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Rockingham FP1: Carroll leads Barwell 1-2 with Freke fastest in GT4

30 April 2016

Adam Carroll made a dream start to his Barwell Motorsport and Lamborghini career by pacing British GT’s first practice session at Rockingham this morning, while Nathan Freke was fastest of the GT4 contenders aboard his Century Motorsport Ginetta.


Carroll, making his first appearance with the team as part of a two-round deal, left it late to move the #6 Huracan GT3 to the top of the times. Just five minutes were left in the hour-long session when the former A1GP champion posted his benchmark lap - a 1m17.359s - to usurp long-time leader and Barwell team-mate Phill Keen by just 0.075s.


Brands Hatch race winner and championship leader Jonny Adam made the early running before ultimately settling for third abroad the #17 TF Sport Aston Martin, albeit just 0.136s shy of Carroll’s time. PFL Motorsport’s similar V12 Vantage GT3 was a little further back in fourth while Seb Morris completed the top-five in his Team Parker Bentley Continental GT3, which ended the session in the barriers after co-driver Rick Parfitt Jnr spun on oil exiting Gracelands.


Such was the resulting chassis damage that the team is unable to qualify this afternoon, forcing the Brands Hatch pole-winning car to start tomorrow's race from the rear of the GT3 pack.


The Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse-entered McLaren 650S GT3 shared by Rob Bell and Alasdair McCaig was 0.8s shy of the ultimate pace in sixth but comfortably clear of Mike Simpson and Ian Stinton’s Tolman Motorsport Ginetta and Beechdean AMR’s Aston Martin driven by Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn.


In GT4 Nathan Freke again proved his and Century Motorsport’s pace by topping the class by an impressive 0.422s. The Ginetta he and Anna Walewska used to secure pole at Brands Hatch lapped in 1m23.626s to end the session comfortably clear of Mike Robinson’s PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport G55.


Simpson Motorsport were next up courtesy of Scott Malvern, while Jake Giddings - who secured his best result of 2015 at Rockingham - took the JWBird Motorsport Aston Martin to an encouraging fourth in class and just a tenth shy of third.


Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell’s Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S GT4 was only 0.066s further back but less than a hundredth clear of Joey Foster’s Lanan Racing Ginetta, while Beechdean AMR and Generation AMR SuperRacing Aston Martins completed the top-eight.


Second practice gets underway at 11:55.