FP2: Barwell’s Keen fastest as Black Bull Garage 59 pace GT4
Phil Keen’s early flying lap was enough to give Barwell Motorsport top spot in second practice at Oulton Park earlier today ahead of this afternoon’s first British GT qualifying session of the season. Meanwhile, Black Bull Garage 59’s Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty topped the GT4 times.
Barwell continued their fine form from the morning session when its second entry driven by Sam Tordoff pipped Keen to fastest time, but on this occasion it was the #33 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 that ended practice on top.
With the first of the day’s sessions held in wet conditions a dry FP2 offered teams a chance to show their true pace. And 2016’s championship runner-up did just that by going half a second quicker than last year’s fastest race lap, his 1m34.291s remaining the overall benchmark for much of the session.
Last year’s Oulton Park race winner Seb Morris was another to post his quickest time early on, and also went underneath his own fastest race lap en route to second. The Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 finished 0.130s behind Keen and a tenth ahead of FP1 pace-setter Tordoff, whose co-driver Liam Griffin brought about an early red flag period after hitting the barrier at Island.
TF Sport’s Jon Barnes made it as many different manufacturers in the top-four aboard his Aston Martin V12 Vantage, while a late flying lap from Callum Macleod moved Team Parker’s second Bentley up to fifth ahead of Macmillan AMR’s James Littlejohn.
Derek Johnston, who lapped a second shy of Keen’s leading time, was next up ahead of Lee Mowle and Ryan Ratcliffe who completed the top-eight in the first of the Mercedes-AMGs.
GT4 was also close, with the top-three entries separated by less than two tenths. All three were underneath the current race lap record but it was Black Bull Garage 59’s Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell who posted the fastest time of the session, their 1m43.351s pipping Mike Simpson’s best aboard Century’s Ginetta G55 by 0.107s.
Alex Reed and David Pittard’s Lanan Racing-run Ginetta was just six hundredths further back in third, with Joe Osborne’s Tolman Motorsport McLaren and the UltraTek Nissan 370Z driven by Martin Plowman completing the top-five.
Debutants HHC, Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton were a second behind Haggerty and Mitchell’s benchmark in sixth but ahead of FP1 pacesetters Academy Motorsport.
Qualifying for both of tomorrow’s hour-long races begins at 16:20 this afternoon.
Click here for the complete FP2 classification.