Making his debut for the Abba/Rollcentre Racing team, Adam Christodoulou topped the first free-practice session for British GT’s Silverstone 500 event in sunny but windy conditions at the Northamptonshire circuit, taking the #88 Mercedes-AMG GT around in 2:01.287.
Next fastest was Calum Macleod in the #7 Team Parker Bentley, seven-tenths adrift of Christodoulou’s marker, while Seb Morris made it a Team Parker Bentley 2-3, taking the #31 car around in 2:02.242.
The Bentleys were just ahead of the Spirit Of Race Ferrari, which was fourth fastest in the hands of Matt Griffin, who set a 2:02.458 in the dark green #21 488. The two Barwell Lamborghinis were up next, Sam Tordoff putting the #6 car just ahead of the points-leading Jon Minshaw/Phil Keen #33 Huracan.
Quickest in GT4 was the returning Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 of Ade Barwick and Bradley Ellis – a one-off entry for the Silverstone 500 – just ahead of the HHC G55 of championship frontrunners Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha. The Ultratek Nissan of Martin Plowman and Richard Taffinder was third-fastest in the class.
There are also two nominally GT4 but officially ‘invitational’ entries in British GT this weekend – the GPRM Toyota GT86 of Stefan Hodgetts and James Fletcher and the Stratton Motorsport Lotus Evora of Stuart Hall and Gavan Kershaw.
Per British GT championship manager Benjamin Franissovici, the Toyota doesn’t have current SRO Balance of Performance and the Evora isn’t homologated for 2017, but is being considered for 2018 homologation. In both cases the organisers will be gathering information on their relative pace compared to the homologated and performance-balanced GT4 cars that make up the rest of the field for future reference.
FP2 follows at 12:25pm and will incorporate a bit of a surprise!