Graham Johnson has taken responsibility for the accident that removed he and Jody Fannin from round two of this season’s British GT Championship at Rockingham on Sunday.
The PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport Ginetta had led the GT4 class for much of the opening stint after starting from pole position. But with his mandatory pit-stop just moments away an unsighted Johnson moved across on Fannin’s PFL Motorsport Aston Martin as both they and other faster GT3 cars approached the final chicane.
The resulting contact put the G55 GT4 into the barriers and out of the race, while Fannin’s V12 Vantage limped back to the pits with a damaged front right corner where it was subsequently retired.
After reviewing onboard footage British GT race officials elected to exclude Johnson from the meeting. But, to his credit, Johnson - who was unhurt in the sizeable impact - was quick to take responsibility for the accident.
“It was a moment of confusion but one I have to take responsibility for,” he said. “When I checked my mirrors I saw two GT3 cars behind; the Rollcentre BMW and an Aston Martin. At the time I didn’t realise there were two Vantages. So when I saw the Beechdean car going right I glanced in my mirror and moved left. Unfortunately at the same moment the PFL Aston was trying to do the same and happened to be in my blindspot. We made contact and the rest is history.
“Obviously I wouldn’t have moved across had I known the car was there because it destroyed what looked like being a podium finish for us, as well as Jody’s race of course. It’s tough at Rockingham and it’s not like I have a reputation for those sorts of mistakes, but I don’t want to make excuses either. It won’t happen again.
“I also went straight to PFL and apologised for the contact.”
The non-score leaves Brands Hatch winners Johnson and co-driver Mike Robinson second in the GT4 standings behind Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert, who went on to win Rockigham’s two-hour race.
Reserve your tickets here for rounds three and four of this season’s British GT Championship at Oulton Park on May 28 & 30.