Mike Simpson proved his and Tolman Motorsport’s FP1 pace was no fluke by also topping today’s second British GT practice session at Donington Park. Meanwhile, Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s Sandy Mitchell paced the GT4 class aboard his Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren.
Wet weather again prevailed throughout the 50-minute session, and - for the second time today - it was the #32 Ginetta G55 that showed the rest of the GT3 field a clean pair of heels. Two late red flag periods interrupted the latter half of practice, but Simpson saved his best for the very end to initially leap from last to third and then first with a lap of 1m41.524s.
That was three seconds faster than he’d managed in the opening session and crucially 0.268s quicker than Phil Keen who’d looked set to finish on top after overcoming Barwell Motorsport team-mate Alexander Sims. The second Lamborghini wound up a second down on Simpson’s time but 2.6s ahead of Am driver Richard Neary, who produced a wonderful lap to get amongst the Pros.
He wasn’t the only one, either. Earlier, in the worst of the conditions, Keen’s co-driver Jon Minshaw briefly topped a timesheet dominated by professionals and was still second overall when he pitted.
Seb Morris finished fifth, although the Bentley ended the session in the garage after Rick Parfitt Jnr hit the wall exiting the final corner, causing one of the two red flags. Fellow championship challengers Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam were next up ahead of TF Sport team-mates Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes, who had earlier relieved Minshaw of the fastest time.
Meanwhile, Mitchell’s late lap was enough to give him GT4 top-spot by more than half-a-second. The McLaren 570S led into the closing stages and cemented its place with a 1m49.653s effort.
FP1 pace-setter Nathan Freke was another to improve on his final tour, the Century Motorsport driver pinching second from Generation AMR Macmillan Racing’s Matthew Graham by 0.159s. The returning Gavin Kershaw, back behind the wheel of a Lotus this weekend, made it four manufacturers in the top-four places, while Beechdean AMR’s Ross Gunn jumped up to fifth with his last gasp lap.
But there was less to cheer about at Optimum Motorsport whose championship leaders Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson ended the session last after.
This afternoon’s qualifying sessions get underway at 16:15.
Click here for the complete FP2 classification.