The Brands Indy circuit was creating close fights right throughout the field, Mike Brown in the #7 and Bolaji Odunsi in the #20 getting very close on occasion, but the dice was always fair and clean. Eakin’s good run in the #56 came to an abrupt end at Druids on lap 33. Tim made contact with Greenberg in the #67 as he tried to lap the Canadian. Kenneth gave Tim room, however the silver Hills Racing car understeered, leading to a clash of wheels. #67 was forced to retire and a very long pit stop to repair the damage also ruled the #56 car out of strong result. A real shame after another great qualifying performance by Tim & Richard.
The pit window opened on lap 34, and once in the #27 Track Club car, Calum Lockie set fastest lap with a 50.713. Mark Lemmer dropped down the order due to a pit stop time penalty for being a Silver graded driver, promoting Pierre Mantello, now driving the #22, in to the lead. Patrick Blakeney-Edwards spun in the #68 car on the exit of Paddock Hill bend and for a while was unable to get going again. Eventually the car was able to rejoin, without the need for a safety car. John Dickson in the #47 Stratton car, made contact with Julian Reddyhough, (having taken over from Onslow-Cole) at Graham Hill bend. The impact broke an engine mount on the #5, bringing to an end a great run in the older spec car.
While all this had been going on, Chris Kemp in the #24 Vantage Racing car had been making progress up the field after qualifying in 7th. By lap 99, Chris was all over the back of the #88 Barwell car, now being driven by Jan Andersen. A lap later, Kemp found a way past for 2nd place. Jan responded and remained in touch, finishing just over 2s back in 3rd.The win was taken by Olivier Bouche and Pierre Mantello, once again proving their class in amongst a grid of new cars and drivers.TV Chef James Martin and his co driver Owen Mildenhall took a strong top ten result after limited running in practice.
The high ambient temperature certainly took its toll on the drivers (most driving without air conditioning). With such a busy lap and lots of traffic, even finishing the race was a massive achievement.
The next round of the GT4 Challenge of Great Britain takes place at Spa on July 26 & 27. Anyone interested in hospitality passes to attend as a spectator/guest or competing in the race on an ‘arrive and drive’ basis with Stratton Motorsport should go to www.astonmartin.com/gt4challenge for further information.