> RESULT: FREE PRACTICE 1
Lewis Williamson and James Cottingham turned the tide for 2 Seas Motorsport to lead the opening free practice session of the weekend at Snetterton, while Team Parker Racing Porsche duo Seb Hopkins and Jamie Orton came home high and dry at the head of the GT4 order.
The session began under glorious sunny skies, and the good conditions prompted a flurry of early times as the majority of the GT3 runners opted to send their pros out on circuit first to set a benchmark for their amateur team-mate to chase.
Marcus Clutton led the early stages in the Enduro Motorsport McLaren that he and Morgan Tillbrook took to a dominant victory at Donington Park last time out. However, there would be no domination of this session as Clutton was swiftly displaced by Scott Malvern in the Team Parker Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R. Malvern actually set three times good enough for top spot, eventually pulling half-a-second clear before pitting to hand the Porsche across to Nick Jones for the remainder of the session.
With the majority of the pro drivers now in the garages, 2 Seas’ differing approach paid dividends. Cottingham had kept the Mercedes-AMG inside the top five before handing across to Williamson, who edged close to Malvern at his first attempt before posting two fastest times overall. The second, 1m47.061s, would ultimately claim top spot by 0.455s.
A late effort from Sandy Mitchell moved the Barwell Lamborghini he shares with Adam Balon into second ahead of Jones/Malvern, while Phil Keen grabbed fourth in the WPI Huracan he shares with Michael Igoe. John Ferguson and Ulysse de Pauw were fifth in the #15 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG, with Flick Haigh/Jonny Adam rounding out the top six aboard the second 2 Seas Mercedes-AMG. The session left the distinct impression that there’s more to come though, with Williamson’s top time falling some way short of the fastest effort from Friday testing.
In GT4 Seb Hopkins wasted little time in imposing the #65 Team Parker Racing Porsche 718 Cayman at the top of the times, and then simply didn’t move for the rest of the session. Hopkins took the car to the top of the times very early on, and then concentrated on race runs, allowing others the chance to chase his early benchmark.
Marco Signoretti got closest in the Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang, falling just a few tenths shy before handing to Matt Cowley. However, the ended their challenge early after completing their testing goals and opting to pop along to clear post-session technical checks early instead.
Michael Broadhurst and Ed McDermott were third fastest, despite their Motus One McLaren causing a brief red flag when it stopped out on track just past half distance. Joe Wheeler/Freddie Tomlinson were fourth in the Assetto Motorsport Ginetta G56, with Moh Ritson and Ashley Marshall capping the top six in the Paddock Motorsport McLaren.