FP1: Keen and Maxwell fastest as title battle begins at Donington
> Result: FP1
Barwell Motorsport Phil Keen began his quest for a first British GT title by setting fastest time in opening practice at Donington Park this morning, while GT4 championship contender Scott Maxwell topped the class in his Multimatic Ford Mustang.
Clear blue skies greeted the 38-car field for the hour-long session, which was interrupted by a red flag just after half-distance when WPI Motorsport’s Lamborghini and Track Focused’s KTM collided.
The fastest GT3 times didn’t approve thereafter, which left early pace-setter Keen out front courtesy of the championship leader’s 1m27.667s. That was 0.168s faster than Balfe Motorsport’s McLaren driven by Rob Bell.
Nicki Thiim (TF Sport) and Callum Macleod (RAM Racing) ensured Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG also finished inside a top-four covered by 0.227s, while Dennis Lind set the fifth fastest time before his WPI Lamborghini was sidelined with damage.
Richard Neary was also impressive en route to sixth, his 1m28.240s just 0.6s slower than the fastest Pro time.
Further back, Scott Malvern picked up where Multimatic had left off at Donington in June by topping the class. The championship contender’s 1m35.593s was half-a-second faster than Mike Robinson’s Optimum Aston Martin, while Steller Performance’s Sennan Fielding rounded out the top-three.
Championship leaders Tom Canning and Ash Hand were one of four crews to finish 0.5s behind Maxwell as part of a congested top-five that also featured TF Sport’s other Aston Martin shared by Josh Price and Patrick Kibble.
Michael O’Brien, in sixth, headed a train of McLarens that included championship contenders Macdonald/Pointon and Proctor/Collard, Nathan Freke finished ninth in the best of Century’s BMWs.
The day’s second hour-long practice sessions begins at 12:45.