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Beechdean tops British GT opening practice at Brands Hatch

Saturday, August 01 2015

Andrew Howard posted the fastest time in opening practice for this weekend's Avon Tyres British GT Championship round at Brands Hatch today (Saturday), beating Phil Keen's best efforts by just half a tenth in the final moments of the session.

Matt Bell had set an early benchmark in the TF Sport Aston Martin during the hour-long first practice, with Alexander Sims taking over on board the reigning champion Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4. With the faster pro drivers obliged to hand over to the Bronze amateur competitors after 40 minutes, Phil Keen lapped faster than anyone else in the Team Russia Z4 to make it a 1-2 for Barwell Motorsport, which operates both teams.

The times at the top of the order were not expected to change in the final 20 minutes, but Howard lapped the Beechdean Aston Martin fastest of all with barely five minutes remaining. The top four cars were separated by just seven hundredths of a second.

In fifth place was the Gary Eastwood/Adam Carroll FF Corse Ferrari 458, three tenths down on Beechdean. Just five hundredths behind was the Liam Griffin/Rory Butcher Oman Racing Team Aston Martin, which, like Beechdean, is challenging Ecurie Ecosse for the championship.

The GT4 class was led by the Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 of Aleksander Schjerpen and James Birch, which headed the University of Bolton and Tolman Motorsport Ginettas.

Second practice will take place at 12:45pm today.

British GT Championship Practice one
1, Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam, Beechdean AMR, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, 1:26.760s
2, Jon Minshaw/Phil Keen, Team Russia by Barwell Racing with Demon Tweeks, BMW Z4, GT3, +0.048s
3, Marco Attard/Alexander Sims, Barwell Motorsport/Ecurie Ecosse, BMW Z4, GT3, +0.069s
4, Derek Johnston/Matt Bell, TF Sport, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +0.070s
5, Gary Eastwood/Adam Carroll, FF Corse, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3, +0.317s
6, Liam Griffin/Rory Butcher, Oman Racing Team, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +0.367s
7, Lee Mowle/Joe Osborne, Triple Eight Racing, BMW Z4, GT3, +0.475s
8, Steve Tandy/Mike Simpson, Team LNT, Ginetta G55, GT3, +0.748s
9, Hector Lester/Benny Simonsen, Hector Lester/Rosso Verde, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3, +0.800s
10, Ahmad Al Harthy/Daniel Lloyd, Oman Racing Team, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, +0.850s

Tickets for the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch on 1-2 August are available on the gate for £14 on Saturday and £23 on Sunday with free entry for under-13s. For more information please call 0843 453 9000 or click here.