Jon Barnes gave TF Sport cause for optimism ahead of this afternoon’s British GT qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps after topping second free practice earlier today. Meanwhile, in GT4, Ciaran Haggerty once again paced the class aboard his Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S.
A stranded car meant 10 of the session’s 50 minutes were lost during an early red flag period, but teams and drivers did have a better opportunity to hone their set-ups than they managed in the morning’s curtailed session, a detail reflected in the considerably slower times.
TF Sport, whose other Aston Martin faces a race against time to be repaired in time for this afternoon’s qualifying, can at least take heart from Barnes who put the #11 V12 Vantage fastest of all. His 2m21.899s lap was slower than the morning’s benchmark but still 1.4s faster than Dani Juncadella could manage in the #57 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Phil Keen, like Juncadella, set his and the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini’s fastest lap at the end of the session en route to third ahead of Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr’s FP1 pace-setting Team Parker Racing Bentley, which ended up two seconds adrift of Barnes’ Aston.
The Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS driven by Will Moore and Ryan Ratcliffe finished two tenths further back in fifth but 0.4s quicker than the first of the GRT Grasser Racing Team Huracans with Michele Beretta and Chase McKansy onboard. Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s McLaren 650S and second GRT Lamborghini completed the top-eight.
Elsewhere, Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse maintained its stranglehold over the British and European GT4 entries. Haggerty again set the McLaren’s fastest time of the session, his 2m34.154s lap ending up 0.7s quicker than the KTM X-Bow in second and 1.4s clear of his next best domestic rivals - Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson’s PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport Ginetta.
Another G55 claimed third in British GT4, the Lanan Racing entry of Alex Reed and Joey Foster lapping less than a tenth shy of Robinson and Johnson but more than a second faster than Jake Giddings and Kieran Griffin’s JWBird Motorsport Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke, who finished second in the morning session, slipped to fifth in FP2 ahead of Century Motorsport team-mates Alexander Schjerpen and Sean Byrne’s similar Ginetta.
This afternoon’s first 12-minute qualifying session for GT3 Am drivers begins at 15:45 local time.