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Brown and Tandy find optimum pace to take British GT pole

Saturday, August 10 2013

The 888 Optimum BMW Z4 of Dan Brown and Steve Tandy will start tomorrow's Avon Tyres British GT race from pole position after a late effort in qualifying at Brands Hatch today (Saturday).

With just half an hour for both drivers in each squad to record a flying lap of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, there was an understandable rush to leave the pitlane. As the cars completed their first flying lap the two 888 Optimum Z4s held the advantage once more.

However Nick Tandy asserted his authority over the field with a fast lap on the next tour, with Richard Abra and Phil Keen lining up behind in the order.

The pitlane filled as the first ten minutes drew to a close, with most of the faster drivers in the pairings having recorded their times. Sure enough there was little change in the order and with another flying lap completed by each car, most returned to the pits for one final shot at pole position.

Johnny Adam was the first to make an impression on the second round of action, with Brown even quicker in sectors one and two. Beechdean's Adam took pole for all of a handful of seconds, before the 888 Optimum Z4 assumed the place.

Brown's next lap included two personal best sectors, suggesting that there was more to come. But with just over three minutes to go, Tandy took over the Trackspeed Porsche and it seemed inevitable that he was going to stage an assault on pole position.

Tandy's first effort was a second off the pace but he had one last chance. His second was no better, so Brown kept pole position, with his team celebrating before the Porsche had even completed two sectors of that last lap.

Adam held second for Beechdean, with Tandy starting on row two alongside the PGF-Kinfaun Aston Martin. The Ecurie Ecosse BMW was next, from the Barwell Motorsport Aston Martin, the second 888 Optimum Z4, then the first of the Ferrari 458s, the hands of Rob Barff and Gary Eastwood. Phil Keen and John Minshaw's Trackspeed Porsche was ninth, with the Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin 458 completing the top ten.

In GT4 Ryan Ratcliffe and Rick Parfett Jr will start ahead of Matt Smith and Dan Eagling, with practice pacesetters Declan Jones and Zoe Wenham third in class. The race will take place at 13:40 tomorrow.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship Qualifying
1, 888 Optimum Racing, Steve Tandy & Dan Brown, BMW Z4 GT3, GT3, 1:24.846s
2, Beechdean AMR, Andrew Howard & Jonny Adam, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, GT3, +0.374s
3, Trackspeed, David Ashburn & Nick Tandy, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3, +0.442s
4, PGF - Kinfaun AMR, John Gaw & Phil Dryburgh, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, GT3, +0.643s
5, Ecurie Ecosse, Marco Attard & Oliver Bryant, BMW Z4 GT3, GT3, +0.771s
6, Barwell Motorsport, Mark Poole & Richard Abra, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, GT3, +0.847s
7, 888 Optimum Racing, Lee Mowle & Joe Osborne, BMW Z4 GT3, GT3, +0.876s
8, FF Corse, Gary Eastwood & Rob Barff, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, GT3, +1.099s
9, Trackspeed, Jon Minshaw & Phil Keen, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3, +1.105s
10, AF Corse, Duncan Cameron & Matt Griffin, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, GT3, +1.113s

Raceday tickets for the British F3 and GT Championships at Brands Hatch on 11 August are available on the gate from £22, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.