2017 British GT Championship Rockingham Race - Race Photography
AMDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts, Mercedes AMG, GT3, #30 Lee Mowle, Ryan Ratcliffe,<br />
British GT Championship <br />
Corby <br />
Rockingham Circuit <br />
Great Britain <br />
© Craig Robertson

Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt inherited their first win of the season as confusion reigned in the final moments of the race. They initially had their victory taken away as the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 of Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron were give the wave-round during a safety car period towards the end of the race. Given a five second penalty for track limits, a late safety car period resulted in the Spirit of Race team being first on the road but third on the timing screens. Griffin was waved past the safety car by race control mistakenly and built a 30 second lead over Morris as a result who was stuck behind the safety car. However, Griffin was handed a post race time penalty for contact with Morris earlier in the race which demoted the Ferrari to second place and the Morris/Parfitt inherited the win despite finishing second on the road.

TF Sport held their one-two start into turn one and the Deene Hairpin as James Littlejohn charged up through the ranks, taking five laces on the opening lap. Minshaw got the better of Farmer at the Tarzan Hairpin and at the end of the first lap, he had James Littlejohn on on his heals!


Century Motorsport, Ginetta G55, GT3, #69, Harry Gottsacker, Nathan Freke,<br />
event} <br />
Corby <br />
Rockingham Circuit <br />
Great Britain <br />
© Craig Robertson

The safety car was called out on the second lap of the race as Harry Gottsacker ended up in the gravel trap at Yentwood. The marshals managed to recover the #69 Ginetta within a couple of laps so it wasn’t long before the two hour race resumed. Minshaw used the safety car period to put the pressure on Johnston and within a couple of laps of the green flag, Johnston was forced into a mistake, running off track at the Brook Chicane, Minshaw inherited the lead and Littlejohn second. Minshaw left the door open at Deene a couple of laps after taking the lead; Littlejohn saw his opportunity and took the lead down the inside

At the half way mark, Johnston made another mistake whilst under pressure from Duncan Cameron in the Spirit of Race Ferrari, he went through the gravel trap at the chicane, slipping down to seventh. To make matters worse, he was given a 5 second time penalty for exceeding track limits.

With pit stops complete without issue, the Pro drivers took to the circuit, Seb Morris in the Team Parker Bentley was third with Jack Mitchell first and Matt Griffin third in the Spirit of Race Ferrari. Mitchell just about managed to hang on to first place with Morris making a move with 30 minutes left to run. Griffin also managed to pass the Aston to take second place before making a move on Morris a couple of laps later.

Spirit of Race SA, Ferrari 488, GT3, #21, Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Corby <br />
Rockingham <br />
United Kingdom <br />
© Craig Robertson

And this is where the confusion begins. With a five second time penalty, Griffin was first on track but third on the timing screens. When a safety car came out to recover a Ginetta from the gravel at Yentwood, Griffin was pushed back into the pack and – although he was leading – he was third on adjusted times. Due to this, he was given a wave-round by the safety car and allowed to take-off up the road, giving himself a 30 second lead over Morris in second (on the road) and thus inheriting the lead on the timing screens as well.

The race ended with Griffin 25 seconds up front. Morris was able to close the gap but not enough to catch Griffin. The post race penalty however reversed the result, handing the first win of the season to Team Parker Racing. Third place was fought down to the last corner and the run to the flag. Phil Keen was beaten by Jack Mitchell by just 0.095s.

In GT4, HHC Motorsport took the win from the Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S. Haggerty took the lead fairly early on, the competition unable to match his early pace. Haggerty was driving ultra defensively, keeping the chasing pack at bay, backing Tregurtha in to the firing line of the Lanan Ginetta. It wouldn’t be much longer until the McLaren safety car came out again as Steven Fresle in the Century Motorsport Ginetta GT4 overcooked it slightly and found himself backwards and in the gravel at Gracelands.

HHC Motorsport, Ginetta G55, GT4, #55, William Tregurtha, Stuart Middleton, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Corby <br />
Rockingham Circuit <br />
Great Britain <br />
© Craig Robertson

Stuart Middleton in the HHC car used the final safety car to his advantage as well. Having replaced all four tyres at the pit-stops he would be on much fresher rubber than Ciaran Haggerty in the #100 Black Bull Garage 59 and managed to pull away from the Scot as Haggerty proceeded to defend heavily from the PMW Expo Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 of reigning class champion Mike Robinson.Robinson wouldn’t be able to get past in the closing stages of the race and finished almost 1.5 seconds behind in third place.