Sun shines on Macleod during second Brands practice

Sun shines on Macleod during second Brands practice

+RESULT: Free Practice Two, Brands Hatch

A stellar effort from Callum Macleod put the returning Greystone GT Mercedes-AMG on top of the pile heading into qualifying at Brands Hatch, with the #3 machine leading the way in second practice. Two great laps from Josh Miller also gave R Racing Aston Martin the edge in GT4.

Having skipped the last round at Portimão in order to have the engine on their AMG GT3 rebuilt, Mike Price and Callum Macleod came back with a bang in second practice, with Macleod’s best putting the car well clear of its pursuers.

It had looked like Raffaele Marciello had top spot in the bag when he set a time faster than anybody had gone in FP1 at the midway stage, but with the track evolving and the temperatures climbing, it sparked a series of improvements.

Jules Gounon first trimmed the gap to Marciello to just 0.050s before Macleod first hit the front shortly after, beating Marciello’s benchmark by a tenth. Sandy Mitchell then took a turn out front in the #78 Barwell Lamborghini before Macleod reasserted himself with a mega effort, going purple in every sector to put the Greystone car half-a-second clear.

A late run from Dan Harper moved the Century BMW M4 he shares with Darren Leung into second, still almost 0.4s shy of Macleod. Ross Gunn continued Beechdean AMR’s strong form by finishing third fastest, ahead of Mitchell and Balfe’s Lamborghini as any hopes of a late dash were ended when Simon Orange plunged his McLaren into the gravel at Paddock Hill, bringing an early end to the session. Gounon and Ian Loggie were fifth, ahead of John Ferguson and Marciello.

John Miller stamped his authority on the GT4 session by setting two times good enough for top spot, putting the R Racing Aston Martin clear. Miller first hit the front on lap two and then improved to put the car he shares with Seb Hopkins 0.8s clear.

Others pushed hard to close him down, particularly the twin Ginettas of Toro Verde as first Joe Wheeler held second, before Mike Simpson snuck past him before handing across to James Townsend for the final minutes, but even Simpson’s best fell 0.4s shy.

Michael Broadhurst and Ed McDermott were third fastest aboard Team Abba’s AMG GT4, with Harry George and Darren Burke’s Enduro Motorsport version fourth after deposing Wheeler and Ian Duggan’s Ginetta. Lewis Plato and Carl Cavers were fifth for Century Motorsport, with Aston Millar and Josh Rowledge rounding out the top six in the DTO McLaren.

Qualifying gets underway at 15:55.