FP1: Macleod’s Bentley and Ebor GT’s Maserati fastest at Spa
> Result FP1
Team Parker Racing’s Callum Macleod topped British GT’s opening practice session at Spa-Francorchamps this morning, while Ebor GT’s returning Maserati driven by Matty Graham and Charlie Fagg produced the fastest GT4 time.
Barwell’s Lamborghini Huracans made the early running before Macleod’s Bentley Continental GT3 banged in a 2m19.103s - almost 2.7s under British GT’s race lap record - just before the hour-long session reached its halfway mark. His time would remain unbeaten thereafter.
Just 0.055s back was Patrick Kujala in the first of Barwell’s Huracans, which is making a one-off British GT appearance this weekend to prepare for its Total 24 Hours of Spa outing later this month. Team-mate and championship leader Phil Keen was another 0.268s behind while Adam Christodoulou put Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing’s Mercedes-AMG fourth.
Spirit of Race’s Ferrari was next up but ended its session, and weekend, on the back of a recovery vehicle after an accident approaching the Bus Stop Chicane resulted in serious rear-end damage. Although Duncan Cameron climbed out unaided, his and co-driver Matt Griffin’s weekend is over after the team were forced to withdraw.
The subsequent 10-minute red flag period meant just 13 minutes remained when the session resumed.
Team WRT’s Audi completed the top-six ahead of both TF Sport Aston Martins, Team Parker’s second Bentley and the third of Barwell’s Lamborghinis.
Meanwhile, Ebor GT’s Maserati celebrated its return to the championship this weekend by immediately topping a first practice session that featured five different manufacturers in the top five positions. Graham and Fagg’s best of 2m31.968s was set early in the session and remained 1.2s quicker than the next best time set by Martin Plowman in the first of UltraTek/RJN’s Nissan 370Zs.
HHC Motorsport’s Will Tregurtha and Stuart were first of the championship challengers and Ginetta runners in third after lapping 0.162s slower than Plowman, while Matt Nicoll-Jones and Will Moore’s Academy Motorsport Aston Martin and Tolman Motorsport McLaren driven by Joe Osborne completed the top-five.
Championship leaders and 2016 Spa race winners Lanan Racing finished sixth courtesy of Alex Reed and David Pittard, Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell were seventh and track-club’s McLaren completed the top-eight.
Second practice begins at 11:30 local time.