Epic title battle heads for Snetterton finale

Media release: 4th October 2016

 

Source: GT Cup

 

The GT Cup heads to Snetterton as the battle for the overall title reaches its crescendo. GTO group racer Jordan Witt leads GTB runners Tom & James Webb by just two points with the final three races taking place at the Norfolk-based circuit.

Jordan has been the pace setter and claimed the GTO title at Silverstone when he put the championship out of reach from nearest rival John Dhillon & Aaron Scott. The Cheshire based driver is laser focused on taking the overall title however and will not be leaving anything to chance as he seeks to outscore the Webb brothers. What makes this battle all the more intriguing is the fact that the two competitors are racing in different groups.

Nigel Hudson & Adam Wilcox have shown race winning pace this season and could be a thorn in Jordan’s side as well as Richard Chamberlain in the orange Porsche. That said, the BMW of Tom and James face their own competition in the GTB group. No fewer than five Porsche 997 cup cars will be racing and have always gone well at Snetterton, especially if it rains. Group vice champion Andrew Baker won at Donington, could he deprive Tom and James of those much-needed points?

With Paul Bailey & Andy Schulz sewing up the GTC title at Silverstone the only group title still to be decided is in GTA. The group has been the closest matched all year and produced some of the fiercest racing so far. Esmee Hawkey & James Birch led the way going into the penultimate race weekend however a non finish in the final race at Silverstone meant they slipped 26 points behind Daniel O’Brien. One mistake from Daniel however will bring the title fight back to life and with Brent Millage only three points further behind the Cayman of Hawkey and Birch it could be a nail-biting end to a fantastic season.

 

Timetable

Saturday 8th October

Time                   
Activity                                                                   Championship                                                                  
Laps       
09:00 - 09:20 Qualifying
 
09:30 - 09:50 Qualifying
 
10:00 - 10:40 Free Practice
 
11:00 - 11:15 Qualifying
 
11:25 - 11:55 Qualifying
 
12:05 - 12.35
Qualifying
 
12:45 - 13:25 Free Practice
 
13:25 - 14:15
Lunch Break
 
14:15
Race

14:45
Race

15:15 - 15:30
Qualifying

15:40 - 16:10
Qualifying

16:25 Race
 
17:05 Race

17:35
Race

 

Sunday 9th October

Time                  
Activity                                                                  
Championship                                                                   
Laps      
09:10 - 09:40



10:00 Race

10:40 Race

11:20


11:32
Race

12:12



12:42 - 13:25 Lunch Break    
13:05


13:25 Race

14:00



14:12
Race

14:55 Race

15:30 Race

16:10 Race

17:00


17:12 Race

 

Witt takes convincing victory as Webb battles Evans for GTB win

Media release: 8th October 2016

 

Source: GT Cup

 

Jordan Witt still leads the overall championship by three points after a dominant win in the Snetterton opener. Tom Webb’s GTB win kept things on a even pegging with both drivers taking group fastest laps ensuring the points difference remains static.

Tom Webb’s GTB position made Witt’s win all the more important, after the Bentley had to kick in its turbo to get past the naturally aspirated Ferrari 458 GTC of Bonamy Grimes at the start to ensure he didn’t lose points to his rival.  From there, Witt could set the pace and continued to set fast lap after fast lap to finish well clear of the other podium places.

“It was a good race,” he said. “I used the brake and throttle to kick in the turbo and from there I had a clean track to run at. The gap is still three points at the top and anything can happen.”

While Witt disappeared into the distance, the other podium places were hotly disputed, eventually going the way of fellow GTO racer Gareth Downing and his Lotus Evora GTE ahead of Webb with Nigel Hudson rounding out the GTO podium.

“The gap might be the same now but we’ll keep pushing and try to take it to the last race,” said Webb. “It was a great scrap with Jonathan Evans for the position as he kept me honest throughout and his pace matched mine.”

Grimes finished seventh on the road after starting on pole position but was  unfortunate to catch a rare patch of dampness left on the circuit from this morning’s shower and was pitched into a spin. Impressively, the Ferrari man was able to work his way back from well down the order to finish in seventh and take the group win ahead of Stewart Proctor’s McLaren 650S Sprint and team mate Scott Thomas. 

“I’m disappointed, not so much with losing my pole, but where I finished,” said Grimes. “I remembered to avoid a spot where there was some oil, and then forgot the next and had a spin. The main thing was that we recovered and got the class win.”

While the overall championship continues to heat up, it was mirroed in the GTA group with James Birch taking the victory to narrow the gap to Daniel O'Brien to 24 points. O'Brien finished second in the race n but also claimed the group fastest lap to minimise the damage to his championship hopes. Brent Millage rounded out the GTA top three.

“There was lots of cat and mouse with Dan,” said Birch. “I just wanted to get that win and we did it and now I can look forward to race two with the championship decided."


 

Race One Results

Media release: 23rd April 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 -

 

Coming SoonHibbert storms to victory as Witt closes in on title

Media release: 8th October 2016

 

Source: GT Cup

 

Tom Hibbert turned around his difficult day in style, bouncing back from a race one retirement to go from last to sixth to seal the GTA group win as Jordan Witt edged ever closer to the overall title. While Hibbert started down in 26th, Witt made the ideal start from pole to lead, taking a sizable advantage through the opening corners to ensure his position.

From there, he pushed his Bentley Continental GT3 hard and set the fastest lap of the race before a safety car caused by the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup of Jonathan Evans and Tom Bradshaw at Riches corner. Witt made a strong restart getaway after backing up the field through the final corners to launch to a comfortable victory ahead of the Ferrari 458 GTC of Bonamy Grimes.

“It was a good win again,” said Witt. “The safety car made no real difference to us as we had the pace. We backed off a little in race one, but we were keen to push here as we wanted to assess our pace against our penalty in the endurance race tomorrow and I think we’re in good shape.”

Second-placed man Grimes atoned for his earlier misfortune, having fallen away from pole position down the order in the opening race, to run a lonely second well ahead of the third place Audi R8 GT3 of Nigel Hudson. Despite his race one woes, Grimes ensured he took two GTC group wins in a day.

“That was a much better result,” said Grimes. “The track being dry helped us a lot as it made the track a lot more predictable other than the safety car. Pete Littler put up a good fight early on in his Aston.”

There was another double winner in GTB as Tom Webb ran comfortably to a group win as his nearest rivals fell away as they ran into problems. Warren Gilbert claimed second place in the group, 27 seconds behind Webb, with Mark Smith in third place.

“We were expecting a real fight in this race,” Tom said. “In the end our nearest rivals seemed to have problems which meant we were able to keep it clean and run to the flag, it was a good job by the team and we got the result we need.”

Behind Webb, Hibbert made the most of the safety car restart to ensure he finished in the overall top six after he was forced to retire in race one due to an oil sensor malfunction.

“I’m really happy with that having had to start at the back,” he said. “I had to pick my way through traffic and the safety car meant I could close up and battle some of the GTC and GTO cars. They’re much quicker on the straights but the Ginetta gave them a good go in the corners such as Coram.”

Two titles will be resolved tomorrow, with Witt holding a slender single-digit advantage over Tom and James Webb in the overall championship. Group A has Daniel O’Brien holding a strong advantage over Esmee Hawkey and James Birch.

 

Race Two Results

 

Media release: 23rd April 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 -

 

Witt wins overall title as Grimes and Mowlem put in impressive run to win GT Cup finale

Media release: 24th April 2016

 

Source: GT Cup

 

Jordan Witt had it all to do when he fell down the order after an early spin but battled his way back through the field to claim the overall GT Cup title as Daniel O’Brien sealed the GTA crown in a thrilling finale.

Witt had taken pole for the season ending race and with just a few points between him and GTB rival Tom and James Webb, the Webb pair starting second in GTB. That meant Witt had to at least match their result to take the title and a spin at Palmer after touching the grass pushed him down to 12th. He quickly worked his way back up the order, running second when a safety car was called for the stricken Porsche of Jonathan Evans. The race leader at that point was the Audi R8 of Nigel Hudson and Adam Wilcox but, while following the safety car, a mechanical issue forced them into retirement. 

When the safety car pulled into the pits, Witt made a good start to pull away but his sizable mandatory pit stop time meant he would lose that lead. Witt again was able to make up places, eventually finish sixth and third in his class. That was enough to secure the title, as the Webbs took third in GTB.

“I’m buzzing to have won the title,” said Witt. “I made it difficult for myself, I had a lapse in concentration and that meant I put a wheel on the grass and spun. The safety car was a big help and when the Audi retired, I knew I just had to finish. My last lap felt like the slowest of all time!”

Meanwhile, Daniel O’Brien’s strategy of keeping quiet and out the way of the action all weekend paid dividends. O’Brien comfortably held fifth in class throughout the race but with a sizable points buffer between himself and Esmee Hawkey/James Birch, it was enough to hold the advantage for the group title with his rivals finishing third in the group.

“I’ve pushed so hard all season but I came to Snetterton planning to play it a bit safer,” he said. “I knew the points difference was a good one so I just ensured I kept enough to win the crown.”

Ahead of that championship battle, Tom Hibbert grabbed another win as he punched above his weight among the GTC and GTB crowd. In GTC, Bonamy Grimes continued an impressive first year of racing as he and Johnny Mowlem combined to take the overall victory as well as the group win. Grimes had an impressive first stint that gave Mowlem the perfect opportunity to go on and win the race. First, he had to dispatch the Lotus of Gareth Downing before a dive down the inside at Riches on Peter Littler’s Aston Martin gave him the win.

“It’s funny that the Lotus was the same one I raced a few years ago Le Mans,” said Mowlem. “It put up a good fight and once I got to the Aston, it seemed to have run its race and I was able to get past fairly easy. I have to thank Bonamy though, he drove so well and gave me the car to get the win.”

An attrition filled GTB battle fell the way of Andrew Baker, coming out on top of Mark Smith after Baker made an ipressive move around the outsie into turn one to take the lead after overcoming an early spin.

“It was a bit hectic out there but it was great to end the year with a win after a difficult weekend,” said Baker. “I spun on someone’s antifreeze in race one, race two was difficult and in qualifying this morning my gearbox had an issue which meant I had two laps so to come from the back and win was really great.”

 

Race Three Results

 

Media release: 24th April 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 -