Gunn and Simpson double top in second Donington Decider practice

Gunn and Simpson double top in second Donington Decider practice

+RESULT: Free Practice 2, Donington Decider

Ross Gunn and Mike Simpson produced a mirror-image result of FP1 to keep Beechdean AMR and Toro Verde GT on top of their respective classes during second practice at Donington Park.

Having both led the way in FP1, Gunn and Simpson put in a repeat performance in a disrupted second session, with both drivers coming to the fore late on after a mid-session stoppage.

Just as the track had begun to dry after the opening session of the day, light rain falling as second practice went green essentially put conditions back as they were, with wet Pirellis being the standard across the grid.

After a relatively quiet FP1, Raffaele Marciello put RAM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG top of the early times before Gunn repeated his trick from FP1 by going quickest aboard the Beechdean AMR Aston. But this time it wouldn’t last as first Callum Macleod (Greystone GT) and then Jules Gounon (2 Seas Motorsport) led the Mercedes-AMG attack by taking turns out front. 

Gounon hit the front at the 45-minute mark in the car he shares with outgoing champion Ian Loggie, and his best would stand until the final moments as running was briefly interrupted when Mark Sansom slid off at the Old Hairpin and brought out the red flags. While the Barwell Lamborghini escaped serious damage, the stoppage left just 10 minutes remaining when it did go green again, and it set up a breathless late battle.

Marciello got back aboard the RAM car and immediately closed to within 0.008s of Gounon’s best, before then pulling a tenth clear with his next effort. But then came Gunn, once again, who put in a stonking lap to put the Beechdean Aston 0.4s up the road to settle the matter and make it a clean sweep for himself and Andrew Howard.

Marciello and Ferguson wound up second, with Loggie and Gounon third. James Cottingham and Philip Ellis were fourth fastest, with Sansom and Will Tregurtha’s Lambo still doing enough to complete the top five and lead Silver-Am. Mike Price and Macleod were sixth. 

A series of superb efforts from Mike Simpson secured the mirrored result, with the Toro Verde GT Ginetta also staying on top of GT4. 

Darren Burke set the early pace in the Enduro Motorsport Mercedes-AMG, initially leading Erik Evans’ Academy Ford Mustang by 0.5s, but then Aston Millar gave DTO a turn in the spotlight by putting the McLaren Artura he shares with Josh Rowledge top.

Tom Gamble then built on his FP1 pace to put he and Kavi Jundu’s Paddock Motorsport McLaren out front, before Simpson was installed into the #86 Ginetta and pumped in three laps good enough to keep the car well clear. After the red flag, Joe Wheeler moved the sister Toro Verde GT G56 he shares with Ian Duggan into second, demoting Gamble and Jundu to third overall. Rowledge and Millar were fourth for DTO, and top of the Silver runners, with Josh Miller and Seb Hopkins fourth quickest in the R Racing Aston Martin Vantage. Evans and Matt Cowley rounded out the top six for Academy.

There was yet more drama for GT4 championship leaders Charles Clark and Jack Brown as they skipped the session entirely as the Optimum Motorsport crew completed a gearbox change on their McLaren Artura.

Qualifying is up next, scheduled to start at 16:00.