Witt faces tough competition as GT Cup takes on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit

Media release: 2nd May 2016

 

Source: GT Cup

 

If the opening three races of the 2016 GT Cup championship gave us an indication of the year in front, then it should be an absolute barn stormer. Jordan Witt got his season off to a winning start in his brand new Bentley Continental GT3, taking two wins out of three but once again Richard Chamberlain proved you don’t need the latest toys to be quick, winning the opening race in his nearly 30 year old Porsche 935.

 

Darren Nelson will be out to get his championship charge back on track after ABS issues hampered his outings at Donington Park. The stunning lime green Lamborghini Huracan will be one to watch, especially when hotshot Adam Carroll is behind the wheel.

 

Ross McEwen and Colin Paton scored a triple podium at Donington whilst GTC rival Paul Paul Bailey and Andy Schulz endured a trying weekend. After car trouble on Saturday and a DNF on Sunday, a strong three races could see them bounce back into the title battle.

 

Andrew Baker in his Parr Motorsport entered Porsche 997 leads the GTB group after the first weekend but will face some stiff competition this time out. 2013 overall champion Jeff Wyatt returns with Mike Sellar and the BMW of Tom and James Webb moves up a group. Add in Jamie Dawson, who excelled at Donington, and Mark Smith, who had a strong run, and we could be shaping up for a really good fight.

 

As always, some of the most exciting racing comes from the GTA group, which featured the UK racing debut of the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport last time out. Local racer Esmee Hawkey will be driving one of the two cars out and more are expected later in the year. Joining them are a brace of Aston Martins but the pace setting car at the moment is the Ginetta G55 of Ian Anderson and Amanda Black, with Daniel O’Brien and Brent Millage not far behind. We are almost certainly guaranteed a good show around the historic Brands hatch Grand Prix circuit. Bring it on.

 

Timetable

Saturday 7th May

Time                   
Activity                                                                   Championship                                                                  
09:00 - 09:30 Free Practice GT Cup
09:40 - 10:10 Free Practice (Bronze & Silver Drivers)
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
10:10 - 10:40 Free Practice 1
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
10:50 - 11:10 Qualifying Mini Challenge
11:20 - 11:40 Qualifying GT Cup
11:50 - 12.30
Free Practice Blancpain GT Sports Club
12:35 - 13:05
Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club
13:20 - 13:45
Race GT Cup
14:00 - 15:00
Free Practice 2
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
15:15 - 15:35
Race Mini Challenge
15:50 - 16:10 Qualifying Blancpain GT Sports Club
16:25 - 16:50 Race GT Cup
17:00 - 17:15
Qualifying 1
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
17:22 - 17:37
Qualifying 2
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
17:45 - 17:55
Qualifying 3
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
17:58 - 18:28
Practice
Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club

 

Sunday 8th May

Time                  
Activity                                                                  
Championship                                                                   
09:05 - 09:45
Pit Walk & Autograph Session

10:00 - 10:30
  Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club
10:35 - 10:45
Warm up GT Cup
11:00 - 11:25 Qualifying Race
Blancpain GT Sports Club
12:05 - 13:05
Qualifying Race
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
13:15 - 13:35
Qualifying
GT Cup
13:40 - 14:10
Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club
14:25 - 15:05
Race
Blancpain GT Sports Club
15:20 - 15:40
Race Mini Challenge
16:20 - 17:20
Race Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
17:35 - 18:25
Race GT Cup

 

Witt in control as Nelson charges through field

Media release: 8th May 2016

 

Source: GT Cup

 

Jordan Witt picked up in Brands Hatch where he left off in Donington with another dominant drive in his Bentley Continental GT3 in the first GT Cup Sporting Sprint race of the weekend.

 

Darren Nelson started from the back of the grid in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3, after missing qualifying with a gearbox issue, but was able to start the race form the back of the grid. He proved to be a man on the move, getting up to tenth by the end of the opening laps before the Safety Car was deployed.

 

The Porsches of Jamie Dawson and series returnee Mike Sellar came together at Surtees. A puncture stranded Sellar on the curb requiring the race to be neutralised by the Safety Car. Luckily he was able to manoeuvre the car to a safe place and the race resumed, losing only a lap. With that Nelson was able to get the hammer down and continue his climb through the field but he would run out of time and finish fifth.

 

Jordan Witt’s lead continued to grow and he crossed the line an impressive 25 seconds clear of Richard Chamberlain in his Porsche 935 with the Ferrari 458 GT3 of John Dhillon. In fourth was the Lotus Evora of Kevin Riley, ahead of the recovering Nelson.

 

“The car feels great,” said Jordan. ‘The team has worked hard all week really to get this car ready, which not only helps set the car up, but it helps me learn to drive the car better. It’s helping me find those last few seconds and just keep pushing. Hopefully we can keep up this momentum. Momentum is really what it’s all about - going through the motions and making sure the car is the same every time. Consistency is the key!”

 

Tom Webb had an enjoyable race in his GTB BMW, fighting with the GTC Porsche of Ross McEwen.  Tom held his own to beat the Porsche by eight seconds as the chequered flag fell to take GTB honours ahead of Mark Smith and Jonathan Evans.

 

“It was a hot race out there,” said Tom. ”Incredibly hot! The car struggled with the heat a bit so I had to back off slightly at times. The car’s running really well, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable race.” 

 

With Nigel Huggins’ Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo not making the start, McEwen’s only competition in GTC came from the Ferrari 458 Challenge of Paul Bailey, who finished eighth overall. 

 

“It was good out there,” said Ross. “We started on group pole, and finished first so we couldn’t have asked for better than that. It was pretty hot out there which we’re not used to, but the team put areally great car together this weekend and I want to thank them. I was comfortable with the gap to the Ferrari behind me, and I settled into a rhythm after that, and brought it home.”

 

GTA honours went to Dan O’Brien, who said of his performance “We had to nurse the car a bit at the end because we nearly ran out of fuel, because I was pushing it through Druids corner quite a lot. We weren’t sure if we would actually take the flag but we managed to create a gap early on and hold it to the end, so it was fine.”

 

Race One Results

Media release: 7th May 2016

 

Source: TSL Timing

 

Pos.     Group        
Driver                               Entry                                      
Time           
Gap        
1
GTO
Richard Chamberlain
Porsche 935
25:13.346

2 GTO
Riley/Downing
Lous Evora GTE
25:13.677
0.331
3 GTO
Jordan Witt
Bentley Continental GT3
25:19.218
5.872
4 GTO
Burgan/Bell
Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3
25:55.851
36.633
5 GTC
Paton/McEwan
Porsche 911
25:56.988
43.642
6 GTO
Dhillon/Scott
Ferrari 458 GT3
26:10.507
57.161
7 GTC
Neil Huggins
Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo LP570
26:11.498
58.152
8 GTB
Warren Gilbert
Marcos Mantis
26:11.963
58.617
9 GTO
Hudson/Wilcox
Audi R8 GT3
26:15.549
1:02.203
10 GTB
Evans/Bradshaw
Porsche 997 GT3
25:37.039
1 Lap
11 GTB
Christopher/Christopher
Ferrari 430 Challenge
25:56.227
1 Lap
12 GTA
Anderson/Black
Ginetta G55
25:58.859
1 Lap
13
GTA
Webb/Webb
BMW M3 E46 GTR
25:59.083
1 Lap
14 GTA
Daniel O'Brien
Ginetta G55
26:01.650
1 Lap
15 GTA
Milleage/Feakins
Ginetta G55
26:04.388
1 Lap
16 GTA
Hawkey/Hawkey
Porsche Cayman GT4
26:13.139
1 Lap
17 GTC
Bailey/Schultz
Ferrari 458 Challenge
26:00.462
2 Laps
18 GTB
Andrew Baker
Porsche 997 GT3
26:01.247
2 Laps
19 GTA
Whale/Mackinnon
Porcshe Cayman GT4
26:17.805
2 Laps
20 GTA
Gibbs/Horlor
Aston Martin Vantage GT4
25:43.593
3 Laps
21 GTA
Nevinson/Nevinson
Porsche Cayman GT4
25:54.166
3 Laps
22 GTO
Nelson/Carroll
Lamborghini Huracan GT3
26:10.061
3 Laps
DNF
GTB
Mark Smith
Porsche 997 GT3
24:45.028
2 Laps
DNF GTB Fairbrother/Dawson Porsche 997 GT3 7:41.347 16 Laps

 

Fastest lap:

GTO -

GTC -

GTB -

GTA -

 

Nelson-Chamberlain scrap thrills crowd as Witt takes victory

Media release: 7th May 2016

 

Source: GT Cup

 

Jordan Witt’s excellent weekend continued with another win in his Bentley Continental GT3, but it was a titanic battle between the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Darren and the Porsche 935 of Richard Chamberlain, that caught the attention of spectators.

 

The pair finished second and third respectively and were nose-to-tail for the entire race, with just over 0.3 seconds separating them as the chequered flag fell.  Chamberlain attempted to pass theHuracan – a car several decades younger than the Porsche – as the two navigated traffic, but Nelson maintained a slender advantage throughout.

 

The Lotus Evora GTE of Kevin Riley finished in fourth place, just ahead of Tom Webb’s BMW M3 GTR, who finished first in GTB and fifth overall. Behind him was John Dhillon who spun his Ferrari 458 GT3 on the first lap of the race, leaving him dead last. Incredibly, the AF Course driver recovered to finish sixth overall after picking his way through the field in an impressive recovery drive.

 

Paul Bailey took his first win of the weekend in GTC in his Ferrari 458 Challenge, and a trio of Porsche 997 GT3 Cup cars rounded off the top ten; Nigel Armstrong, Mark Smith and Jeff Wyatt finishing eighth, ninth and tenth respectively after a close fight between the three all race.

 

“The car was like it was on rails,” said Witt of his Bentley. ”Anything I ask the car to do, it just does it, it’s so responsive. It’s a very powerful car but it’s quite simple to drive, there’s not much steering input needed.”

 

Dan O’Brien’s second GTA win of the afternoon was closer-fought than the first, a fact he acknowledged after the race. “We had to work a lot harder for that one,” he said, “Amanda Black was right behind us and there was a Porsche (McEwen) right in front of us as well, so we were sandwiched between the two. I had to defend and attack at the same time which was tricky, but it was a great race.”

 

Of his GTB win, the second of the day, Tom Webb said “The car is flying at the moment. I can’t complain about anything. Our car has always been kind to its tyres so I feel a bit sorry for people at the back struggling with rear grip. A lot of the car’s performance has been because of GTS and their experience with BMWs, they’ve done an amazing job setting the car.”

 

Paul Bailey’s pace improved massively in the second race, explaining “In the first race I was about a second behind the Porsche of Ross McEwen, but in the second one I was about two seconds per lap faster. Once I got past him I just had to catch the other cars that got by at the start of the race. I’m really happy with the win and the points!”

 

Race Two Results

 

Media release: 7th May 2016

 

Source: TSL Timing

 

Pos.     Group Driver                               Nat.       
Entry                                      
Time           
Gap        
1
         
2            
3            
4
         
5            
6            
7            
8





9





10





11





12





13  



 
14





15





16





17





18





19





20





21  




DNF






DNF






 

Fastest Lap


GTO -

GTC -

GTB -

GTA -

 

O’Brien, Webb and Witt make it three apiece at Brands Hatch

Media release: 8th May 2016

 

Source: GT Cup

 

Jordan Witt was joined by GTA and GTB racers Dan O’Brien and Tom Webb in taking a hat-trick of wins over the weekend as the GT Cup made its annual visit to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

 

Jordan got off to an early lead to the 50-minute endurance race held in early evening in beautiful sunny conditions. It was a clean start for all the competitors with the man on the move being Darren Nelson, after starting from the back of the grid. By the end of lap one he as already up to 12th place and pressing on through the field. It would all come undone on lap five however when he spun exiting Surtees and connected with the barrier on the inside of the circuit. With his steering broken in the impact, it was impossible for him to move the car so the Safety Car had to be deployed.

 

The green Lamborghini was recovered to safety and the pack was back racing again two laps later with a very promising battle shaping up in GTA with the first four cars line astern. Three laps later Nigel Armstrong came to a stop on the exit of Druids with his car stuck in third gear. With the Porsche 997 Cup car stranded on the kerbing there was no choice but to deploy the Safety Car for a second time. This would present an interesting tactical dilemma for the teams wondering if the Safety Car would stay out after the pit stop window opened. 

 

With the Porsche towed to safety we were back racing with the cars crossing the line just as the pit stop window opened. With that, the pit lane was awash with cars the following lap as cars pitted for their mandatory stop and driver change. Richard Chamberlain, Nigel Hudson and John Dhillon all pitted from the GTO group.

 

Jordan Witt wouldn’t pit until lap 18 and would rejoin in second behind Chamberlain after stalling in the pits. Aaron Scott was right behind him with Adam Wilcox in the HUD Motorsport Audi in forth. Witt would make his move on the orange Porsche 935 on lap 22 with Aaron Scott also sneaking past Chamberlain at Dingle Dell whilst lapping a slower car. The Ferrari gave chase to the leading Bentley until the race was brought to a premature end when Brent Millage spun at Surtees. With the car in a dangerous place and only seven minutes remaining of the race it was declared early and the red flag shown. 

 

“It was good fun out there,” said Jordan. “The Safety Cars are always a bit of a hazard in themselves, but I feel like I nailed the restarts both times and that’s something we’ve been working on, so it’s paid off for us. This was probably my favourite win of the weekend and of the season as well. This is my favourite track, I absolutely love it here, it’s actually where I took my first win in a car and I love coming back, so it’s always had good memories for me.”

 

Richard Chamberlain would also go off on the last lap handing third place to Adam Wilcox and Nigel Hudson for their first GT Cup podium. In fifth place was GTB winner Tom Webb who beat fast Porsche racer Mark Smith into second with Mike Sellar and returning double GTA champion Jeff Wyatt in third. 

 

“That was a good race,” said Webb. “We thought we might have a bit more of a fight on our hands, but it looks like our main competition ran into a bit of trouble. We had a good run out there, and were able to take it a bit easier on the car after the second safety car and back it off a little bit and bring it home. We’re at Silverstone next which is usually more of a power circuit, so we should have some good racing there, which makes things a bit more interesting.”

 

Paul Bailey had a good race in GTC fighting his way past the rapid Mark Smith to get close to early GTC leader Ross McEwen. When the Ferrari pitted it was ideally placed for Andy Schulz to capitalise and take the lead as Colin Paton took over driving duties in the rival Porsche.

 

“We were chasing Ross McEwen in the Porsche 991 for the first stint of the race,” said Paul. “When the Safety Cars came out it slashed their lead, which was not as big as we thought it would be. Then Andy went out and did what he usually does, so it’s great to be back on the podium a couple of times this weekend.”

 

“It was a great race,” added Andy. “Everything went to plan. I’m really happy to be on the podium with Paul and great to see him smiling up here, because the last race didn’t go our way but this one has been better. Hopefully we’ll carry on in this vein.”

 

The final hat-trick winner, a feat that also earned him the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend trophy, was Dan O’Brien in GTA. He had to fend off pressure from an incredibly competitive GTA grid, with a duo of Ginetta G55s and the Porsche Cayman GT4 of Esmee Hawkey and James Birch fighting him all the way.

 

“It was quite a tricky race,” said Dan. “We came under a lot of pressure at the start, and Amanda Black got ahead of us, so we were really chasing them down, and that wore our tyres out a little. After a while though, we started pulling it back for a couple of laps, and once they pitted, we got past them.”

 

Race Three Results

 

Media release: 8th May 2016

 

Source: TSL Timing

 

Pos.     Class          Driver                               Nat.       
Entry                                      
Time           
Gap        
1
         
2            
3            
4            
5            
6            
7            
8            
9            
10            
11            
12            
13
           
14            
15            
16            
17            
18            
19            
20          
21          
DNF
         
DNF            

 

Fastest Lap


GTO -

GTC -

GTB -

GTA -