation and the RJN Nissan, as Alex Buncombe handed over to Sir Chris Hoy. Some of the crews lost a lap on the leaders, giving the drivers some work to do. Adam headed to the garage next, along with the two GT4 leaders, with the Lotus heading off a long time before the Porsche.

With the pit window about to close, there was a rush to the garages, and the remaining teams were joined by the MP Motorsport Aston Martin, summed to take a stop-go penalty for a botched stop. The net effect was that United Autosports' Mark Patterson and FF Corse's Gary Eastwood led the race by ten seconds from Attard in the Ecurie Ecosse BMW, Jon Minshaw in the Trackspeed Porsche, and Rembert Berg in the Bentley. Clearly, MP would have been challenging for the lead had their stop gone as planned.

Into Hislops on lap 21, the two leaders contacted, leaving the Audi with a puncture that left it stranded on the track, not far from the FF Corse Ferrari. Inevitably the safety car returned to action, this having the effect of cancelling out any advantage taken by stopping early.

The safety car pulled in with just under seven minutes remaining, and Attard launched his Z4 back into the race, with little more than four laps in which to press home his advantage. Champion Andrew Howard inherited third place when the Berg Bentley went missing on the next lap, whilst Minshaw was closing the gap on the leader. Also on the move was Hoy, passing a couple of cars to promote the Nissan up the order.

With a lap to go, Minshaw was on Attard's tail and the Porsche, headlights ablaze, set off on a stellar tour of the circuit. However the BMW driver was up to the task and took the flag less than half a second ahead. Howard held third for Beechdean, with Dryburgh in the PGF-Kinfaun Aston in front of Derek Johnston in the Triple 8 BMW. Andrew Jarman took the spoils in GT4 for TF Sport's Aston Martin from Morten Dons' Century Ginetta and Oz Jusuf's Lotus.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship Race two
1 Barwell Motorsport Ecurie Ecosse, BMW Z4 GT3, Marco Attard/Alexander Sims, 32 Laps
2, Trackspeed, Porsche 997 GT3 R, Jon Minshaw/Phil Keen, +0.456s
3, Beechdean AMR, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam, +4.275s
4, PGF‐Kinfaun AMR, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Phil Dryburgh/John Gaw, +4.781s
5, 888, BMW Z4 GT3, Derek Johnston/Luke Hines, +5.321s
6, AF Corse, Ferrari 458 Italia, Pasin Lathouras/Richard Lyons, +10.195s
7, Oman Racing Team, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Ahmad Al Harthy/Michael Caine, +10.626s
8, MP Motorsport AMR, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Mark Poole/Richard Abra, +16.887s
9, Strata 21, Nissan GT‐R, Tom Onslow-Cole/Paul White, +22.304s
10, Generation Bentley Racing, Bentley Continental GT3, Steve Tandy/James Appleby, +22.698s

Click here to view the full result.

The next major event at Oulton Park is the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship on 3-5 May. Tickets are available from £26, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.