CRS celebrated its first weekend with the new Ferrari 458 Italia by clinching pole for the two hour Avon Tyres British GT Championship race at the new Snetterton 300 circuit.
Despite only taking delivery of the car it will use for this weekend’s race on Friday evening. Glynn Geddie was able to post the quickest time during the half hour qualifying session, posting a time of 1m 50.929s before a mid-session red flag caused by the Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 of Florian Renauer stopping on track.
Despite the best efforts of his rivals to go quicker when the session resumed, Geddie’s time remained unbeaten to put the former title winning team on pole for the first time this season.
“We took a bit of a gamble with the set-up and it worked,” he said. “We made good improvements in the session which is a positive for the team who have worked so hard today. We only got the car at eight o’clock last night, so to put it on pole is a good reward for them.”
Geddie’s closest challenger in the session proved to be Matt Bell in the first of the United Autosport Audis, although his best time was over four-tenths of a second slower than the pole-setting lap. Allan Simonsen was third quickest in the Rosso Verde Ferrari 430 Scuderia while Stuart Hall was an impressive fourth at the wheel of the Vantage Racing Aston Martin DBRS9; Hall having vaulted up the order after taking over driving duties from Tom Black mid-way through the session.
MTech’s Matt Griffin was fifth quickest in his Ferrari 458 Italia but was left to rue earlier mechanical problems in practice which forced the team to change the gearbox in the car prior to qualifying while Oulton Park race winners Michael Lyons and Charles Bateman will start from sixth. It means all three 458 Italias in the field start inside the top six on the grid.
Jonathan Adam was seventh fastest in Beechdean Motorsport’s Aston Martin, while the Ferrari’s of Adam Wilcox and Steven Kane, and the Porsche of Phil Keen, rounded out the top ten.
The lone GT3B car, the Ferrari 430 GT3 of John Dhillon and Aaron Scott, qualified in 15th place with the GTC Chevron GR8 lining up 17th. That came despite a wheel issue causing a puncture with Anthony Reid at the wheel.
In GT4, Athanasios Ladas and Michael Mallock secured pole position at the wheel of their KTM X-Bow in what was the pair’s first qualifying session of the season. Mechanical issues during the season opener at Oulton Park had forced the ABG Motorsport duo to watch qualifying from the sidelines, but this time around Mallock was able to set the pace to edge out the sister car of Peter Belshaw and Marcus Clutton for class honours.
The two open-top KTMs ended the session split by just 0.019s.
“We were gutted when we missed qualifying at Oulton Park as the circuit suits the KTM and we were really confident we could have taken pole,” Mallock said. “Snetterton isn’t one of best circuits with the long straight but I was lucky to be able to get a tow off another car and set a time good enough for top spot. It’s nice to start from pole after my first qualifying session of the year.”
The Lotus of Leyton Clarke was third fastest ahead of the Lotus Sport UK team’s home race, with the Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta fourth in the hands of Dan Denis. GT4 points leaders Jake Rattenbury and Josh Wakefield start fifth with the class field rounded out by the second Lotus of Ollie Jackson and Jack Drinkall.
The British GT Championship is sponsored by UK tyre manufacturer Avon Tyres and is further supported by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and OAMPS.
Avon Tyres British GT Championship
Provisional results, official qualifying
1 CRS Racing Ferrari Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie 1m 50.929s
2 United Autosports Audi Mike Guasch (USA)/Matt Bell 1m 51.398s
3 Rosso Verde Ferrari Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen (DEN) 1m 51.427s
4 Vantage Racing Aston Martin Tom Black/Stuart Hall 1m 51.829s
5 MTECH Ferrari Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin (IRL) 1m 51.935s
6 Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman 1m 52.073s
7 Beechdean Aston Martin Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam 1m 52.210s
8 Predator CCTV Ferrari Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox 1m 52.251s
9 Chad Racing Ferrari Iain Dockerill/Steven Kane 1m 52.369s
10 Trackspeed Porsche David Ashburn/Phil Keen 1m 52.428s etc
1 MTECH Ferrari John Dhillon/Aaaron Scott 1m 55.178s
1 Chevron Racing Chevron Jordan Witt/Anthony Reid 1m 58.301s
1 ABG Motorsport KTM Athanasios Ladas (GRE)/Michael Mallock 1m 59.706s
2 ABG Motorsport KTM Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton 1m 59.725s
3 Lotus Sport UK Lotus Leyton Clarke/Freddy Nordstrom 2m 00.047s
4 Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta Dan Denis/David McDonald 2m 01.369s
5 Century Motorsport Ginetta Josh Wakefield/Jake Rattenbury 2m 02.274s
6 Lotus Sport UK Lotus Ollie Jackson/Jack Drinkall 2m 02.285s