FP1: Tordoff leads Barwell one-two as Academy’s Nicoll-Jones fastest in GT4
Barwell Motorsport’s Sam Tordoff enjoyed a dream start to his British GT Championship career by topping opening practice for this weekend’s season opener at Oulton Park. Matt Nicoll-Jones was fastest of the GT4 runners in a session that lasted only half of its scheduled 60 minutes after an accident caused significant barrier damage at Druids.
Tordoff was a high-profile BTCC convert over the winter but suggested he’s already settled into his new surroundings by pacing the first session, which was held in damp but drying conditions. His best of 1m43.410s, set just before the red flag, was only 0.058s faster than team-mate Phil Keen could manage in the sister Lamborghini Huracan and 1.8s quicker than the Macmillan AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage driven by James Littlejohn and Matty Graham.
Callum Macleod was fourth in the first of Team Parker Racing’s Bentley Continental GT3s, while Ryan Ratcliffe’s AMDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts Mercedes-AMG GT3 and Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT3 driven by Harry Gottsacker made it five different manufacturers inside the top-six.
Meanwhile, a late lap from Nicoll-Jones gave Academy Motorsport bragging rights in the first of the day’s two practice sessions. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage’s 1m52.888s was 0.171s quicker than Joe Osborne’s best aboard Tolman Motorsport’s McLaren and another tenth up on track-club’s 570S GT4 driven by Adam Mackay.
Jacob Mathiassen completed the top-four in his Century Ginetta G55 ahead of reigning champions Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson, and the Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren driven by Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell.
The session was red flagged just before its halfway mark following an accident involving Century’s Steve Fresle and Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing’s Mike Newbould at Druids. Both drivers were subsequently transferred to hospital as a precautionary measure.
The second of today’s hour-long practice sessions takes place at 12:15.
Click here for the complete FP1 classification.