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Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography/British GT

TF Wins, Parker Takes the Title

A pleasant day at Donington Park was the scene of the closing race of the 2017 British GT Championship season. Two crews were in the hunt for both the GT3 and GT4 titles, but only one would emerge on top at the end of the 120 minute event.

Neither of the TF Sport entered Aston Martin Vantage GT3s were in title contention, but a race win was the goal after a strong qualifying saw the #11 grab pole, and the #1 line up alongside. The two title contenders filled the second row of the grid, the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 was third, whilst the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 started fourth.

Strong starts from Mark Farmer, in the #11, and Jon Minshaw, in the #33, saw them take to the front of the field by the end of the first lap, as the #31 lost a place, Rick Parfitt Jr dropping behind the #6 Barwell Lamborghini.

Farmer set about building a gap to Minshaw, which was assisted somewhat by a spin from the Lamborghini early on. Derek Johnston therefore moved up into second position, giving TF Sport a comfortable 1-2. This remained for the first half of the race; a ten second success penalty for the #11, due to the third place finish last time out at Brands Hatch, meant Johnston just had to take it easy and the #1 would emerge with the lead after the stops.

Parfitt pulled off a well timed move just after a yellow flag zone to overhaul the #6 of Liam Griffin, and would proceed to pass the #08 JRM Nissan GT-R GT3 to move the Bentley up into third position by the pit stops. These allowed the #31 to take a firm hold in the GT3 title fight.

This rang true as Jonny Adam emerged from the pits with a comfortable lead in the #1. Jon Barnes in turn had a nice gap back to the #33 in the #11 Aston, whilst a 20 second success penalty dropped the #31 from third to fifth.

Adam would maintain this gap until the end of the race, giving the #1 crew their second win of the season. Barnes brought the sister #11 car car home in second, with Phil Keen doing his best in the #33 Lamborghini to come home third, catching but not quite able to overcome the Aston.

Morris would overhaul the #08 Nissan to bring the Bentley up to fourth before the end of the race, which was enough to seize the GT3 class title, this title triumph gives Rick Parfitt Jr the accolade of the first driver to win both the GT3 and GT4 class titles in the British GT Championship.

GT4 was dominated by the #501 PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 of Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson, which took the lead after early issues for the polesitting #62 Academy Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4.

The class title was also decided early on, with the HHC Motorsport pairing of Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha coming out on top, after the #51 Lanan Racing pairing of David Pittard and Alex Reed were eliminated due to accident within the first half an hour.

Alex MacDonald