FP2: Barwell strikes back as Steller stars in GT4

FP2: Barwell strikes back as Steller stars in GT4

> Mitchell and Fielding set the pace
> Result: Free Practice 2

Barwell Motorsport duo Sandy Mitchell and Adam Balon emerged ahead of a tight fight with RAM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG of Jules Gounon and Ian Loggie to snatch the top time in second practice at Donington Park, while in GT4 it’s Steller Motorsport’s Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding hold the advantage heading into qualifying.

With the water cleared from the earlier session and the track now dry, the second outing of the day proved much more stable, and once again it was enlivened by a terrific duel for the top time between Jules Gounon and Sandy Mitchell.

Having traded fastest times in mixed conditions earlier, the two engaged in yet another tight fight, with Mitchell coming out on top by just over a tenth in the Barwell Lamborghini.

The majority of the Pro drivers opted to take the wheel for the early stages, with the top time being rotated between Marcus Clutton’s Enduro Motorsport McLaren, Sam Neary’s Team Abba Mercedes-AMG and Euan Hankey’s 7TSIX McLaren before Mitchell first hit the front in the Lambo. Shortly after he did, Michael O’Brien carried on the strong form shown by Orange Racing powered by JMH in FP1 by slipping past Mitchell to lead the way just as the session was briefly halted when the #91 Century BMW ground to a halt on track after a belt snapped.

The restart left just over 20 minutes on the clock, and showcased a Mitchell vs Gounon masterclass. Gounon went fastest with just eight minutes remaining, before Mitchell retaliated with three minutes on the clock to sit just 0.004s clear. Gounon then set an outright best first sector, followed by a personal best middle one, but then aborted the lap and returned to the pits.

Lewis Williamson was also in the mix but had two outright fastest lap times deleted for track limits, leaving Mitchell to lead the way by just over a tenth after a late improvement. His 1m27.307s was a shade faster than FP1’s best but still 0.8s slower than testing’s quickest time.

Orange and O’Brien wound up third, ahead of Williamson/James Cottingham. James Kell/Simon Watts’ Team Rocket RJN McLaren took fifth, with Nick Halstead/Jamie Stanley’s Fox Motorsport McLaren sixth.

Sennan Fielding’s mid-session effort proved enough to keep Steller Motorsport’s Audi out front heading into qualifying, with he and Richard Williams needing to make up some ground in the title chase.

Now sitting second in the points, the long-term championship leaders staked their claim when Fielding pulled a tenth clear of Matt Cowley’s best effort aboard the Mustang he shares with Marco Signoretti shortly after the red flag. Improvements were scarce late on, with the Audi holding station ahead of the Mustang.

Seb Hopkins and Jamie Orton were third in the Team Parker Racing Porsche 718 Cayman, with championship leaders Matt Topham and Darren Turner fourth aboard the Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin.

FP1 pace-setters Tom Edgar and Jordan Collard were fifth in the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK GR Supra, with Benji Hetherington and Adam Knight rounding out the top six in the Valluga Racing Porsche 718 Cayman.

Qualifying, which is live on GT World’s YouTube channel and Sky Sports F1, begins at 16:05 BST.