2017 British GT Championship Silverstone Race - Race Photography
Team Parker Racing Ltd, Bentley Continental, GT3, #31, Rick Parfitt, Seb Morris, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Northamptonshire  <br />
Silverstone  <br />
Great Britain  <br />
© Craig Robertson

Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt took an emotional victory in the blue riband Silverstone 500 alongside Adam Mackay and Adam Balon who took the win in GT4. The #31 Team Parker Racing Bently fought his way into the lead in the early stages, taking the lead from the #24 Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage whilst in GT4, Will Tregurtha got off to a poor start in the #55 HHC Ginetta, falling into third behind the #59 McLaren 570S of Ciaran Haggerty and the #42 #MacMillan AMR Vantage GT4 of William Phillips. Tregurtha crashed into the gravel trap on the second lap, causing damage to the car that ended in retirement a couple of laps later. Richard Nearly and Derek Johnston span early on in the race, Johnston at the Loop and Nearly whilst under pressure from the #7 Bentley of Ian Loggie. With Tregurtha out of the race, the battle in GT4 was lead by Phillips as Haggerty dropped three spots back. At the front in GT3, Parfitt continued to extend his lead as Mitchell and Minshaw battled over 2nd and 3rd with Loggie. Loggie finally past Minshaw after pilling on the pressure. Duncan Cameron swept past Mark Farmer in the #11 TF Sport Aston to take fifth place in GT3.

The pit window opened just as the race was beginning to settle down, Morris replacing Parfitt in the Bentley and taking over the lead. Adam Christodoulou took over from Richard Neary in the Team ABBA Roll Centre Racing Mercedes, making his debut in British GT, Adam was forced onto the grass down the Hangar Straight by the #53 Ultra Tee Racing Nissan 370Z of Richard Taffinder who suffered a drive through as a result. Jack Mitchell who had inherited the lead when Parfitt pitted, peeled into the pits, handing the lead to Jon Minshaw who was yet to pit the #33 Lamborghini Huracan.

Team Parker Racing Ltd, Bentley Continental, GT3, #31, Rick Parfitt, Seb Morris, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Northamptonshire,  <br />
Silverstone  <br />
United Kingdom  <br />
© Craig Robertson

The first #7 Team Parker Racing Bentley was the first GT3 pairing to be penalised, receiving a stop-go penalty for a short pit stop during the driver change. An hour into the race, Minshaw held the lead but was yet to complete a pit stop. Morris effectively held the lead however, being the leading car with a completed stop. Adam Christodolou was under intense pressure from Calum Macleod, fighting for fifth place as the front three all dived into the pits, handing the lead back to Morris.

The #111 Century Motorsport Ginetta was the last car to pit, Anna Walewska handing over to Ginetta factory driver Mike Simpson which saw Jan Jonck retake the GT4 lead before running wide through the gravel and dropping down to 4th spot.

Snetterton race two pole-sitter Joe Osborne‘s difficult Silverstone weekend continued after suffering a right-front puncture, seeing the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570s shuffled down towards the bottom of GT4. Light contact between the #6 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Sam Tordoff and Charlie Robertson‘s Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT3 through Woodcote allowed last year’s BTCC runner-up through into second in GT3.

The second round of stops saw Morris hand the lead back to Parfitt, momentarily handing the lead back to Littlejohn in the MacMillan Aston who pitted just one lap later. Moments later, the sixth overall Bentley nearly saw their hopes of victory shattered at the 70-minute mark. Parfitt dived down the inside of Farmer at Stowe Corner but made contact. Parfitt got away with the move but Farmer spun as a result of the contact. The first major incident of the race happened just a couple of laps later, sixth place Calum Loggie slammed into the barriers at Copse but despite the severe damage to the Bentley, Loggie managed to escape unharmed.

Parfitt dived into the pitman for the final stop of the race to led Seb Morris cross the line as Parfitt took to the pits to nervously wait for the final result. As the race entered the final 40 minutes, both Barwell Huracans had only completed one of their three stops, both cars hoping for a safety car finish. A late penalty in GT4 saw the Haggerty/Mitchell 570S handed a drive through penalty for track limits under yellow flags.


AMDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts, Mercedes AMG, GT3, #30 Lee Mowle, Ryan Ratcliffe, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Northamptonshire  <br />
Silverstone  <br />
Great Britain  <br />
© Craig Robertson

Ryan Ratcliffe in the #30 AMDTuning.com Mercedes spun after clipping the curb at Club corner, luckily avoiding contact with the rest of the pack. He rejoined the race 9th. As the remainder of the GT3 field flooded into the pits for their final stops, Morris had only the Ferrari 488 of Griffin ahead – who had yet to make his final stop – sweeping spectacularly through at Maggots to finally surge into the overall lead. Griffin’s final stop dropped the Ferrari back to third, leaving the lead gap between Morris and second-placed Littlejohn at a comfortable 54 seconds with only a couple of laps remaining.

Whilst the GT3 front battle was all but settled, a three-car battle raged after the final pitstops in GT4, with the #72 Track-Club McLaren of Mackay emerging into the lead six seconds ahead of Matt Nicoll-Jones‘ #62 Academy Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage – with the #29 In2Racing McLaren 570s of Matthew Graham rapidly closing in third. Morris motored home to seal a dominant GT3 victory for Team Parker Racing alongside partner Parfitt, whilst Littlejohn and Mitchell’s Macmillan Aston battled to second ahead of the Spirit of Race pairing of Cameron and Griffin. In GT4, Mackay blazed across the line to bag victory alongside Balon for Track-Club, with Nicoll-Jones and Will Moore‘s Academy Motorsport Aston Martin sealing second narrowly in front of Graham and Marcus Hoggarth‘s In2Racing McLaren.

Track Club, McLaren 570S, GT4, #72, Adam Balon, Adam Mackay, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Northamptonshire  <br />
Silverstone  <br />
Great Britain  <br />
© Craig Robertson
Team Parker Racing Ltd, Bentley Continental, GT3, #31, Rick Parfitt, Seb Morris, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Northamptonshire,  <br />
Silverstone  <br />
United Kingdom  <br />
© Craig Robertson
Team Parker Racing Ltd, Bentley Continental, GT3, #31, Rick Parfitt, Seb Morris,<br />
British GT Championship <br />
Northamptonshire,  <br />
Silverstone  <br />
United Kingdom  <br />
© Craig Robertson