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Beechdean storms through to British GT win and GT4 title

Sunday, August 23 2015

The Beechdean Aston Martin pairing of Jonny Adam and Andrew Howard won a curtailed second Avon Tyres British GT Championship race at Snetterton today (Sunday), which was red-flagged due to worsening weather conditions. They shared the win with GT4 victors Jamie Stanley and Fulvio Mussi in the Fox Motorsport Ginetta G55, and with fourth place for the Beechdean junior team, have secured the GT4 title.

At the start a wayward couple of corners from Ecurie Ecosse's Alexander Sims saw him almost go off at Montreal, then collide with Oman Racing Team's Rory Butcher on the way out of the corner, ending up with a puncture. This incident also delayed the race one winner and left Adam out in the lead, and the title contender in the best position.

Running behind the Beechdean car at this stage was Joe Osborne, heading the similar BMW Z4 of Phil Keen, and followed by Matt Bell's TF Sport Aston Martin, Jon Barnes's 22GT Racing Aston and Ewan Hankey's VonRyan McLaren. The other 650S of Andrew Watson, meanwhile, had suffered a puncture and fell to the back of the field.

Keen and Osborne entertained for several laps, before the Team Russia car forced its way past out of Oggies and into Williams and the Bentley Straight. Osborne then fell foul of the Aston Martins of Bell and Barnes at Bomb Hole to lose a further two places.

Sims pitted at just over half-distance and the rest joined soon afterwards. The Beechdean car, now in the hands of Howard, kept the lead from Jon Minshaw in the Team Russia BMW, and Lee Mowle in the Triple Eight Z4. But Mowle left the track in the wet and lost places to Mark Farmer and Derek Johnston's Aston Martins, promoting 22GT and TF Sport respectively.

Farmer spun late on, and lost a place to Rick Parfitt Jr, who was revelling in the conditions. But just at that moment the red flag was show as the drivers were struggling in the worsening rain. This handed the win to Beechdean, with Team Russia second and 22GT third.

In the GT4 race, Luke Davenport's Tolman Ginetta headed Gavan Kershaw in the ISSY Lotus, with Dennis Strandberg's Academy Aston Martin and Ross Gunn's Beechdean Aston Martin following behind. Moving up the order in the damp conditions was Stanley, following his retirement from race one. He quickly moved up to second, and Davenport responded by keeping up a pace that was too much for the others.

Meanwhile Kershaw was struggling with his wet set-up, and how to hold onto third place in the face of an attack from Rob Garofall's University of Bolton Ginetta. As they diced, James Nash claimed two positions in the Stratton Lotus with a brilliantly-opportunistic move.

Kershaw was the first of the frontrunners to stop at exactly half-distance, with set-up changes hastily applied to the car. Shortly after he pitted, Will Moore crashed at Coram, triggering a rush of activity in the pitlane, and whilst it appeared that they had lost places to the rest, worse was to come with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

At the head of the field, David Pattison, who had taken the wheel of the Tolman car, was being quickly caught by Mussi in the Fox Ginetta. It didn't take long for the lead to change hands, and with Aleksander Schjerpen some way behind in third place, the Fox team looked set for a win. When the red flag was shown, this was confirmed and they headed Century Motorsport and Tolman, demoted after Pattison suffered a late spin.

But the biggest smiles were reserved for Beechdean, as fourth place secured the GT4 title for Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship Race two
1, Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam, Beechdean AMR, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, 19 Laps
2, Jon Minshaw/Phil Keen, Barwell Motorsport/Team Russia with Demon Tweeks, BMW Z4, GT3, +9.684s
3, Mark Farmer/Jon Barnes, 22GT Racing, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +14.663s
4, Rick Parfitt/Ryan Ratcliff, Team LNT, Ginetta, GT3, +24.802s
5, Lee Mowle/Joe Osborne, Triple Eight Racing, BMW Z4, GT3, +37.564s
6, Derek Johnston/Matt Bell, TF Sport, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +37.949s
7, Ahmad Al Harthy/Alex MacDowall, Oman Racing Team, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +43.494s
8, Salih Yoluc/Euan Hankey, VonRyanRacing, McLaren 650S, GT3, +55.888s
9, Andrew Jarman/Jody Fannin, TF Sport, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, +56.183s
10, Marco Attard/Alexander Sims, Barwell Motorsport/Ecurie Ecosse, BMW Z4, GT3, +1:28.580s

The next major event at Snetterton is the British Truck Racing Championship on 19/20 September. Tickets are available from £18 with free entry for under-13s. For more information, please call 0843 453 9000 or click here.