Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris sealed the championship in a dramatic season finale, Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen once again losing out at the final race of the season. A dramatic spin for Jon Minshaw on the opening lap put them out of realistic contention early on but the duo pushed until the end on the off chance that luck fell their way.
2016 champions Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam took their second win of the season in a TF-Sport one-two finish as Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes came home second.
The title race in GT4 ended prematurely following an early retirement for Lanan Racing. Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton just had to get the car back in one piece to take the championship. Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson took their first win of the season after a three way fight for the win.
Mark Farmer got off to a great start, forcing his way into the lead at turn one. Minshaw moved into second place as Johnston ran wide and the championship swung that little bit closer to the Demon Tweeks backed Marwell Motorsport Lamborghini. Parfitt Jnr was forced wide by Liam Griffin through the first corner and dropped down the order as the pack made its way down through the Craner Curves. Minshaw’s good luck didn’t last though as he span the Lamborghini through the esses and plummeted down the order. Parfitt Jnr, fighting his way back up the order, managed to avoid the stranded Lamborghini and the championship swung back into the hands of Team Parker Racing.
Following on from Tim Eakin‘s qualifying shunt on Saturday, a second UltraTek Racing Nissan found itself in the wars, with Richard Taffinder plowing into the barrier at McLeans.
Minshaw was fired up, having rejoined the race in 9th, he began cutting his way through the back markers, easily dispatching Ian Loggie and Ben Tuck to take 7th. Parfitt was still stuck behind Liam Griffin who was holding him up as much as he possibly could to try and keep the #33 Barwell car in the fight.
Will Moore had managed to extract a seven second lead at the front of GT4, 2016 champion Graham Johnson was sat in second with championship contender Will Tregurtha holding 4th. 20 minutes into the race though and it all changed. Alex Reed slammed into the side of Will Moores Aston Martin. Lanan’s championship hopes were over. The car limped away from the accident but skidded into the gravel a lap later.
A crash through Hollywood for Century Motorsport’s Tuck saw Parfitt Jnr take third, catching Liam Griffin on the power out of the yellow flag zone. Johnston and Farmer were around a second a part up the front as Parfitt closed the gap. Minshaw was continuing to climb the order and managed to fight his way in to 5th place before the pit stop window opened. Charlie Fagg was running in 4th in his GT3 debut in the JRM Racing Nissan GT-R Nismo and defending his position well from Minshaw.
The pitstop window opened on the hour and Farmer dived in early to make the switch whilst Johnston stayed out. The two Astons swapped positions in the pits, a 10 second success penalty for the #11 car allowed Jonny Adam to exit the pits in front and 5 seconds ahead of Jon Barnes.
Phill Keen managed to jump the Nissan in the pit lane, the experience shining through as Fagg and Ben Green performed their first full race pit stop. Morris joined the fight in fifth place following the Brands Hatch success penalty but quickly dispatched the non points scoring Nissan and set off after Keen. Despite Keen’s track advantage, the GT stalwart knew third wasn’t enough, giving chase and whittling the gap down to Barnes’ Aston Martin whilst Morris looked to protect fourth from Sam Tordoff‘s #6 Lamborghini.
All three GT4 Pro/AM championship battlers filled the podium positions in class, with Spa winner Joe Osborne muscling his Tolman Motorsport McLaren ahead of Adam Mackay‘s Track-Club McLaren to seal second spot. Stuart Middleton was taking it easy in fourth, knowing the championship was his. Tolman’s hopes of securing the Pro/Am GT4 title ended with Joe Osborne in the gravel trap after a high speed spin at McLeans. Seconds later, new second-place man Mackay stuttered into the garage with electrical gremlins that have plagued Track-Club’s frustrating campaign.
Outgoing British GT champion Adam cruised home to clinch a second win of the year alongside partner Johnston, ending a magnificent year of racing success with a record-breaking 12th GT3 victory of his career. TF Sport completed an emphatic one-two through Barnes in an emphatic statement of intent heading into 2018, whilst third for Keen wasn’t enough to take the championship for Barwell.
Morris rounded Goddards and motored across the line to crown Team Parker Racing as outright British GT champions. Victory for the #501 Optimum Motorsport McLaren in GT4 – piloted by Johnson and Mike Robinson – ensured both 2016 class champions ended the season on a high, sealing the Pro/Am category title for the pairing in the process. A relaxed second for HHC Motorsport saw Tregurtha and Middleton raising their arms aloft as GT4 champions – the youngest pairing to win a championship in British GT history, besting the previous record held by 2015 GT4 champions Ross Gunn and Jamie Chadwick.