Callum Macleod topped the topped the timing screens in British GT Free Practice 1 at Spa-Francorchamps, the Team Parker Racing driver lapping the circuit in 2:19.103 in the first half of the session in the #7 Bentley Continental GT3. His time was half a tenth quicker than the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 which set a 2:19.158 to go second overall.
It was a fast start for Patrick Kujala and Adrian Amstutz, who are entered as a wild-card for the weekend, making it three Lambo’s for the championship-leading Barwell squad.
Behind the #33 Barwell Huracan of on Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen finished the morning in third, a further two tenths back. The #88 Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 and #21 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 completed the top five.
The aforementioned Ferrari will not take any further part in the meeting though, following an off at Blanchimont by Duncan Cameron. Despite the temperatures being high for the start of FP1, the track conditions were tricky after overnight rain, catching Duncan out.
“Unfortunately, we’re going home early,” Duncan, who DSC is pleased to report, is ok after the incident, said. “The car is done, after a hard impact. I took a normal line through Blanchimont and hit a wet patch on the outside which spun me round. I then eventually hit the barriers at the rear end, I had a lot of time to think about it before the impact.
“It’s amazing what you can walk away from these days.”
The incident brought out a red flag period 40 minutes into the session while the marshals recovered the stranded Ferrari.
Team Parker Racing’s Seb Morris was also keen to point out to DSC that the surface was not completely dry.
“It’s easy to get tricked into thinking it’s completely dry out there after all this sunshine this morning,” he said. “You have to be careful of the kerbs, drains, manhole covers, as they can be very slippy and turn you straight round.”
Morris set the ninth fastest time in the session – a 2:21.876 – which he says isn’t reflective of the pace achievable by the #31 this weekend.
“I had to pass three or four cars on the lap,” Morris told DSC, “But it was still a good time, and I’m confident there’s more to come. I did FP1, and Rick (Parfitt) will do FP2. I was out there making sure that the car was set up perfectly.”
In the enormous 20-car GT4 class, it was a perfect way to start the weekend for Ebor GT of Matthew Graham and Charlie Fagg, the returning team’s Maserati ending up with the fastest time, a 2:31.968, 1.2 seconds clear of the competition. It was set before the red flag period.
The top three in the class was completed by the #53 UltraTek Racing Team RJN Nissan which managed a 2:33.205, and the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 after Stuart Middleton reeled of an early 2:33.569.
Free Practice 2 at Spa is set to get underway at 11:30am local time in Belgium.
Photos courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography