Oulton Park FP1: Keen and O’Connor set the early pace

Oulton Park FP1: Keen and O’Connor set the early pace

> Result: FP1

Barwell Motorsport’s Phil Keen and the TF Sport Aston Martin driven by Connor O’Brien topped the first practice session of 2020’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship campaign at Oulton Park this morning.

Keen’s record of two GT3 Pro poles here in the last two years suggests he’s something of a specialist around the Cheshire circuit, and he provided further evidence of that by posting a best time of 1m34.820s just five minutes into the one-hour session.

That was four tenths under yesterday’s testing benchmark set by Yelmer Buurman and just 0.2s shy of Callum Macleod’s race lap record.

However, it wasn’t all good news for the #72 car, which subsequently nerfed the barriers at Island. Adam Balon was able to recover his Lamborghini to the pits where it remained with largely cosmetic damage to the front splitter and bumper for the rest of the session.

2 Seas Motorsport made an almost perfect start to their British GT debut courtesy of Angus Fender and Dean Macdonald who finished just 0.255s slower than Keen and 0.064s clear of Buurman’s RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG.

RAM and Barwell’s sister cars plus Optimum’s McLaren completed a top-six separated by less than half-a-second.

Further back, TF Sport’s Connor O’Brien topped the GT4 class times after enjoying a decent scrap with Speedworks’ Sam Smelt.

The newly-announced Aston Martin Academy member ultimately prevailed by 0.190s after Smelt’s Supra twice lowered O’Brien’s class benchmark on its first and second flying laps.

The Vantage’s best of 1m43.762s was also 0.366s quicker than TF Sport’s sister car shared by Jamie Caroline and Dan Vaughan, while the #58 HHC and Balfe McLarens, plus Academy’s Mustang, rounded out the first half-dozen.

The day’s second practice session begins at 12:10 BST. Follow live timing at britishgt.com/live.