10 June 2017

FP1: Christodoulou and Ellis make hay in Silverstone sunshine

FP1: Christodoulou and Ellis make hay in Silverstone sunshine

> Rollcentre’s new recruit fastest in GT3

> 2007 champ instantly on GT4 pace

> Result: FP1


British GT new boy Adam Christodoulou gave Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing and Mercedes-AMG the perfect start to their Silverstone 500 weekend by topping this morning’s opening practice session. Meanwhile, Optimum Motorsport’s Bradley Ellis - returning to the championship for a one-off outing this weekend - was fastest of the GT4 contingent.


Sunny skies greeted teams and drivers for the day’s first track action, and it was Team Parker Racing’s two Bentleys that made the most of ideal conditions to initially occupy first and second. 


Indeed, Callum Macleod’s early effort was enough to head team-mate Seb Morris by a tenth for much of the hour-long session before Christodoulou - making his British GT3 debut this weekend as part of Rollcentre’s three-driver crew - ousted both Continental GT3s with six minutes remaining. 


His 2m01.287s lap ended up 0.736s faster than Macleod, who also improved on his final run, while Morris finished a couple of tenths further back in third. 


Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin’s Spirit of Race Ferrari remained a top-three fixture for much of the session until Christodoulou’s late flyer pushed the 488 GT3 down to fourth. Its fastest time of 2m02.458s was 1.1s shy of Christodoulou’s best and a couple more tenths quicker than Liam Griffin and Sam Tordoff, who pipped Barwell Motorsport team-mates Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen to fifth.


All three Aston Martin GT3s struggled, with Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes’ TF Sport example the highest placed V12 Vantage in seventh. 


Elsewhere, GPRM’s Toyota GT86 was quickest of the two Invitational entries on show, and only 0.007s faster than Ellis’ Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 which paced the GT4 category on its British GT return.


The car Ellis shares with Ade Barwick set a best of 2m14.262s to beat another Invitational entry - Stratton’s Lotus Evora - by just 0.010s. Its nearest GT4 rival, HHC Motorsport’s championship-leading Ginetta driven by Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton, was less than a tenth further back, while Martin Plowman helped the first of UltraTek/RJN’s Nissan 370Zs finish third in class.


The manufacturer spread continued with Team Parker Racing’s Porsche, driven by Scott Malvern, claiming fourth, just ahead of Matty Graham’s In2Racing McLaren and Macmillan AMR’s Aston Martin, which complete the top-six.


The day’s second 60-minute free practice session, which features a slight twist to its conclusion, begins at 12:25 local time today…