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Keen pips Adam to top FP2; Robinson fastest in GT4

28 May 2016

A late flying lap from Phil Keen helped Barwell Motorsport top British GT’s second free practice session at Oulton Park, while PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport’s Mike Robinson headed the GT4 class times.


Keen had led the way with 10 of the 50 minutes remaining before TF Sport’s Jonny Adam twice went faster in the closing stages. But Keen wasn’t done and subsequently unleashed a lap of 1m34.630s to beat his Scottish adversary by 0.097s. A red flag just seconds later prevented Adam from responding as the session came to a premature end.


Adam Carroll underlined Barwell’s pace by putting the second Lamborghini Huracan third fastest to follow up the good work of co-driver Liam Griffin who had set the GT3 Am pace during the first session. The former A1GP champion was 0.235s down on Keen’s time but three tenths clear of Beechdean AMR’s Ross Gunn, who backed up his third place in FP1 with fourth in the second session.


Seb Morris, who led morning practice, put the Team Parker Racing Bentley fifth ahead of the second TF Sport Aston Martin driven by Jon Barnes and Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s McLaren 650S, driven by Rob Bell. Joe Osborne’s AmDTuning.com BMW Z4 completed a top-eight covered by 1.4s.


Meanwhile, in GT4, Mike Robinson went one better than he managed in FP1 by topping the second session. His time of 1m44.006s was only 0.007s shy of Nathan Freke’s morning benchmark but nevertheless fast enough to lead FP2 by two tenths from Scott Malvern.


It was a bittersweet session for the Simpson Motorsport squad who were buoyed by Malvern’s pace but also left with a job to repair their Ginetta in time for this afternoon’s qualifying session after a bizarre incident involving co-driver Nick Jones whose front splitter dug in and lodged itself under the car after running wide at Cascades. Fortunately the small subsequent fire, as a result of the grass igniting, only caused cosmetic damage.


Ginetta had annexed the first three positions in FP1 but Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell were able to sneak their McLaren 570S GT4 into third just ahead of Freke and Anna Walewska’s Century G55 GT4, which had topped the morning’s proceedings.


Matthew George completed the top-five aboard his and James Holder’s Generation AMR SuperRacing Aston Martin, albeit 1.2s down on Robinson’s session-leading time, while Matty Graham and Jack Mitchell’s Macmillan Racing V8 Vantage again featured in the first half-dozen.


The first of this afternoon’s four qualifying sessions begin at 15:50.