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Lights-to-Flag Win For Simpson Ginetta

Ekris BMW finishes close second

Tom Hibbert and Charlie Robertson in the #100 Simpson Motorsport Ginetta won the first of Sunday’s two GT4 European Series encounters from pole position, losing the lead only at the pitstops despite having to deal with three safety-car restarts in the course of the hour-long race.

Polesitter Hibbert held the lead on the first lap, but first time around second-place man Nicolas Leutweiler in the #222 TFT Porsche made an error through Paddock Hill Bend, which allowed Max Koebolt in the #8 Ekris Motorsport BMW through to second.

Elsewhere, Csaba Mor got the #10 Equipe Verschuur McLaren into fourth through Druids, while Alain Ferte in the #4 Energy by ART Porsche lost a couple of positions, allowing Will Moore (#62 Academy Aston), Chase Owen (#40 Brookspeed Porsche) and Sam DeJonghe (#21 Allied Racing Porsche) into fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

Moore subsequently spun out of fifth at Sheene, triggering the first of the race’s safety-car periods. No sooner had the race restarted and the yellows were out again, however, with the sister #61 Aston of Mike Hart also finding the gravel, this time at Stirlings.

Hibbert resisted strong pressure from Koebolt at both restarts to enter the pits in the lead, handing over to Robertson without drama. Robertson was in turn pressured by Koebolt’s co-driver Ricardo van der Ende when the safety car came out for a third time late on during their stint, to cover a spin by the #11 Sofia Car Motorsport Sin R1.

A one-second stop-go penalty for the #71 Villorba Corsa Maserati put paid to that car’s shot at a podium, so as the second half unfolded it was the #222 TFT Porsche, now with Ander Vilarino at the wheel, that sat third. Several quick drivers had now taken over cars further down the order, however, leading to some furious battling both before and after that third safety-car period to determine the final finishing order.

In the end it was the #10 Equipe Verschuur McLaren that finished third in the hands of Matthew Graham, ahead of a charging Joe Osborne in the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren started by David Pattison. Next up was the highest-finishing Porsche, the #112 RN Vision STS Porsche of Pavel Lefterov and John-Louis Jasper.

Charlie Fagg brought the #23 Sean Walkinshaw Racing Nissan home seventh, the car having been started by 2015 GT Academy winner Romain Sarrazin. Eighth, ninth and 10th went to the #9 Las Moras McLaren, #144 SuperRacing Aston and #21 Allied Racing Porsche to round out the points-paying positions.

Update: A post-race penalty for the #10 car saw the Osborne/Pattison McLaren promoted to third in the final results.