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

Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris took their third win of the year in the 2 hour Brands Hatch endurance race. Having started fifth on the grid, they pushed hard from the get go, Parfitt Jnr passing Minshaw before the pit stops. Phil Keen tried to fight back as the Pro drivers took over but Seb Morris held him off to take the win.

In GT4, Will Phllips and Jan Jonck took their first British GT GT4 win in the #42 Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage.

The #33 Demon Tweeks backed Barwell Lamborghini started on the futon row coming under immediate pressure from James Littlejohn in the #24 Macmillan AMR Aston as the race began. The pair were side by side through Paddock Hill, Minshaw coming out on top by a fraction as the cars came through Graham Hill Bend. Will Moore lost the lead early on in GT4, the #62 Academy Motorsport Aston losing the lead to the charging #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren of Sandy Mitchell through Clearways.

It was a fierce start throughout the pack, Derek Johnston and Rick Parfitt Jnr making contact in the opening laps through Druids whilst the GT4 title challengers, the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta and the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta fought for fourth place.

Littlejohn was on an early charge at the front in GT3, hunting down Jon Minshaw as the pair came round to lap the slower GT4 cars for the first time. Parfitt showed early promise, forcing his way past the #6 Barwell Lamborghini of Liam Griffin, he quickly set off in pursuit of Mark Farmer in the #11 TF Sport Aston. Under pressure from Littlejohn, Minshaw ran wide at Graham Hill Bend allowing the Aston to ease through into the lead. Parfitt made short work of Mark Farmer and set his sights on Jon Minshaw just ahead. Parfitt was on a charge; quickly closing the gap to Minshaw and diving down the inside onto Cooper Straight.

GPRM, Toyota GT86, #86, Stefan Hodgetts, James Fletcher, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Brands Hatch <br />
Kent   <br />
Great Britain   <br />
© Craig Robertson

Back in GT4, Jack Mitchell and Will Moore were breaking away from the pack, third, fourth and fifth all caught up in their own battle over the final podium position. It was Pittard who had the edge in the #51 Lanan car over Middleton and Niall Murray in the #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta. The trio made their way through Paddock Hill, Niall Murray taking the corner too fast allowed the other two to pull a gap. Moore was in trouble in second place, the Aston came to a halt through Stirlings and was later diagnosed with a faulty gear box. The stoppage induced the first safety car of the race.

Littlejohn got off to a good restart, opening up the gap to Parfitt by 1.4 seconds. Minshaw was clearly struggling and dropped back into fourth behind Mark Farmer and into the clutches of Liam Griffin and Derek Johnston. Shortly after this, the race lost its second car. The #51 Ginetta of Dave Pittard was wheeled back into the garage; a significant blow for his championship challenge. James Littlejohn who had performed faultlessly to this point was then dealt a cruel hand of fate, the #24 Aston Martin limped into the pits just before the driver changes. Littlejohn extracted himself from the car, slamming the door in anger as he disappeared into the garage. The team denied the chance of their maiden win.

Parfitt inherited the lead and with a minimum pitstop penalty at the driver change, Morris joined the race with a commanding lead. Stuart Middleton lost a little bit of time in the pits, falling behind Jacob Mathiassen and Adam Mackay before taking to the track in fifth place.

TF Sport, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3, #11, Mark Farmer, Jon Barnes, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Brands Hatch <br />
Kent   <br />
Great Britain   <br />
© Craig Robertson

As Morris cushioned his unassailable lead ahead of Sam Tordoff, the battle for third intensified between Jon Barnes, Jonny Adam and Keen. A 20 second penalty for the #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta ended Mathiassen’s podium hopes, as the #100 McLaren and the #42 Aston Martin ran side-by-side for the lead in GT4. After laps of battling, Jonck muscled his way down the inside at Druids hairpin, forcefully surging ahead of Haggerty with 15 minutes remaining. Haggerty couldn’t regroup and soon lost second to David Osborne‘s #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S, with worsening tyre grip seeing the Scotsman lose his podium to Middleton through

Clearways. Seconds later, Haggerty barreled into the barrier at Paddock Hill Bend, emerging unscathed but ending Garage 59’s hopes of a strong finish. Morris comfortably cruised to victory, powering Team Parker Racing into a 10.5 points lead heading into the championship-deciding season finale at Donington in September. Jonck powered his and Phillips’ Aston Martin to its maiden victory, lessening Macmillan AMR’s frustration after Mitchell and Littlejohn’s retirement from the GT3 lead.

Team Parker Racing Ltd, Bentley Continental, GT3, #31, Rick Parfitt, Seb Morris, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Brands Hatch <br />
Kent   <br />
Great Britain   <br />
© Craig Robertson
Macmillan AMR, Aston Martin Vantage, GT4, #42, William Phillips, Jan Jonck, <br />
British GT Championship <br />
Brands Hatch <br />
Kent   <br />
Great Britain   <br />
© Craig Robertson