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Two scoops for Beechdean with GT pole double at Brands Hatch

Saturday, August 30 2014

The Beechdean Aston Martins took a double pole position at Brands Hatch today (Saturday), conquering both GT3 and GT4 classes in qualifying for tomorrow's two-hour race.

The opening session began with a bizarre pitlane incident when Rory Butcher hit Joe Osborne's BMW on the way out of the pit garage. After a furious application of gaffer tape from the Motorbase mechanics to the Aston Martin's front wing, both cars started qualifying on time.

Alexander Sims and Jonny Adam traded sector times on the opening lap, and it was the Beechdean car that took provisional pole position from Tom Sharp and Tom Onslow-Cole. But further behind, Nick Tandy beat them all.

Next time around Sims rallied round to take third place from the seemingly unharmed Osborne, but Phil Keen jumped to third place soon after. Osborne's earlier assailant Butcher also demoted the BMW, as did Onslow-Cole, Adam Carroll and Sharp.

The pitlane filled after ten minutes of fast-paced action, leaving most of the GT4 battle on track. This was led by the Ginettas of Bradley Ellis and Jamie Stanley, then Dan Cammish's Porsche and Jake Giddings's Aston Martin.

The gentlemen drivers took over for the second session, with combined fastest times between the sessions counting for the grid. Reigning champion Andrew Howard took advantage to lead Jon Minshaw and Phil Dryburgh early on. Colin White and Ahmad Al Harthy jumped up the order, whilst David Ashburn was also in the hunt for pole position.

Howard extended his advantage over the rest by three-quarters of a second, from which Ashburn shaved a tenth on his response. Al Harthy made it an Aston Martin 1-2 when he lapped within half a second of Howard and Adam's combined time, but Minshaw then took the gap down to four tenths of a second between the top two.

Howard sat out the final moments of the session, and much of the field joined him in the pits by the time the flag was out. Meanwhile in GT4 there was double joy for Beechdean, with the Ross Wylie/Jake Giddings Aston Martin on class pole from Rick Parfitt Jr /Tom Oliphant and Adrian Barwick/Bradley Ellis.

The British GT Championship two-hour race will take place at 13:10 tomorrow.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship Qualifying
1, Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam, Beechdean AMR, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +2:52.477s
2, Jon Minshaw/Phil Keen, Trackspeed, Porsche 997, GT3, +0.401s
3, Ahmad Al Harthy/Michael Caine (+75), Oman Racing Team, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +0.408s
4, Jeff Smith/Rory Butcher, Oman Racing Team, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +0.612s
5, David Ashburn/Nick Tandy (+10), Trackspeed, Porsche 997, GT3, +0.642s
6, Colin White/Tom Sharp, MP Motorsport, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +0.745s
7, Paul White/Tom Onslow-Cole, Strata 21, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +0.960s
8, Marco Attard/Alexander Sims (+10), Ecurie Ecosse, BMW Z4, GT3, +1.033s
9, Gary Eastwood/Adam Carroll (+10), FF Corse, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3, +1.328s
10, Jody Firth/Warren Hughes (+75), Triple 8, BMW Z4, GT3, +1.529s

Click here to view the full result.

Raceday tickets for the British GT and F3 Championships at Brands Hatch on 31 August are available on the gate for £22, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.