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TF Sport Triumph In Snetterton Race Two

Haggerty and Mitchell take GT4 Honours in Black Bull McLaren

Reigning GT3 class champions Johnny Adam and Derek Johnston took the #1 TF Sport Aston to its first British GT win of the year in race two at Snetterton on Sunday. The duo recovered from a pit delay and benefiting from a drive-through penalty for the race-one-winning #33 Barwell Lamborghini to take the win. In GT4, the win went the way of Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell after race-one winner Will Tregurtha crashed out of the lead with 10 minutes to run.

Adam jumped into to the lead briefly from third on the grid, but Phil Keen in the #33 Lamborghini was back in front through Wilson and pulled out a lead of eight seconds in the course of the stint. Indeed, as the pit window approached, Sam Tordoff in the other Lamborghini (who’d started second) was troubling Adam’s rear bumper.

Having already been bumped back from fourth on the road to eighth in the initial results in race one (due to an incorrect pitstop time), the #31 Team Parker Bentley was hit with a drive-through in the early stages of race two, applied due to Seb Morris squeezing Matt Griffin’s #21 Ferrari towards the pitwall during the rolling start.

The other Parker entry hit trouble as well, contacting a GT4 Ginetta in the latter stages of the first stint, forcing an early pitstop for Calum Macleod. Although the car rejoined, it was later seen slowing just as the window for scheduled pitstops opened.

Drama ensued during the stops when Johnston, taking over the #1 Aston from Adam, was temporarily blocked from leaving the pits by a stalled GT4 car, thus allowing Minshaw to rejoin in the lead despite the #33 Barwell car having to take an extra 10 seconds due to its race-one win.

Just as the pit window closed, the #7 Bentley came to a halt in the appropriate location of the Bentley straight, leading to race control deploying the safety car. Behind Minshaw and Johnston, the other Barwell Lamborghini was still third, now in the hands of Liam Griffin, with Mark Farmer (#11 TF Aston) and Duncan Cameron (#21 Ferrari) running fifth and sixth.

Minshaw looked uncatchable, but before long word came through of a drive-through penalty for the leader for the familiar reason of a too-short pitstop. That dropped the car to sixth, where it would finish, promoting Liam Griffin, Farmer and Cameron to second, third and fourth respectively.

A charging Rick Parfitt Jr brought the Team Parker Bentley home fourth, having passed Cameron and benefitted from the leaders’ penalty. He made several attempts to nick the final podium position from Farmer, but ultimately had to settle for where he was.

Jack Mitchell salvaged fifth for the Macmillan Aston, which had to start from the back of the grid for this race having missed the relevant qualifying session on Saturday, with Minshaw coming home ahead of seventh-place Cameron, Lee Mowle in eighth in the AmD Mercedes and Richard Neary ninth in the Abba Mercedes, which was also hit with a pitstop-related penalty.

Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell came through an incident-packed GT4 race to claim theirs and the #100 Black Bull McLaren’s first win of the season. Having qualified third, Haggerty lay fourth at the end of lap one, behind leader Joe Osborne in the Tolman McLaren and the two Ginettas of Dave Pittard (Lanan Racing) and Stuart Middleton (HHC Motorsport).

Middleton and Haggerty were among the first to pit, but the former’s 10 seconds and latter’s five seconds additional pit time for winning race one meant Osborne’s co-driver David Pattison would emerge with a healthy lead after the stops. Unfortunately for him, the safety car for the stranded GT3 Bentley undid a lot of that, leaving him ahead of Middleton’s co-driver Will Tregurtha and Pittard’s co-driver Alex Reed as the field circulated under yellows.

Race-one winner Tregurtha and then Reed passed Pattison fairly quickly after the restart, but in the process they allowed Mitchell to close in and he was in front before long. Things went from bad to worse for Tregurtha, however, as he tried to claw back the lead from Mitchell but in the process made contact with a lapped car going around Agostini. The resulting damage led to him going straight on into the barrier at the next corner, leaving him unhurt but out of the race.

That meant Reed found himself once again in second and Pattison was promoted to third, the positions in which they would finish the race. Adam Balon (Track-Club McLaren), Graham Johnson (PMW/Optimum Ginetta) and Nick Jones (Team Parker Porsche) completed the top six.