The Enduro Motorsport McLaren of Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton drew first blood ahead of the third round of this year’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship, the crew topping the times during Saturday morning practice.
While Enduro was a new name to the summit this season, the Century Motorsport BMW M4 crew of Gus Burton and Will Burns certainly are not, and the duo continued their strong start to the campaign by topping the GT4 category.
It was a session of two halves for the GT3 contenders, with a total of three crews taking a turn at the top, before a mid-session red flag seemed to dull down proceedings somewhat.
Dennis Lind was the first to strike, placing the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini he shares with Leo Machitski top of the pile early on, just warding off the sister car of Sandy Mitchell/Adam Balon by a tenth. But that order as upset when Scott Malvern – fresh from a test alongside Porsche ace Nick Tandy – put the Team Parker Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R he shares with Nick Jones ahead.
That order seemed set, until Marcus Clutton put in a superb effort to pull almost half-a-second on everybody, placing the Enduro McLaren fastest before the red flags flew at half distance to allow clearance of a GT4 McLaren beached at the Old Hairpin. Clutton then handed across to Tillbrook to complete the session.
Yelmer Buurman managed to make inroads into that cushion, but could only bring the RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG he shares with Ian Loggie to within three tenths of Clutton’s benchmark.
Machitski/Lind rounded out the session in third, ahead of Jones/Malvern and the WPI Motorsport Lamborghini of Michael Igoe/Phil Keen. The Nearys – Richard and Sam – completed the top six in their ABBA Racing Mercedes-AMG.
Gus Burton and Will Burns set the mark high right from the start of the GT4 session, and retained top spot throughout, despite several challenges to their supremacy.
Burton’s early effort was enough to put the Century BMW top in the early laps, seeing off Jake Giddings in the Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-AMG by a tenth of a second on the initial runs.
As the times fell, Burton still led the way before handing across to Burns, who continued the momentum to keep the number 57 out front for the rest of the session.
Scott McKenna emerged as the pair’s closest challenger, bringing the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Supra he shares with John Ferguson up into second, just 0.145sec shy of top spot.
Dave Whitmore and Giddings remained third, doing just enough to hold off a late charge from Charlie Robertson in the Assetto Motorsport Ginetta he shares with Mark Samson. Matt Topham and Darren Burke were fifth fastest in the Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin – fresh from its maiden GT4 win at Silverstone – just ahead of the sixth-placed Steller Motorsport Audi R8 LMS of Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding.
The second session begins at 12:10 BST.