FP1: Hankey puts 7TSIX McLaren fastest in opening Silverstone 500 practice as Valluga’s Graham tops GT4

FP1: Hankey puts 7TSIX McLaren fastest in opening Silverstone 500 practice as Valluga’s Graham tops GT4

Result: Free Practice 1

An early benchmark from Euan Hankey proved enough to put the 7TSIX McLaren 720S GT3 top of the pile in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Silverstone 500 showpiece, with he and Mia Flewitt’s car just holding off the Greystone GT version shared by Stewart and Lewis Proctor by a slender margin.

Things were equally tight in GT4, but Matthew Graham marked his first British GT outing for five years by helping the Valluga Racing Porsche 718 Cayman he shares with Ross Wylie to top spot.

The opening green light of the weekend sparked a flurry of hot laps in GT3 as the majority of Pro drivers opted to take the wheel first in order to set a benchmark time for their amateur team-mates to chase.

Hankey did the best job, quickly dipping into the low 1m58s bracket, staving off Marcus Clutton’s Enduro Motorsport McLaren by 0.4s on the initial runs. The returning Jonny Adam made his presence felt by putting the 2 Seas Mercedes-AMG (no, we’re not used to that yet either…) he shares with Flick Haigh second, just two tenths off Hankey.

Lewis Proctor then usurped the four-time champion by bringing Greystone GT’s McLaren up to second and missing top spot by just 0.054s.

Adam and Haigh held on to third spot, with the Redline Racing Lamborghini Huracan of Alex Malykhin and James Dorlin finishing fourth fastest. Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod (in this weekend for the absent Jules Gounon, who’s otherwise engaged at the Nürburgring) brought the #6 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG into fifth, just ahead of Marcus Clutton/Morgan Tillbrook’s Enduro McLaren.

With his last British GT outing coming way back in 2017, Graham showed he’s certainly not lost his touch by setting the fastest GT4 time at the wheel of the #51 Valluga Racing Porsche.

Of the early efforts, Josh Miller did the best job, leading the times in the R Racing Aston Martin he shares with Jamie Day. Miller’s best effort lasted for almost half the session until Graham took over the Cayman and initially snuck into top spot, before then lowering the benchmark again to wind up two tenths clear at the flag.

A late improvement from Marco Signoretti brought he and Matt Cowley’s Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang into third, with Matt Topham and Darren Turner’s Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage taking fourth, and top spot in the GT4 Pro-Am order.

New entry Motus One Racing was fifth fastest, with Ed McDermott and Michael Broadhurst handling its McLaren 570S. Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding completed the top six in the championship-leading Steller Motorsport Audi R8.