Blancpain GT Series, Round 3, Sprint Cup: Brands Hatch - Qualifying Race:
Ben Barnicoat scored a sixth place finish in the opening, qualifying race of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup round at Brands Hatch.
Following the previous day’s qualifying performance in which Barnicoat and Strakka Racing McLaren 650 S GT3 team-mate Alvaro Parente took a ninth place start on the grid, Parente began Sunday’s opening one-hour race at the wheel.
With the Brands Hatch circuit a tough one to perform numerous overtaking manoevres on, Parente managed to hand over the McLaren to Barnicoat having made up a single place in the opening half of the race.
Fellow Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver Jake Dennis was in for an equally frustrating afternoon, having started in 17th position, he handed his Team WRT Audi R8 LMS over to team-mate Pieter Schothorst remaining in position.
Having made up a place early into his stint, Barnicoat quickly became embroiled in a three-car tussle for sixth position, with the #17 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS of Stuart Leonard, but being pressured by the #90 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Michael Meadows directly behind.
Following a full course yellow and further safety car with 17 minutes remaining, Barnicoat had 11 minutes to eventually pass Leonard who continued to frustrate the McLaren Academy driver.
Barnicoat seized his opportunity with three minutes left, as he closed in enough to exit Paddock Hill Bend and get side-by-side alongside Leonard. With Barnicoat placed on the inside towards the right hander at Druids, Barnicoat was the able to take the position ahead of the chequered flag.
In the second half of the race, Dennis’s team-mate Schothorst managed to make up positions to end the race in 13th position.
The #63 GRT Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti stormed to a dominant victory from pole position, The #98 Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 of Jesse Krohn and Markus Palttala took second place.
|Brands Hatch GP (3.916km / 2.433 miles): Qualifying Race Result (Top 10)|
|Pos||Driver||Team||Car||Time / Gap|
|1||Engelhart / Bortolotti||GRT Grasser Racing||Lambourghini Huracan GT3||1h 00m 25.466s|
|2||Palttala / Krohn||Rowe Racing||BMW M6 GT3||+3.752s|
|3||Perez Companc / Siedler||GRT Grasser Racing||Lamborghini Huracan GT3||+4.744s|
|4||Serralles / Juncadella||AKKA ASP||Mercedes-AMG GT3||+5.113s|
|5||Da Costa / Eng||Rowe Racing||BMW M6 GT3||+5.859s|
|6||Barnicoat / Parente||Strakka Racing||McLaren 650 S GT3||+6.865s|
|7||Leonard / Frijns||Team WRT||Audi R8 LMS||+9.221s|
|8||Meadows / Marciello||AKKA ASP||Mercedes-AMG GT3||+9.465s|
|9||Venturini / Mapelli||Attempto Racing||Lambourghini Huracan GT3||+10.669s|
|10||Ceccon / Stippler||ISR||Audi R8 LMS||+11.189.s|
|13||Schothorst / Dennis||Team WRT||Audi R8 LMS||+13.323s|
Free practice 1: Barnicoat/Parente 19th, 1m 25.792s, +1.435s; Schothorst/Dennis 16th, 1m 25.604s, +1.247s. Free practice 2: Barnicoat/Parente 16th, 1m 24.807s, +0.835s; Schothorst/Dennis 14th, 1m 24.697s, +0.725s. Qualifying (qualifying race grid): Barnicoat/Parente P9, 1m 23.630s, +0.739s; Schothorst/Dennis 18th, 1m 24.230s, +1.339s. Qualifying race: Barnicoat/Parente P6, +6.865s; Schothorst/Dennis 13th, +13.323s.
Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation images are available from the RSF Image Bank at http://www.jakobebrey.com/rsf