Sunny skies and warm temperatures were standard weekend weather conditions in Britain, and so it was at Imola for round two of the 2016 TORA British GT Championship where the Brit Racing McLaren 12C GT3 made it four wins from the first four races.
A number of bigger teams chose the series’ Italian leg as their dropped round, resulting in a smaller field but one packed with quality (and an astonishing number of Porsches!).
The Brit Racing 12C GT3 took pole once more, but only just from real-world British GT star Alex Reed who was only 0.3s down in his McLaren.
The race would see the pole-sitter maintain the lead while Reed’s attention became focused on retaining second place, particularly after some close calls with traffic.
Further back in the field the sole Aston Martin, driven by Matt Hunter, had held sixth for much of the opening phase of the race before a longer than normal pit-stop following a change in tyre strategy dropped the Vantage down the order.
Third place in race one went to the #555 ATP Gentlemans Club Porsche after passing Adam Watson’s BMW early on.
The GT4 battle on this occasion was an all-Ginetta affair with South East Coast Racing looking to capitalise on the absence of other teams, Lewis Scaife in the MMOW-Samsung Ginetta their only competition.
Race 2 saw a similarly strong performance for Brit Racing, who were once again chased down by Alex Reed’s McLaren and the ATP Porsche. In fact the top-four remained the same as their grid positions, despite the mandatory stops and relatively close racing.
Behind the leading quartet the battle raged for the best of the rest positions with a group of four cars including the Quimera Cadillac, RUF Skunkworks, Overtake Motorsport and Motul Performance that were seemingly glued together throughout the race. A close fight that was ultimately enjoyed by all.
For series debutant Rob Donoghue it was all worth the effort;
“Absolutely loved the racing, I can’t wait for Oulton Park!” he said.
Following the withdrawal of Scaife from race 2 the pair of Ginettas from South East Coast Racing could ease home to another pair of GT4 podium results and a great weekend for the Irish pairing of Mark Byrne and Mark Power.
Round three of this season’s TORA British GT Championship takes place at Oulton Park on May 22, one week before the real-life version visits the same Cheshire venue.
Report courtesy of TORA.